When a person has been injured in an accident because of someone else’s fault, it is important that such a person acts promptly as there are strict time limits for making an application for compensation before the Court.

An experienced personal injury lawyer, like the expert team at Owen Hodge Lawyers can help you make an application for compensation within the time limits.

This article will give you an insight regarding the time limits within which you can make an application for a claim in regard to your personal injury. Each State and Territory has its own laws that govern the right for personal injury compensations.

Generally, the time limit to issue legal proceedings is 3 years from the date of the injury. But there has been a change in this rule after 6 December 2002 in New South Wales (NSW). The reformed Limitation Act 1969 (the Act) confers that a person claiming personal injury, needs to establish the date of discoverability instead of the strict time period of 3 years from the date of the cause of action.

The date of discoverability depends on the following:

  • Occurrence of the Injury: There are incidences where a person has contracted a particular injury but is unaware about it. In such cases the date of discoverability starts form the time the person discovers the injury.
  • Injury caused must be by the fault of the opposite party: A person must clearly identify that the injury caused was due to the fault of the opposite party. There are instances where a person is not able to identify the opposite party. In those circumstances it is upon the Court to decide on the opposite party and calculate the date of discoverability.
  • Injury was grave: In order to sue the opposite party, the person claiming personal injury, needs to prove that the injury caused was sufficiently serious.
Once the date of discoverability is determined by the person or by the findings of a Judge, then the proceedings should commence within 3 years from the date of such discoverability. If the proceeding fails to commence within the stipulated time, then the person loses the capacity to make an application before a Court for an extension.

On the other hand, there is a ‘long-stop’ limitation period of 12 years which will apply if it is earlier than the 3 year period after the discoverable date. The long-stop limitation period starts on the date of the injury or accident.

In cases of Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, the Motor Accidents Authority in NSW is responsible for administering the Compulsory Third Party Scheme. Usually a time limit of 3 years applies for making and settling a claim with the Motor Accidents Authority. However, in most of the cases, motor vehicle accident personal injury claims are submitted within 6 months from the date of the accident.

If you have experienced a workplace injury in NSW, you can make a claim through the WorkCover Authority Workers Compensation Scheme. The applicable time limit for making a claim through this Scheme is 6 months after the date of the injury or accident. However, the workers compensation legislation requires workplace injuries to be reported as soon as possible after the injury and before the voluntary resignation from employment.

In order to avoid the risk of missing out on compensation, you must seek expert advice.

If you have sustained a personal injury, we advise you to contact your lawyer immediately to file proper applications within the prescribed time limits. You may also contact our team of expert personal injury lawyers at Owen Hodge Lawyers to assist you in the proceedings.

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