Time Limits for accident claims

There's a time limit on most accidents: make sure you know how long you have left to put in a claim.

If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident and want to bring a personal injury claim, one of the first things to consider is how long you have before you have to start court proceedings.

There is very rarely anything to be gained by delaying; small, everyday documents such as receipts can easily be mislaid, your witnesses may change jobs or addresses and be more difficult to find and other developments at work could make your claim worth less than it was originally.
Making a claim is, despite what the insurance industry suggests, not the first thing on most people’s minds after they have an injury. If you had an accident some years ago you need to take the following into account.
Generally, you have only three years to start court proceedings in your claim. That means that all paperwork, contact with defendant and all evidence needs to be prepared and ready to be presented to court after three years. The solicitor you do instruct is likely to require some time to put the paperwork together and investigate the claim before starting the court proceedings. If you do contact a solicitor at the very last moment you may find that many simply refuse to take your case on.
The three-year rule is different for disease cases (I will write about this another time), and there are special rules for those who are under 18 at the time of the accident and anyone who is unable to look after their own affairs for a period of time during the three years. In the case of children the basic argument that you don’t gain anything by delay would be more relevant as you could in theory bring a claim 20 years after the event which might be very difficult to prove.
It is also worth bearing in mind that the rules are completely different if the accident happens outside the UK or if the accident happens on an aircraft or a ship. If you were unfortunate enough to suffer an accident in those circumstances you should take legal advice immediately as some international time limits are very short.
If your claim is coming up to the three year time limit, I would be only too happy to have a telephone chat or no-obligation meeting at your home to discuss the case and what I can do for you.
I have had 24 years of experience dealing with workplace accidents in places from Barrow to Newcastle, Lancaster to Porthmadog.  If you have a personal injury claim in Liverpool, Manchester, Cheshire or the North West or North Wales and would like a personal lawyer to represent you, guaranteed no win-no fee, 100% compensation to you with no fees taken out and visits at a time and place to suit your lifestyle, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  My contact details are just above, or visit knealesolicitor.co.uk  


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