Are there time limits to make a negligence claim?
Yes. There are various time limits depending on the type of negligence claim and how you are injured. Time limits vary considerably depending on the type of matter such as motor vehicle accidents, work accidents, medical negligence claims and public liability claims.
As a broad rule, you should commence a claim within three years from the date of the accident. However the law is not so straight forward. The three year period begins and ends at different times for different types of accidents.
For some types of claims there are also preliminary steps that must be taken before you can claim.
For example, to make a claim for a motor accident you must notify the police within 28 days of your accident and then you must lodge a claim form within six months.
For a work accident, you need to notify your employer immediately and lodge a claim within 28 days.
For some other types of negligence claims, you have three years from the date of “discoverability”. That is, the date which you knew or ought to have known that you had a right to make a claim.
For negligence claims, there is also a 12 year long stop limit which means that after 12 years, you can no longer claim.
The law in relation to time limits is complex. If you do miss a time limit you can sometimes get an extension of time to commence proceedings from the court. Again, the rule is different depending on the different type of accident you may have.
The best thing to do is to be aware that time limits do exist and to contact a Lawyer who specialises in personal injury as soon as possible if you think you may have a claim.