Advice On Time Limits In Serious Injury Claims

This guide will explain time limits in serious injury claims. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a third party’s negligence, you will find out how long you typically have to start a personal injury claim. Therefore we will begin this guide by looking at the Limitation Act 1980 and what this means for the time you have to initiate proceedings for your personal injury claim. 

Following this, we will look at who could be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim after suffering serious harm in an accident as well as this, we examine the evidence you could gather in support of your case.

To conclude this guide, we explain how a No Win No Fee serious injury claims solicitor from our panel could offer to take on your claim if it is valid. 

Our advisors can help you discover if you have a valid case and explain the benefits of a solicitor from our panel supporting your compensation claim. For this free guidance, all you need to do is:

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Time Limits In Serious Injury Claims Explained

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Examples Of Time Limits In Serious Injury Claims

It is vital to be aware of time limits in serious injury claims so an otherwise valid compensation claim does not fail on account of lateness.

Personal injury claims have a general three-year time limit, as established by The Limitation Act 1980. This means that you must initiate legal proceedings for a claim within 3 years of the date of the accident. 

Examples Of Time Limits In Serious Injury Claims For Those Mentally Incapable

The Act does recognise some exceptions that could alter time limitations. One example is if the injured person is mentally incapable of starting their own claim. Their time limit is paused indefinitely, though a litigation friend can be appointed to submit the claim on their behalf while the pause is in place. Should the person recover without a claim having been started, they would have three years from their recovery date to initiate proceedings.

Examples Of Time Limits In Serious Injury Claims For Children

An exception is also made for under-18s, as they cannot start a claim. Again, a litigation friend could take care of claiming for them while they are still a minor. However, if that does not happen, the time limit starts on the injured person’s 18th birthday. 

If you would like to learn more about personal injury claims time limits and your limitation period, call our advisors today for detailed guidance.

Am I Eligible To Claim For A Serious Injury?

As long as you are within the time limit, you can start a personal injury claim if you can show that you have valid grounds. You must be able to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A third party owed you a duty of care;
  • They breached this duty;
  • This caused an accident, leading to physical and/or mental injury.

Many serious injury claims are made against a third party due to accidents on the road, at work or in public spaces. The following sections outline third parties in these areas and the rules or legislation that inform their duty of care.

Accidents On The Road

Road users have a duty of care to navigate streets and highways in a manner that prevents themselves and others from harm caused by a road traffic accident. Following the rules set out by the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code will ultimately uphold a road user’s duty of care. 

In an example where a car user is looking at their phone and causes a pedestrian’s paralysis injury by not paying attention to the road and hitting them, the car user would be seen as breaching their duty of care.

Accidents At Work

Employers must pay attention to Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which states that they should take all reasonable and practicable steps to prevent harm to employees at work. Unsafe practices in the workplace or a failure to take reasonable steps constitutes a breach of this duty.

One example is an employer giving no training or PPE to employees using a forklift, leading to an accident where an employee is crushed and gets a serious brain injury.

Accidents In Public

Injuries in a public place could result from an occupier’s breach of duty. An occupier is a person or body in charge of a public space, and they must follow the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 by doing what they can to keep visitors reasonably safe.

Take an example where a visitor to a shopping centre gets a serious back injury from falling down a broken and unlit stairwell. The business controlling the shopping centre did not take action to ensure the stairs were safe and is therefore liable.

Our advisors can discuss your personal experience and provide a free assessment of your potential claim, so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

What Evidence Do I Need To Bring A Claim?

As well as understanding time limits in serious injury claims, you should also ensure you know what evidence to produce. Personal injury claims rely on evidence that shows a breach of duty and its hand in injuries sustained in an accident. You could present:

  • An official record, such as a workplace accident book entry.
  • CCTV footage or a recording from a personal device like a dashcam.
  • Photographs of the accident scene and visible injuries.
  • Medical records, such as an X-ray or scan results.
  • Witness contact information.

A solicitor from our panel can include assisting in evidence-gathering among the many duties they perform when supporting claimants. To find out more about how to collect evidence, please contact our advisors.

Calculating Your Serious Injury Claim

A personal injury settlement from a successful case could comprise up to two heads of claim. One is special damages, accounting for financial losses resulting from injuries suffered in an accident. This could include, among other things:

  • Medication costs;
  • Personal care fees:
  • Necessary travel expenses;
  • Home adjustments or mobility aids;
  • A loss of earnings from missing work due to injury.

Special damages can only be claimed if you provide documents like payslips or receipts and have been awarded general damages in the settlement.

General damages is the head of claim that considers physical pain and mental suffering.

Legal professionals often value injuries by using medical evidence and a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG.) We have borrowed figures from the JCG to produce the below table of guideline compensation brackets for various serious injuries.

The actual amount awarded varies from case to case, so this table is only a guide.

Compensation table

Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special Damges Up to £1,000,000+Multiple serious injuries plus financial losses and costs included.
Paralysis (a)£324,600 to £403,990Cases of Quadriplegia, also known as Tetraplegia.
Paralysis (b)£219,070 to £284,260Cases of Paraplegia.
Injuries Affecting Sight (a)In the region of £403,990The injured person is rendered totally blind and deaf.
Very Severe Brain Damage£282,010 to £403,990Numerous factors affect the level of compensation, including life expectancy and physical limitation.
Arm Amputation (a)£240,790 to £300,000The loss of both arms.
Leg Amputation (i)£240,790 to £282,010Amputation of one leg above the knee and one below, or both above the knee.
Hand (a)£140,660 to £201,490Both hands are either lost or damaged to the extent that they are essentially useless.
Severe Back Injury (i)£91,090 to £160,980Injuries will feature severely affected bladder, bowel and sexual function, plus incomplete paralysis and significant pain.
Chest (a)£100,670 to £150,110Damage could be as severe as serious heart damage and/or one lung being removed entirely.
Severe Pelvis/Hip Injury (i)£78,400 to £130,930Either a hip injury with intolerable pain and the need for spinal fusion, or extensive pelvic fractures.
Loss of Earnings Up to £100,000+Lost earnings covered either temporarily or permanently.

Can A No Win No Fee Serious Injury Claims Solicitor Help You?

As long as claimants adhere to time limits in their serious injury claims and meet eligibility criteria, our panel of solicitors can support them by ensuring cases are submitted on time and completed.

A solicitor’s professional service and experience could be made available to you under a form of No Win No Fee deal called a Conditional Fee Agreement.

When working with a solicitor under a CFA on your serious injury claim, you would not pay solicitors fees at the following times: 

  • At all, if the claim fails.
  • The start of the claims process
  • During the claims process.

Should they help you win, your solicitor would take a success fee from the compensation you are awarded. The proportion of your compensation they can collect has a cap applied by The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Contact Our Team To Check The Time Limits For Serious Claims

Along with sharing knowledge of personal injury claim time limits, our advisors can answer your questions about making a serious injury claim. If you ask for a free assessment and identify a valid claim, an advisor could bring your case to our panel’s attention.

For our support with your claim or to clear up anything you are unsure of, please:

Learn More About Different Time Limits In Serious Injury Claims

You can learn more about serious injury claims with these articles:

These resources are a worthwhile read while you work on your claim:

Thank you for reading our guide on time limits in serious injury claims. Please reach out by phone, online or live chat if you would like further information.