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Limitation periods: Do you know how much time you have to make your claim?

In personal injury and other civil matters there are time frames in which claims must be brought.

These time frames are strict and if a claim is brought outside the limitation period it will likely be rejected, unless there is a reasonable excuse for the delay in bringing the claim.

Different time frames apply to different types of claims; therefore, it is important to know which statutory limitation period applies to your particular claim.

Workers’ Compensation Claims (claims made from 01/01/02)

Notice must be given to the employer of the employees’ injury as soon as practicable and this notice must be given before the employer leaves the employment.

Claims for compensation must be made within 6 months of the date of injury. However, claims can be made within 3 years of the date of injury if the failure to make the claim was due to ignorance, mistake, absence from the state or any other reasonable cause.

Appeals against a medical assessment must be made within 28 days.

Work Injury Damages (claims made from 26/11/01)

Work injury damages claims must be made within 3 years from the date of the injury, except for where leave is given by the court.

Court proceedings cannot commence until a claim for damages has been made in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation statutory limitations as mentioned above.

A claim for lump sum compensation must be made at the same time or prior to a work injury damages clam.

Personal Injuries (claims made from 06/12/02)

Personal injuries include medical negligence claims and product liability claims.

Medical Negligence & Public Liability

Claims must be made within 3 years from when the cause of action is discoverable or 12 years from the time when the act or omission causing the injury or death occurred.

  • NOTE: Discoverable means the first date that the person knows or ought to know that the injury or death has occurred, the injury or death was caused by the fault of the Defendant, and in the case of injury, the fact that the injury was sufficiently serious to justify the bringing of an action.

For minors the limitation period is not suspended until they reach 18 years of age if they have a capable parent or guardian. For minors who are injured by a parent, guardian or close associate the limitation period commences when the minor turns 25 or from the date of discoverability, whichever is the latter.

Product Liability

Actions for damaged (from 01/01/11):

  • 6 years after the date of the cause of action accrues (Note: this does not apply to personal injury actions)

Actions against manufacturer and importers of goods (from 01/01/11):

  • 3 years from the date the person became aware or ought to have reasonably become aware of the alleged loss or damage, the safety defect of the goods, and the identity of the manufacturer, or within 10 years of the supply of the goods by the manufacturer

Motor Vehicle Accidents (claims made from 5/10/99)

The accident should be reported to the Police within 28 days and a claim made through SIRA within 28 days.  You do, however, have up to 3 months from the date of the accident.

For a common law claim for damages you have 3 years to make a claim from the date of the accident.

There is a principle limitation period of 3 years. This 3 year period does not include the time from when the claim is referred for assessment.

Referral to MAS does not suspend the time limitation

There is no suspension of time for minors.

For further information, review our  Motor Vehicle Compensation Claims Success Guide here.

Compensation to relatives (acts or omissions on or after 06/12/02 leading to death)

First to expire of:

    • 3 years from the date when the cause of action is discoverable
    • 12 years from the death of the deceased

If You’re Unsure, Make Sure to Contact a Lawyer

As you can see the time frames surrounding personal injury claims and common law claims are complex, and change greatly depending on the type of claim being made, which is why it is important to know the statutory limitations.

If you did not know you could make a claim and the limitation period has expired it is strongly advised that you contact a lawyer at your earliest convenience as you may have a reasonable excuse that would allow you to make an out-of-time claim.

Please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers as follows;

  1. Complete our FREE case assessment form HERE
  2. Email us at info@garlingandco.com.au
  3. Give us a call on (02) 8518 1120

Reference: Lawcover Insurance Pty Limited, ‘Schedule of Limitation Periods in Civil Matter in New South Wales’ (2017) 24.

Garling & Co Lawyers

Matthew Garling

Matthew Garling is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law approved by New South Wales Law Society. He is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia. Matthew is also a member of...
Kimberly B.
23:14 14 Feb 24
Mathew is very knowledgable and has been of great assistance to me. All the staff are friendly and helpful. I'm so happy I found this firm.Thank you Mathew and team for your great work in my case.... I am 100% happy with what you achieved for me.read more
Julie M.
10:16 16 Jan 24
My last stage of Workers compensation claim was managed by Emma Perkins, Natasha Stojanovic, Rebecca Dunshea and Kelli Robinson at Garling and Co. Lawyers who went the extra mile with their service... from the beginning to the end of 3 years of my case. I have become very anxious with almost everything after a workplace injury and a lot of times I probably ask more questions than I need to, but Emma Perkins always finds clear answers to my questions in a short time and explains to me patiently even using her mealtime or between her meeting and make me feel that I have been very well take care and supported. I am so grateful and extremely satisfied. The excellent service, attitude, and culture of Metthew Garling and his team are second to none with a very high success rate. If you going to battle with your workplace injury for a short or long period, you are better off with Garling and Co. lawyers who are able back you up every step of the way. I strongly recommend it to anybody who needs their service like me. Julieread more
patrick P.
01:46 19 Dec 23
I like to say that I had a very wonderful experience,And the support, and also understanding with all my requests,I could not ask for a better team!Thank you Emma and also her assistant Rebecca... thank youread more
Kazi H.
13:38 13 Dec 23
Work cover fund is GOVT’S money but insurer think that it is from their 14th generation. So only they can have it. Not only that, people from the work, IME doctor from insurer, back to work... coordinator from work, Rehab provider from any side push the worker as hard as possible that the worker (doesn’t matter how the workers mental or psychical condition) either go back to his pre injury duty or leave the job.More over on that very bumpy any difficult journey some of them only treat the worker as a MONEY MAKING MECHINE .in some point worker feels like, no rooms to breath. On that moment need someone to support legally, someone to care, someone to relive.On my case I believe that, somehow, I manage to make my God happy. That’s why God sends me to Matthew Gerling and his team Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, and all of GARLING & co Lawyers.I am not good enough in English, can’t express my gratitude.Matthew, Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, please accept my appreciation and pass it to others.read more
Carol L.
01:32 29 Nov 23
Professional, understanding and friendly
Sean G.
23:21 14 Nov 23
Matthew Garling and everyone I spoke to at Garling and Co were kind, caring and compassionate. They were sensitive to my psychological condition and were patient in explaining everything to me, so... that I clearly understood the legal process. I am exceptionally grateful for the settlement outcome that Garling and Co obtained for me. Many thanks.read more
waqas A.
08:33 13 Nov 23
Great Experience with Garling & Co. Matthew explained everything in detail during the first appointment. Allison, Nathan, Rebecca and the staff have been extremely helpful. Thank You to the team and... lawyers at Garling & Co. for making the long process easy for me and getting an excellent outcome for my compensation claim.I would highly recommend Garling & Co. Lawyersread more
Saskia L.
21:42 08 Nov 23
The world of workers compensation is long, hard and confusing, but Emma and Rebecca at Garling & Co always treated my case with kindness, respect and understanding. No question was ever silly and... they always had time to make sure I knew what would happen next and how we could best prepare. I am so thankful for their expertise and could not have chosen anyone better to represent me.read more
Antonio P.
08:46 06 Nov 23
Thank you Matthew and his team for taking care of my case couldn’t ask for a better results and couldn’t have better team to do that thank you
Julie M.
00:40 06 Nov 23
Garlic & Co Lawyers have been wonderful, supporting me through some difficult times. With their assistance, positive outcomes were achieved. Many thanks to the Team.Julie
READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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Kimberly B.
23:14 14 Feb 24
Mathew is very knowledgable and has been of great assistance to me. All the staff are friendly and helpful. I'm so happy I found this firm.Thank you Mathew and team for your great work in my case.... I am 100% happy with what you achieved for me.read more
Julie M.
10:16 16 Jan 24
My last stage of Workers compensation claim was managed by Emma Perkins, Natasha Stojanovic, Rebecca Dunshea and Kelli Robinson at Garling and Co. Lawyers who went the extra mile with their service... from the beginning to the end of 3 years of my case. I have become very anxious with almost everything after a workplace injury and a lot of times I probably ask more questions than I need to, but Emma Perkins always finds clear answers to my questions in a short time and explains to me patiently even using her mealtime or between her meeting and make me feel that I have been very well take care and supported. I am so grateful and extremely satisfied. The excellent service, attitude, and culture of Metthew Garling and his team are second to none with a very high success rate. If you going to battle with your workplace injury for a short or long period, you are better off with Garling and Co. lawyers who are able back you up every step of the way. I strongly recommend it to anybody who needs their service like me. Julieread more
patrick P.
01:46 19 Dec 23
I like to say that I had a very wonderful experience,And the support, and also understanding with all my requests,I could not ask for a better team!Thank you Emma and also her assistant Rebecca... thank youread more
Kazi H.
13:38 13 Dec 23
Work cover fund is GOVT’S money but insurer think that it is from their 14th generation. So only they can have it. Not only that, people from the work, IME doctor from insurer, back to work... coordinator from work, Rehab provider from any side push the worker as hard as possible that the worker (doesn’t matter how the workers mental or psychical condition) either go back to his pre injury duty or leave the job.More over on that very bumpy any difficult journey some of them only treat the worker as a MONEY MAKING MECHINE .in some point worker feels like, no rooms to breath. On that moment need someone to support legally, someone to care, someone to relive.On my case I believe that, somehow, I manage to make my God happy. That’s why God sends me to Matthew Gerling and his team Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, and all of GARLING & co Lawyers.I am not good enough in English, can’t express my gratitude.Matthew, Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, please accept my appreciation and pass it to others.read more
Carol L.
01:32 29 Nov 23
Professional, understanding and friendly
Sean G.
23:21 14 Nov 23
Matthew Garling and everyone I spoke to at Garling and Co were kind, caring and compassionate. They were sensitive to my psychological condition and were patient in explaining everything to me, so... that I clearly understood the legal process. I am exceptionally grateful for the settlement outcome that Garling and Co obtained for me. Many thanks.read more
waqas A.
08:33 13 Nov 23
Great Experience with Garling & Co. Matthew explained everything in detail during the first appointment. Allison, Nathan, Rebecca and the staff have been extremely helpful. Thank You to the team and... lawyers at Garling & Co. for making the long process easy for me and getting an excellent outcome for my compensation claim.I would highly recommend Garling & Co. Lawyersread more
Saskia L.
21:42 08 Nov 23
The world of workers compensation is long, hard and confusing, but Emma and Rebecca at Garling & Co always treated my case with kindness, respect and understanding. No question was ever silly and... they always had time to make sure I knew what would happen next and how we could best prepare. I am so thankful for their expertise and could not have chosen anyone better to represent me.read more
Antonio P.
08:46 06 Nov 23
Thank you Matthew and his team for taking care of my case couldn’t ask for a better results and couldn’t have better team to do that thank you
Julie M.
00:40 06 Nov 23
Garlic & Co Lawyers have been wonderful, supporting me through some difficult times. With their assistance, positive outcomes were achieved. Many thanks to the Team.Julie
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
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