What Is The Time Limit To Make A Serious Injury Claim?

This guide examines the time limit to make a serious injury claim. We have provided information on when you could be eligible to start a claim for a serious personal injury following an accident and how long you have to start the legal process.

Countdown with many clocks exemplifying time limits for serious injury claims

You will also find some examples of how serious injuries can be sustained following road traffic accidents, accidents at work and in public places, and the possible compensation that could be awarded for those injuries following a successful claim. 

The final section of this guide details the type of No Win No Fee agreement our solicitors can offer and the benefits this brings to claimants who start their claim under these terms. 

Our advisers can offer you an assessment of your specific circumstances, as well as provide more information about the claims process. You can get in touch using the following contact details:

Select A Section

  1. What Is The Time Limit To Make A Serious Injury Claim?
  2. Are You Eligible To Start A Serious Injury Claim?
  3. What Evidence Will I Need?
  4. Compensation Amounts For Serious Injury Claims
  5. Learn About Making A No Win No Fee Serious Injury Claim
  6. Find Out More About The Time Limit To Make A Serious Injury Claim

What Is The Time Limit To Make A Serious Injury Claim?

The time limit to make a serious injury claim, like any other personal injury claim, is 3 years from the accident date as per the Limitation Act 1980. However, this only means that legal proceedings must be initiated within this time frame. Once the claim has been started you have as long as you need to complete it.

Additionally, there are circumstances where exceptions to this initial time limit may apply, and an extension could be granted.

For instance, for injured persons who were minors at the time of the accident, the time limit is frozen until their 18th birthday. They will then have 3 years to start legal proceedings for that accident. Injured persons who are of reduced mental capacity have the 3-year limit frozen indefinitely. If there is a recovery of their capacity, the 3 years are counted from the date of recovery.

A suitable adult can apply to act as a litigation friend on the injured person’s behalf in both of these instances and start the claims process sooner. 

To find out more about the time limit for serious injury claims and if you qualify for an extension, speak to one of our advisors using the contact information above.

Are You Eligible To Start A Serious Injury Claim?

In addition to understanding what the time limit to make a serious injury claim is, you should also be aware of the eligibility criteria that need to be met. In order to have valid grounds to pursue a claim for a personal injury, you must prove:

  1. A third party owed a duty of care to you.
  2. This third party breached this duty.
  3. Their breach caused you to be injured.

We have provided more detail about specific legislation governing the duty of care for different third parties in the sections below.

Are You Eligible To Claim For An Accident At Work?

The duty of care imposed on employers is set out by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. All employers are required to take reasonable steps to ensure their employees are safe at work. How this duty is upheld will vary, but it can include taking steps such as providing the correct and necessary personal protective equipment, ensuring employees have undergone adequate training to perform their jobs correctly and safely, and performing regular risk assessments to address any hazards that pose a risk of injury at work.

A possible example of an employer failing to uphold their duty of care, resulting in a serious accident at work, could be:

  • Employees who have not received any training are instructed by their employer to use a forklift to move heavy goods within a warehouse. As a result, the employee operating the truck lose control of the vehicle and drop the goods on an another employee causing them to sustain a serious crush injury in a forklift accident.

Are You Eligible To Claim For A Road Traffic Accident?

Road users owe a collective duty of care to one another. This duty requires road users to prevent each other from experiencing harm by navigating the roads in a safe manner. They can uphold this duty through adherence to the rules set out by the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Highway Code

An example where a failure to uphold this collective duty could result in a road traffic accident could be:

  • A lorry driver moves back into the left hand lane after overtaking another lorry. They fail to adequately observe their surroundings before doing so and collide with a car. The car is pushed off the motorway, and the driver sustains multiple injuries, including a serious head injury

Are You Eligible To Claim For A Public Accident

The parties in control of public places, referred to as occupiers, must take steps to ensure the reasonable safety of all visitors to their premises. This duty of care is established in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

A scenario where an occupier breaching their duty could cause an accident in a public place could be:

  • An art gallery has not carried out repairs to a directional sign in one of their display halls, despite repeated reports about the hazard. The sign consequently falls free from its mounting, hitting a visitor and causing them to sustain a serious shoulder and neck injury. 

Get in touch to discuss your specific circumstances and find out whether you’re eligible to make a serious injury claim and how long you have to start legal proceedings.

What Evidence Will I Need?

You will require evidence to support your serious injury claim. Evidence can be used to show how the accident occurred and who was at fault for your injuries. It should be noted that not all of these types of evidence may be available to you. Nevertheless, we have included some possible examples here:

  • Witness contact information.
  • CCTV or dashcam footage.
  • Medical records.
  • The incident report from the workplace accident book. 
  • Workplace training documents.

After our advisors have assessed your particular circumstances and decided you have valid grounds to move forward, you could be connected with one of our solicitors. A solicitor could assist you with collecting evidence, as well as making sure you are within the time limit to start a serious injury claim. For an assessment of your potential claim, contact our advisors using the details below. 

Compensation Amounts For Serious Injury Claims

Following a successful serious injury claim you will receive a personal injury compensation settlement. This settlement can be comprised of up to two different heads of claim; general damages and special damages. General damages award for the physical as well as psychological impacts of your injuries. 

To calculate a possible value for a personal injury settlement, solicitors can refer to your medical evidence in conjunction with the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG publication contains guideline compensation amounts for an array of different injuries. We have used a selection of these to create this compensation table.

We should emphasise that the amounts in this table are not guaranteed payouts for a successful personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are assessed on their individual circumstances. As such, we have provided these figures to act as a guideline only. 

Compensation Table

Injury Severity Guideline Figures Notes
Multiple Injuries Serious Up to £1,000,000 and above Multiple serious injuries with associated monetary losses.
Brain Very Severe (a) £282,010 to £403,990 Very little environmental response, little to no language function, and double incontinence necessitating full-time nursing care.
Paralysis Paraplegia £219,070 to £284,260 Paralysis below the waist.
Neck Severe (a)(ii) £65,740 to £130,930 Serious disc damage or fractures of the cervical spine causing serious disability which are considerable in severity.
Pelvis and hips Severe (a)(i) £78,400 to £130,930 Extensive fracture with a dislocation of low back joint and ruptured bladder.
Chest Traumatic injury (b) £65,740 to £100,670 Traumatic injuries to the chest or internal organs resulting in permanent damage, functional impairment, disability and reduction in life expectancy.
Special Damages Loss of Earnings Up to and above £100,000 A loss of earnings from either a temporary or permanent absence of work while recovering from injuries may be reimbursed under special damages.

Special Damages

The financial losses you have suffered because of your injuries could be reimbursed under special damages. Possible examples can include any loss of earnings due to time taken off work to recover or the cost of any modifications to your home if your injuries affect your mobility, such as a shower rail or access ramp. 

Remember, retain copies of your receipts, your payslips and other documents as evidence of any financial losses. 

To receive a free valuation of your potential claim, please call an advisor on the number above.

Learn About Making A No Win No Fee Serious Injury Claim

After you have received an assessment of your potential serious injury claim from our advisors, they could connect you with one of our solicitors. Our solicitors can offer to take your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA is a type of No Win No Fee contract that has distinct advantages for claimants. Generally, you will not be met with an upfront fee for the solicitor’s services. There are likewise no ongoing fees during the claims process for the solicitor’s work, nor any costs required for this work following an unsuccessful claim.

Upon the success of your serious injury claim, you will be awarded a compensation settlement. A percentage of this compensation will be automatically deducted. This is called a success fee. The percentage that solicitors can charge as their success fee has a legal cap. What this means is, most of your settlement is yours to keep.

You can talk to our advisors using the contact information below. Our team can answer any of your questions and offer you a cost-free assessment of your potential claim. You can speak to our team via:

Find Out More About The Time Limit To Make A Serious Injury Claim

See some of our other serious injury guides:

More resources:

We appreciate you taking the time to read our guide on the time limit to make a serious injury claim. Our advisors can provide more information about the time limits for serious injury claims, or an assessment of your particular circumstances. To speak to one of our team, use any of the contact details above.

Guide by HC

Edited by MMI