If you have suffered from an accident due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be interested in making a claim. Many accident victims find this an invaluable help, especially if their finances have been affected through being unable to work or paying for private medical treatment. However, if the accident happened some time ago, you might be wondering whether you are still eligible. It is true that most types of accident claims have time limits, but these vary according to the circumstances of each case. However, the extent of these limits and the ways in which they may be affected are often poorly understood.
General Time Limits
The general, default rule is that if you have been injured and somebody else is to blame, you will have a three year period in which you are eligible to make a claim. After these three years have elapsed, you may no longer be able to put in a claim for compensation. However, this is only the default position, and there are many circumstances that can alter the timeframe open to you.
For example, it may be that you were not aware of the injury at the time of the accident, and that symptoms only started to show later on. This is especially true considering that some illnesses, such as those resulting from exposure to dangerous substances, can also qualify as injuries for the purpose of making compensation claims. In these cases, the three year period still applies, but it starts from the date you first became aware of the injury and not from the date of the accident itself.
A similar rule applies if you suffer from an injury or illness for some time before discovering it was connected to your accident. In this case, you will have three years from the date you become aware of the connection.
There are some cases when the three year period might not apply to you at all, and you will have longer to put in a claim for compensation.
If you were a child at the time of the accident, the three year time limit is unlikely to apply to you. As a child, of course, you would not have been in a position to properly make the claim you were entitled to. Neither could a child be expected to be aware of the options open to them. As such, adults who suffered injuries in accidents as children may still be eligible to put in a compensation claim even if more than three years have passed.
If you have suffered from an industrial illness as a result of insufficient safety in the workplace, you may also have longer to make a claim.
If you believe you may be eligible to make an accident compensation claim, the next step is to contact a specialist. They will be able to advise you on whether you are likely to be successful, and can help you see the process through.