How Long After A Serious Injury Do You Have To Claim?
Are you wondering, “how long after a serious injury do you have to claim?”. If so, the answer is in this guide. The answer to this question can differ, depending on your circumstances. Although, there is a personal injury claim time limit that is generally adhered to. We’ve included information on all exceptions to this time limit, and the time limit itself.
There is also a section that takes you through the criteria that a claim for serious injuries needs to fulfil in order to be considered valid. Additionally, we’ve explained how compensation is calculated for serious injury claims, and also taken you through some examples of evidence that can be used to support a claim of this nature.
If you’ve sustained a serious injury and want to know if you could make a personal injury claim, get in touch with one of our advisors today. They can give you bespoke guidance and could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to assist you with the process.
Select A Section
- How Long After A Serious Injury Do You Have To Claim?
- Can I Bring A Serious Injury Claim?
- Evidence Needed For Serious Injury Claims
- What Is The Average Serious Injury Claim Payout?
- Get Help Bringing A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis
The serious injury claim time limit actually refers to how long you have to begin the process of claiming. It’s not the period of time in which the claim must be completed. The Limitation Act 1980 tells us that you generally have 3 years from the date you were injured to begin your personal injury claim.
However, the Act does have certain exceptions to this time limit. For instance, if the injured party lacks the mental capacity to claim, then their time limit is suspended. During this time, a litigation friend must be appointed if a claim is to be started on the claimant’s behalf. The claimant can only begin their own claim if they gain the ability to do so – the time limit would also begin from the date they are deemed capable.
How Long After A Child Accident Do You Have To Claim?
Serious injury claims cannot be pursued by anyone under the age of 18. However, a litigation friend can be appointed to do so on their behalf. This could be a parent/guardian, or a personal injury solicitor.
The litigation friend can claim for the minor any time up until their 18th birthday. If no claim is made on behalf of the minor once the minor turns 18 the traditional three-year time limit begins.
Get in touch today to find out more about how long after a serious injury you have to claim.
Not all serious injuries will mean that a personal injury claim for compensation is eligible. To make a serious injury claim your case must meet specific criteria. This requires you to show that:
- At the time and place of the injury you were owed a duty of care,
- This duty of care was breached by actions or omissions,
- Due to this breach of duty, you suffered a mental or physical injury.
Below we look at different places where a duty of care is owed:
Road Traffic Accident Claims
One example of a driver breaching their duty of care could be if they are not obeying the speed limit. Driving faster than the speed limit can give the driver less time to react if a pedestrian steps out to cross at a junction. The pedestrian could then be hit by the car and sustain a catastrophic injury such as quadriplegia.
Workplace Accident Claims
In the workplace, it is your employer who owes you a duty of care. They must take all reasonably practicable measures to avoid you from being injured, in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
For instance, your employer must make sure that any machinery that you use to perform your role is maintained, with any necessary repairs being made within a reasonable length of time. Otherwise, machinery such as a bench saw could break as you are using it. This could result in permanent scarring or even the loss of a limb.
Public Accident Claims
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 is the legislation relevant to those in control of a public space. For example, if you are injured in a supermarket, then the supermarket’s adherence to its duty of care would be looked into if you were to make a claim.
The supermarket, in accordance with the act, is responsible for the reasonable safety of its customers when they are using the store for its intended purpose. Heavy stock could fall from a high, damaged shelf, hitting you on the head and causing a serious brain injury. The supermarket is responsible for making sure their shelves are maintained to a safe standard to avoid this kind of incident.
As well as wondering how long after a serious injury you have to claim, you may want to know how you can support your claim with evidence. We have provided a few examples of evidence that can be helpful to acquire as part of the serious injury claim process. Other examples do exist, the list below is not exhaustive.
- Dashcam/CCTV footage.
- Your medical records.
- Workplace accident book.
- Witness contact information.
Evidence is a good way to help establish that a breach of duty of care has caused you to sustain a serious injury that could have been avoided. Get in touch to find out more, including how a solicitor could assist when gathering evidence such as this.
If your serious injury claim is successful, you will receive a settlement that accounts for your individual circumstances. The head of claim to account for your pain and suffering is known as general damages. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication that’s used as one of the resources to assist legal professionals with these calculations.
The JCG was last updated in 2022. Below, we’ve taken some figures from this latest edition. They’re based on court cases that have, in the past, been successful. However, your own serious injury claim will vary in value depending on factors such as the severity of your injury and its overall impact on your life. The figures in the table are from the JCG, but they are only for guidance purposes.
|Multiple serious injuries and financial losses both present and future.||When you sustain two or more injuries that are deemed serious in nature plus compensation for your financial losses and predicted losses.||Up to £1,000,000+|
|Paralysis||(a) Quadriplegia - Factors that are taken into account will include the presence and level of physical pain. Significant brain damage may also have occurred, as well as an impact on the claimant's various bodily functions.||£324,600 to £403,990|
|Paralysis||(b) Paraplegia - Levels of pain and the impact on mental health are among the factors that are considered.||£219,070 to £284,260|
|Brain damage||(a) Very severe cases will mean that there will be little or no response to the claimant's environment. Full-time care will be needed.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Arm||(a) Both arms lost due to amputation.||£240,790 to £300,000|
|Foot||(a) The amputation of both feet.||£169,400 to £201,490|
|Loss of earnings||To account for the income you are unable to earn as you recover or if you are no longer able to work again.||Up to £100,000 and above|
Special damages may also be owed to you as a result of a serious injury. This head of claim has the potential to exceed the value of general damages. This is because special damages are calculated to reimburse you for costs and losses caused by an injury.
Here are some examples:
- Prescription medication.
- Walking aids.
- Loss of earnings.
- Travel costs.
- Adaptations to your home.
Make sure you have evidence to support these losses. For instance, you could keep hold of payslips and receipts. Get in touch for more information.
If you work with a solicitor from our panel, then you would do so under a form of No Win No Fee deal. The fee arrangement used by our panel specifically is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that you can access their legal services without the requirement of paying an upfront fee.
A legally capped percentage of your compensation is taken if the claim succeeds. This is called a success fee. It isn’t taken if your claim fails.
Speak To Us
If you would like a more in-depth answer to the question “how long after a serious injury do I have to claim?” then you can reach out to our advisors on a 24/7 basis. Once you’ve answered a few of their questions, you will receive tailored advice that is specific to your circumstances.
Serious Injury Claim Resources
We hope you now have a better understanding of how long after a serious injury you have to claim. Below, we’ve included some links to additional resources that you may find helpful.
More of our guides:
- How do I claim compensation for a serious accident at work? – Read our helpful guide on this subject.
- Who could make a serious injury claim for blindness? – Find out by reading this article.
- What could your claim for organ damage be worth? – More information on this specific kind of serious injury claim.