Limitations for Personal Injuries
I was involved in a work related accident in which I injured my back. I recovered after a few months, but several years later I got the results of x-rays which revealed a much more serious problem that appeared to be as a result of the accident. Am I out of time to bring proceedings against my former employer, and how do I go about bringing a claim.
For personal injuries of this nature, there is a limitation of 2 years during which a claim can be brought to Court.* However, if the person’s knowledge of the injury falls within 5 criteria set out in the Act it can prevent the claim being statute barred.
These criteria are as follows; first, that the person was actually injured, that the injury was “significant”, that the injury resulted from the accident due to some form of negligence, nuisance or breach of duty, that the defendant is known and finally, if the injury was caused by a third party then the reasons for bringing the action against the defendant must be set out.
With regard to the time restriction for these criteria, it is only when a plaintiff becomes aware that the injury is “significant” that the clock on the limitation begins to run.
However, there are a number of cases which state that after several years have passed following a work related accident where the injury is more serious that initially believed the claim can be barred. The Court’s view is that just because the plaintiff did not fully appreciate the extent or effect of the injury does not mean he was unaware of it being a significant injury. Therefore, this may affect the outcome of your claim.
In order to establish the facts and restrictions of your own case, it is advised that you contact your solicitor, who will be able to give you more details regarding your chance of success.
* in contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.