Personal Injury

Time Limits For Making a Personal Injury Claim

If you have suffered an injury due to the negligent actions of another person, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation. However, there are many different areas of personal injury law, each subject to their own limitation periods for bringing forth a personal injury claim. Read on to find out more about the time limits for making a personal injury claim.

What is a Personal Injury?

Personal injury refers to a physical or psychological injury, usually sustained as the result of the wrongdoing or negligent actions of another person. As personal injury law is very broad, there are many different types of injuries which constitute as personal injury. Accordingly, there are many different compensation claims that can be made.

Public Liability Claim

You may be entitled to make a public liability claim in any situation where you have been injured in a public place due to the fault of another party. As most claims can be settled directly between the injured person and insurance company, many cases will never need to be settled in a courtroom. However, in cases where the two parties cannot reach an agreement, there is a 3 year time limit to bring forth a public liability claim. This means that all legal action must be made within 3 years from the day the accident occurred.

Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

If you have been injured in a car accident as a driver, rider, passenger or pedestrian, then you may be entitled to claim motor vehicle accident compensation. For motor vehicle accident claims, including accidents where there has been a fatality or hit-and-run, you generally have 6 months from the date of the accident to bring forth a car accident claim.

Medical Negligence Claim

A medical negligence claim allows for victims of medical malpractice to be compensated for the negligent actions of their medical professionals. For medical negligence claims the limitation period is the 3 year post discoverability limitation period. This is a period of 3 years starting from the date of which the medical malpractice that caused the patient’s injury is discovered by the patient (known as the “date of discoverability”).

Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ compensation provides compensation to workers who have suffered a work-related injury, illness or a reduced work capacity as a result of the course of their employment. The workers’ injury compensation system aims to provide injured workers with assistance during their recovery and to support a safe and appropriate return to work. A workers’ compensation claim should be made as soon as possible after the injury has occurred, and before the worker has left their place of employment. However, a claim may still be possible even if not made in such circumstances.

Financial Negligence Claim

A financial negligence claim is a means for those who have suffered a loss as a result of wrong, misleading or negligent financial advice to claim back their lost money. There is generally a 6 year time limit on financial negligence claims, meaning that you have 6 years from when you first engaged the financial adviser or when you first suffered your financial loss, to bring forward a claim. Once the 6 year period has elapsed, claims can usually no longer be lodged.

Time Limit Extension

If a claim form is not lodged within the specified time period, there is the possibility of an extension being granted by the court. However, only where special circumstances prevail will an extension be granted. When deciding whether an extension will be allowed, the courts will consider the following:

  • The length of the delay in bringing forth a claim
  • The reasons for the delay in bringing forth a claim
  • The nature and extent of the injury

It is solely at the court’s discretion as to whether an extension should be granted. Injured parties should not rely upon obtaining an extension as they are not readily given, and should aim to make their claims well within the time limits. To ensure you are within any time limits and have not lost the opportunity to take legal action and receive compensation, you should seek legal advice from a public injury lawyer as soon as possible.

For more information on personal injury compensation, contact Schreuder’s personal injury lawyers today.

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