Delay in seeking to bring a claim for personal injury or clinical negligence can often be a bar to being able to do so.
The Limitation Act of 1980 stipulates that Civil Court Proceedings must be brought within 3 years of a Claimant's date of knowledge, that is, put simply, the date that a Claimant knew, or ought to have known, that their injury had been attributable to an act of negligence.
However, if the Claimant is a child, the Act states that the 3 year period does not start until their 18th birthday and where a claimant does not have mental capacity, it is likely, in most cases, that no limitation period would even apply.
Also, where a Claimant dies within the 3 year period, a new 3 year limitation period would commence, as from the date of death, for the benefit of the Claimant's personal representatives.
Courts do have some powers to allow claims to be brought where the limitation period has expired, but it is only in a small portion of cases that the courts would grant such permission.
Longden Walker and Renney have recently successfully recovered very large damages awards in a number of cases involving children and claimants who did not possess mental capacity and where we were not consulted until more than 10 years after the injuries were suffered. If you believe that there may be a potential claim for a member of your family or loved one who may fall into these categories of claimants, the team at Longdens will be more than happy to speak to you.
In some medical negligence cases in particular, claimants may genuinely be able to argue that they were unaware of any injury being caused by medical treatment until well after the 3 year limitation period has passed. Such arguments may be difficult to run, but we will be more than happy to consider the case and let you have our views.
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