When a person has been injured in an accident because of someone else’s fault, it’s important the injured person acts promptly as there are personal injury claim time limits that apply.
An experienced personal injury lawyer, like the expert team at Owen Hodge Lawyers, can help you claim for compensation within the time limits. Keep reading to learn more about the personal injury limitation period.
Personal injury claim time limits
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.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim (NSW)?
There has been a change to the above rule after 6 December 2002 in New South Wales. The reformed Limitation Act 1969 (the Act) says 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.
Learn more: making a personal injury claim
What is the date of discoverability?
In personal injury claims (NSW), the date of discoverability depends on the following:
1. Occurence 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 from the time the person discovers the injury.
2. 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.
3. 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 that date. If the proceeding fails to commence within this personal injury claim time limit, then the person loses the capacity to make an application before a Court for an extension.
Long-stop limitation period
On the other hand, there is a ‘long-stop’ limitation period of 12 years in NSW. The Limitation Act 1969 states that an action for personal injury cannot be brought more than 12 years after the date of the injury.
Car accident claim time limit
In cases of car accidents, the Motor Accidents Authority in NSW is responsible for administering the Compulsory Third Party Scheme.
Usually, a 3 year time limit 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 any questions about the personal injury claim limits that apply for car accidents, or you want to make a claim, speak to the car accident lawyers at Owen Hodge.
- Hit and run compensation
- Fatal car accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Truck and taxi accident compensation
- Bicycle and motorbike accident claim
Worker’s compensation claim time limits
If you have experienced a workplace injury in NSW, you can make a claim through the WorkCover Authority Workers Compensation Scheme. The personal injury claim time limit 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. Speak to a worker’s compensation lawyer if you have any questions.
In order to avoid the risk of missing out on compensation for your personal injury, you must seek expert advice. If you have sustained a personal injury, contact a lawyer at Owen Hodge to file proper applications within the personal injury claim time limits.
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Frequently asked questions
In NSW, yes. The Limitation Act 1969 states that a person needs to establish the date of discoverability of the accident instead of the 3 year time limit. However, you can not bring a claim to Court more than 12 years after the date of the injury.
A personal injury is an injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, wrongful actions or breach of duty of care. Injuries can range from slip and falls, car accident injuries (whiplash, broken bones, head injuries etc.), injuries from defective products/services, or injuries in the workplace.
While you can make a personal injury claim yourself, we highly recommend engaging a personal injury lawyer to act on your behalf. This is because personal injury claims are complicated, and you have a better chance at getting all the compensation you deserve with a lawyer.