Is There A Time Limit On Car Accident Claims?

How Much Time Do You Have To Make A Car Accident Injury Claim?

is there a time limit on car accident claims?

You might think that answering the question, ‘Is there a time limit on car accident claims?’ would be quite straightforward. However, because no two accidents are the same, the standard time limit can vary. In this article, we’ll explore the different time limits that apply in different cases. For instance, we’ll look at the injury claim time limit for accidents involving children and also accidents involving fatalities. Additionally, we will provide information on the sort of compensation amounts that could be paid for injuries sustained in a car accident. can guide you through the process. Our advisors provide valuable free legal advice and will review your claim on a no-obligation basis. After reviewing it, they could refer you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. They will work on a No Win No Fee basis if they agree to take your claim on.

To learn more about which car accident time limit applies in your case, please read on. Alternatively, if you are ready to discuss your case with us, please call 0161 696 9685 today.

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Is There A Time Limit On Car Accident Claims?: A Guide

There are laws in place that put time limits on seeking compensation. So, what is the purpose of the Limitation Act 1980? Well, it is used to prevent legal actions from dragging on and on and it can help ensure things are resolved fairly. For instance, if there were no time limit, a witness who was questioned about a car accident 10 years down the road might not provide an accurate picture of events.

As with all legislation, there are conditions applied to time limits to deal with exceptions. For standard personal injury claims, you have 3 years from the date of an accident to claim compensation. However, in this guide, we’ll consider the exceptions that could give you longer to claim. We will look at claims made on behalf of children or those with diminished mental capacity. Additionally, we’ll look at why the time limit might not begin until the ‘date of knowledge’.

In the next few sections, we will supply information about compensation that could be paid for injuries sustained in a car accident. We’ll also advise on claiming for financial losses linked to your injuries too.

Once you’ve read this guide, please get in touch if there are any questions. For example, if your case isn’t straightforward, you could call a member of our team to check how long you have left to make your claim. Any advice we offer is free. We will assess your case without obligation too. Should your claim appear viable, we might introduce you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel so that they can advise you of your options.

Calculating Car Accident Claim Payouts UK

Before we consider the different time limits which apply to car accident claims, let’s look at compensation amounts. It is important to tell you that every claim is unique. That means that even though we’ll provide guidance in this section, you’ll get a more personalised potential compensation figure if you speak to our team.

In our compensation table below, you’ll see some potential figures for injuries sustained in car accidents. The data has come from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Lawyers, barristers, and judges use the JCG to help choose the right level of compensation for injuries. The part of your claim which covers pain and suffering is called general damages.

InjurySeverityRange of CompensationAdditional Details
NeckMinor£4,080 to £7,410This category could include whiplash injuries that fully recover within a 2-year period.
BackModerate£11,730 to £26,050Cases of muscle disturbance causing backache, prolapsed discs leading to laminectomy or soft tissue damage which extends suffering caused by a pre-existing condition are included in this category.
ShoulderSerious£11,980 to £18,020Pain in the shoulder and neck caused by damage to the lower brachial plexus and dislocation of the shoulder is an example of an injury covered by this category.
HipsModerate£11,820 to £24,950Where surgery or hip replacement is required.
WristFractureAround £6,970This covers injuries like uncomplicated Colles' fractures of the wrist.
LegFracture£8,550 to £13,210Fractures affecting the femur but where there is no damage to articular surfaces.
KneeModerate£13,920 to £24,580Minor instability caused by a torn meniscus, weakness, wasting or other mild disabilities are covered by this category.

The table shows us that the severity of any injury is important when deciding compensation amounts. To prove this, you will need to supply medical evidence. During the claims process, you will therefore need to attend a local medical assessment. During the meeting, an independent medical expert will analyse how the injuries have affected you. They’ll physically assess your injuries, ask questions and review your medical notes. After the appointment, the specialist will document their findings in a report and send it to your lawyer.

Special Damages Calculator

In addition to general damages, you could claim ‘special damages’ too. This is compensation for any financial expenses or losses caused by your injuries. Again, every claim is unique, but special damages could include:

  • Care costs. If you require support with daily activities, then you could claim care costs. This might be for the time a friend spent helping you or a professional carer.
  • Medical expenses. You will usually be treated for free by NHS staff. However, you could ask for the cost of prescription medicines or non-NHS services to be paid back.
  • Travel costs. Should you incur fuel, parking or other travel-related costs linked to your injuries, you could claim them back.
  • Lost earnings. Taking time off work to recover can prove costly. Therefore, if you lose income because of your injuries, you could ask for the loss to be paid back.
  • Future lost income. Should your earning capacity reduce because of your injuries, it might be possible to ask for future lost income too.
  • Adaptations to your home. In some cases, if you’re left disabled, you may be able to claim for changes that make daily life easier.

For free legal advice on what special damages you could claim, please speak to an advisor today.

What Is A Time Limit On Car Accident Injury Claims?

Over the next few sections, we are going to look at what time limits apply in different scenarios. After you’ve read this article, if you’re in any doubt please call for free legal advice on how long you have left to claim.

Are Time Limits Always The Same?

In law, the time limit for personal injury claims is a 3-year period. But, as we’ll show over the next few sections, there are many reasons that the time limit could be different.

What Are Limitation Periods And The Date Of Knowledge?

To help clarify your options, we need to refer to the Limitation Act 1980. It states that claims for personal injuries must be made within 3 years of the date of the injury or the date of knowledge.

Therefore, if you’re involved in a car accident, and you are aware of your injuries straight away, you’ll have 3 years to claim from the date of the accident. However, if your injuries are diagnosed later or you’re given enough information to make the connection between your employment and your condition, your 3-year time limit will begin from the date of knowledge.

Whiplash Claim Time Limits

Whiplash injuries are perhaps one of the most common injuries that occur in car accidents. You may realise you’ve suffered whiplash injuries almost immediately after the accident. However, according to the NHS, symptoms of whiplash can take several hours to present. Therefore, the time limit for whiplash claims will usually be 3 years from the date of the accident.

In the event that it takes days for you to feel whiplash symptoms, you should seek a medical professional’s advice. If the professional believes your injuries were caused by the accident, the time limit may begin from the date of your diagnosis.

For free legal advice on making a whiplash injury claim, why not call today?

Time Limits On Fatal Car Accident Claims

Close relatives could make an injury claim for somebody who has been killed in a car accident caused by somebody else’s negligence.

Importantly, the time limit for relatives who claim on behalf of a deceased loved one doesn’t begin on the date of the accident. Instead, the 3-year time limit starts again on the date their relative died. This is true even if the deceased had started a claim before they passed.

Our advisors are trained to be compassionate when dealing with this type of claim and won’t put any pressure on you. If you’d like free legal advice on claiming on behalf of a relative, please contact us today.

Are There Any Exceptions To The 3-Year Time Limit?

There are very limited reasons why a court may extend the 3-year claims period. However, in accordance with Section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980, it could happen if a delay in claiming was caused by exceptional circumstances. Please call for advice if you believe this applies to you.

We’re now going to look at when the 3-year time limit does not apply. Again, if you are unsure of how to proceed, please call our team for free legal advice on your options.

Time Limits On Children Injured In Car Accidents

When a child is injured in a car accident, it can be a very distressing time. Due to their age, children are unable to represent themselves legally which means they can’t make their own personal injury claim.

However, a responsible adult is able to represent a child by becoming a litigation friend. This process is something we could help with. If you decide to take on the claim on behalf of your child, the 3-year time limit doesn’t apply. Regardless of when the accident took place, you can start the claim at any point before their 18th birthday.

By being a litigation friend, you act in the interests of the child and deal with solicitors and courts on their behalf. If compensation is won, a court will check it is fair and then place the funds in a trust. Money can be drawn down from the settlement with the agreement of the court if it will benefit the child.

If you decide not to claim, when the child turns 18, they will have 3 years to make their own claim. can review the case with you and help you with the process of becoming a litigation friend. Therefore, please call today if you’re interested in proceeding.

Time Limits Under The Mental Health Act 1983 For Those With Diminished Mental Capacity

Similarly to the example above, if a claimant has diminished mental capacity, then a litigation friend could be appointed to represent them. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 states that this could be the case if the claimant, “is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain.”

In cases where the claimant was being treated under the Mental Health Act 1983 when the injury occurred, the 3-year time limit (from the date of the accident) would not apply. Instead, the 3 years would begin when they were discharged as a mental health patient or when the conditions of their disability ended. For claimants whose mental health is unlikely to improve, a litigation friend could represent them during a claim.

These cases are not always straightforward. Having specialist legal representation could make the process easier. If you would like to discuss a claim on behalf of somebody with diminished mental capacity, please call today. Our advisors can easily answer your questions including ‘Is there a time limit on car accident claims?’

Could You Claim Close To The Injury Claim Time Limit?

As we’ve shown, personal injury claims can be quite complex. There are many months of work required to gather evidence to support your claim. Additionally, you will need to undergo a medical assessment to help understand the effects of your injuries.

If a lawyer is involved, they will need time to conduct a proper investigation into what has happened. This process could take some time as it might involve contacting witnesses, waiting for police reports and reviewing other evidence.

All of this work has to be carried out before you submit your claim. Therefore, you might discover that finding a lawyer to take on your claim might be tricky if there are less than 9 months left of your limitation period. Our advice, therefore, is to begin your claim as soon as possible. Please get in touch today so that we can review the dates that are relevant to your claim.

Injury Claim Time Limit FAQs

We are now going to answer some commonly asked questions relating to car accident claim time limits. Don’t worry if your question isn’t answered here. Simply call our team and let them know your query and they’ll provide free legal advice for you.

Is there a time limit on accident claims?

As we have shown, there is a 3-year time limit that applies to personal injury claims. However, there are many reasons why this might be extended. For instance, the limitation doesn’t always start on the date of the accident. Instead, it could start later on the date your injuries were diagnosed.

Can I claim for anxiety after a car accident?

The general damages part of your claim aims to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Therefore, both physical and psychiatric injuries could be claimed for. That means that you could be entitled to claim compensation for any anxiety that results from a car accident.

Can I claim for an accident after 3 years?

In exceptional circumstances, it is possible for a court to allow a claim after the 3-year period. Also, claiming on behalf of a child, a relative who has died, or somebody with diminished mental capacity could be possible outside of the normal time limit.

The easiest way to find out how long you have to make a claim is to call our team. You’ll get free legal advice and answers to all of your questions. If the case is within the relevant time limit and is strong enough, it could be accepted by one of the No Win No Fee lawyers from our panel.

Claim For Your Car Accident With A No Win No Fee Agreement

When we answer the question, ‘Is there a time limit on car accident claims?’, the next question is often, ‘How much will a legal representative cost?’ If you decide that you would like a lawyer from our panel to help you, the good news is that they provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim they accept.

When we connect you with a lawyer, they will check over the case with you. If they accept your claim, you will be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA explains under what circumstances your lawyer will receive payment. Additionally, it will show that:

  • Lawyer fees do not need to be paid upfront.
  • You won’t be billed for any lawyer’s fees during the claim.
  • If your lawyer doesn’t win your case, you won’t have to pay their fees.

Should your case be won, your lawyer will deduct a ‘success fee’ from your compensation. This is a small percentage of the settlement amount. The level of the success fee is listed in your CFA so you will know about it before you begin your case. Importantly, all success fees are legally capped.

If you would like us to see if you could use a No Win No Fee service, why not reach out to us today?

Why Choose Our Friendly Team?

If you have questions like, ‘Is there a time limit on car accident claims?’ or ‘Can I claim for a car accident after 3 years?’, you simply need to ask a member of our team. Our advisors offer free legal advice on making a claim. Furthermore, your claim will be reviewed, by a specialist, on a no-obligation basis.

The process we’ll use when you contact us is as follows:

You start by calling or using our live chat channel.Your case is reviewed, for free, by a specialist.If your claim is taken on by a lawyer from our panel, the case will begin when you're ready.

Why not call today to find out if you might be entitled to claim compensation?

Talk To An Expert

We hope that we have answered the question, ‘Is there a time limit on car accident claims?’ for you. If you would like to begin a personal injury claim, you can start the ball rolling by:

Whatever your query, our specialists are here to help, so please call today.

More Information

In this article, we’ve tried to answer the question, ‘Is there a time limit on car accident claims?’ Hopefully, you now know which limitation period applies to you. Now we are going to provide some resources which might prove useful if you’re involved in a car accident and are considering claiming.

Motor Insurers’ Bureau – Compensation can sometimes be paid by the MIB if the driver responsible for the accident is uninsured.

Report A Car Accident – Advice from the Metropolitan Police about when a car accident should be reported.

Concussion And Head Injuries – Information from the NHS about when to seek treatment for a head injury.

In addition to car accident claims, our team is able to support you with other types of claims too. Therefore, we have listed some further guides below:

Surgical Negligence Claims – Details on when you could be compensated for suffering caused during negligent surgery.

Soft Tissue Injuries – This article explains how a personal injury solicitor could help you claim for soft tissue injuries.

Falls At Work – An article that explains your right to claim for injuries sustained in a workplace accident.

We can answer any questions about your claim besides, ‘Is there a time limit on car accident claims?’ Therefore, please get in touch if you need any further information.

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