May 16, 2021

How Long After an Accident Can You Make a Personal Injury Claim?

How Long After an Accident Can You Make a Personal Injury Claim?

Writing note showing Personal Injury Claims. Business photo showcasing being hurt or injured inside work environment Green note paper with pencil on white background and pc keyboard.

If you have sustained an injury following an accident and you were not at fault, you are entitled to personal injury compensation. But when should you start making a claim? No matter how minor you think your injury is, it is important that you know the time limits for filing a personal injury claim.  

The personal injury compensation law is broad legislation that covers claims under various circumstances, including public liability claims, workers compensation claims, motor vehicle accident claims, medical negligence claims, and more. Based on this law, any person who suffers injuries of whatever kind due to another person’s negligence is entitled to a compensation claim to cover the victim’s medical costs, loss of wages, etc.

If you believe you are eligible to make a personal injury claim, it is crucial to know until when you can file a claim. In this article based on, you will discover how long after an injury you can claim compensation.

Should you start your claim as soon as possible?

Some victims tend to wait for several months before they start making a claim, thinking they should wait for their injuries to heal before they make a legal move. However, we recommend that you start making a claim soon after sustaining your injuries. As soon as you become aware of your position in an accident, contact a lawyer right away so you can immediately file a claim against the party at fault.

Obviously, it is much easier to establish the direct link between the accident and your injuries if the incident is still fresh. It is also much easier to find supporting evidence and witnesses to validate your claim if you file soon after the accident took place. Although there are cases where injuries and other symptoms do not develop until weeks or months after an accident, it is still recommended that you report the incident and start your claim as soon as possible.

Until when can you claim compensation following an injury?

Depending on where you are based, the law outlines rules for different types of claims. These rules include the time frames in which a victim can file a claim. Usually, adult victims have three years from the time of the accident to make a personal injury claim. If you fail to bring your claim within this timeframe, you run the risk of missing out on your compensation altogether.

Take note, however, that there are exceptions to this three-year limit. In certain situations, this timeframe may be extended. For instance, if the claim is related to an injury resulting in the death or permanent impairment of the victim, the person injured may be allowed to file a personal injury claim beyond three years—but only if there is a judicious cause for the delay. For example, a victim did not realize his injury until after a couple of years or so.

Remember that a court rarely ignores the limitation period for filing claims, so it is still best to bring your claim as soon as you recognize your injuries. According to Section 33 of the Limitation Act of 1980, the court may only allow the extension of the statutory limitation period if the victim provides a convincing reason for delaying his claim.

If, without any reasonable reason, you decide to bring your claim close to the three-year limit, you may have a hard time making a successful claim. This is because there is significant work that comes with filing a personal injury claim and most of the work takes several months to complete. Going through evidence, reviewing police reports, and collating statements from witnesses require months of hard work and are necessary to establish a personal injury claim. If you file your claim with only a few months left until the deadline, you might not be able to complete all the necessary work within the period of limitation.

Do you need to hire a personal injury lawyer?

It does not matter whether your injury is serious or not—you need a personal injury lawyer to make a successful personal injury claim. Making this claim is a complex process that requires the knowledge and expertise of an experienced lawyer. When you hire a lawyer who specializes in this area of the law, you have someone to guide you with your decisions and give you advice every step of the way. Your lawyer will also let you understand your chances of making a successful claim, as well as your rights to pursue legal action against the other party.