The basic rule in this country (see jurisdiction) is that court proceedings must be started within 3 years of the date of the accident otherwise the claim is time barred.
If you are under 18 at the time of the accident, those proceedings need to be commenced before your 21st birthday.
There are exceptions and subparagraphs. The court can exercise its discretion and lift the time bar but it is a costly business. Another exception is the “date of knowledge” applicable where the injury did not arise from a single identifiable event but rather a course of events or circumstances.
Examples of the “date of knowledge” exception are usually found in cases involving medical negligence or industrial disease – you are unaware of precisely when you contracted the condition until advised by a medical expert. In these circumstances the 3 year period starts from the date you ought to have realised the condition had been contracted.
The limitation period would also be extended where you are unable to identify the defendant.
It is not just a matter of the limitation periods. When we consider your case we also consider how much time we have before the limitation period expires. The costs of a case significantly increase with legal proceedings. Therefore we must have the time necessary to gather and consider all the evidence. Our on line wizard will indicate if it is a case we may be able to help with.
As with many laws there are some exceptions, for instance where the accident occurs on an international flight, on a sea voyage, or indeed in a different country. We may be able to assist depending on the circumstances (see holiday claims and criminal injuries).