Time Limits on Making a Claim for Personal Injury*

Statute of Limitations

Where you have been injured in an accident through someone else’s fault, it is important that you act promptly as there are strict time limits within which it is possible to commence the legal process.

Generally speaking, the time limit to issue legal proceedings is two years from the date that you know you are injured as a result of an accident. As a general rule, usually, this is two years from the date that the accident occurs.

Exceptions to time limits

However, there are some exceptions to this rule, for example, if you are under 18 then the two year period does not commence until your 18th birthday.

In circumstances where you do not know you have been injured for some time and you have taken all reasonable steps to ascertain if you are injured or not, then the two year period may not start running until such time as you have found out that you are injured.

This may occur where an injury has resulted from an incident or incidents that occurred many years before which were harmful to ones health but the injured party was not aware until some years afterwards that they were in fact injured. For example exposure to asbestos can take up to 20 or 30 years for the injury to become apparent in some cases.

Once an application is made under the terms of the Personal Injury Assessment Board Act to the Injuries Board, then the two year period can be temporarily stopped for the period of time the application is with the Injuries Board and for six months after it has been released by the Injuries Board.

In addition to the two year period allowable in respect of negligence claims resulting in injury, there are other time limits that can apply to bringing a claim for personal injuries as a result of an accident.

For example, under the Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 a claimant must notify a defendant within two months of the date of an accident where he is aware that he has been injured as a result of the accident.

In view of the time restrictions, it is very important that you contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible after an accident to ascertain whether you have a case and to notify all relevant parties where you intend to make a claim for personal injuries.