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Time Limits for a Personal Injury Claim

In the UK the standard time limit for bringing a compensation claim is three years. After this period it is deemed to be time-barred or statute–barred. However the court allows exceptions to this rule and in the case of industrial illness there are specific time regulations. The three year period begins from the date when the accident occurred or from the date of knowledge that the incident caused injury. This second factor accepted by the courts is especially useful for industrial illness claims.

Exceptions to the three year rule

The court has discretion as to whether the three year rule can be extended due to mitigating circumstances. Even though the court has this power it is very rarely used. Where the victim is so seriously injured they are unable to bring the compensation claim themselves, the family is allowed to bring the claim with the time of accident as the start of the limitation period.

Asbestos related Illness compensation claims

Due to the fact that symptoms of industrial diseases may not be prevalent immediately after exposure, many claims of this kind may stretch over many decades.

This primarily refers to asbestos –related illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos related lung cancer. The time period is seen as commencing from the time of the first symptoms or from the first qualified medical diagnosis.

In cases where an employee dies after making a claim, the family may continue with the claim as long as the 3 year period has not expired during the lifetime of the victim. In these cases the period of limitation would begin from the time of death.

In cases where the claimant dies without a diagnosis and the relation to an asbestos related illness is only confirmed through a post mortem, the period of limitation would begin from the victim’s time of death.

General industrial diseases

Other industrial diseases which may not be immediately prevalent and would warrant flexibility with the starting date of the claim would include:

These illnesses may have been caused by excessive use of machinery without appropriate natural breaks, inadequate personal protective equipment, or they may also have been caused by exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals. In some cases it may not be apparent straight away that an illness is clearly linked to issues in a work environment (for instance, the first symptoms of asthma may just be seen as cold symptoms). The three year period can therefore be taken from the time when there is a medical link and qualified by a medical practitioner.

At myworkclaim.com our professional consultants specialise in helping people claim for accidents, illnesses or diseases which originate in the workplace. We guide you through the whole process on a no win-no fee basis. We will match the needs of your case and personal preferences with our panel of solicitors who are pre-screened experts in this type of claim. Contact us today on 0800 327 7919 or complete our simple online compensation form.

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The Workplace Accident Helpline is committed to providing the best possible service to all our clients. We are committed only to the areas Personal Injury Litigation and Medical Law.