When a person has been injured in an accident, it’s important the injured person acts promptly to claim any compensation they may be eligible for, as there are personal injury claim time limits that apply.
An experienced personal injury lawyer, like one of the experts 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.
What is the limitation period for personal injury claims?
Generally, the personal injury time limit is 3 years from the date of the injury. However, each state and territory has its own laws that govern the right for personal injury compensations.
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 adhering to the 3 year time period.
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
In New South Wales, there is also a ‘long-stop’ limitation period for personal injuries of 12 years. This means a personal injury cannot be brought more than 12 years after the date of the injury.
What is the date of discoverability?
The date of discoverability refers to situations where a person suffers an injury but it does not become apparent until later. In such cases, the date of discoverability starts from the time the person discovers the injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence act or omission. For the date of discoverability to be valid, you must:
- Be able to clearly identify that the injury caused was due to the fault of the opposite party. If the opposite party cannot be identified, the Court will need to decide on the opposite party and calculate the date of discoverability.
- Be able to prove the injury caused was sufficiently serious.
Car accident claim time limits
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 cases, motor vehicle accident personal injury claims are submitted within 6 months from the date of the accident.
- 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.
Don’t miss your personal injury claim time limits
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.
Frequently asked questions
A limitation period is the time within which legal action can be brought. The reason that NSW enforces claims limitation periods is to facilitate a resolution within a ‘reasonable’ amount of time, and to prevent the Court from having to preside over cases that are unlikely to succeed due to a loss of evidence.
While it is best to make a compensation claim sooner rather than later, there are some claims that can be brought more than three years after occurring. If a claim relates to an injury resulting in death or serious and permanent impairment, the claim may still be made beyond the three year period if there is a reasonable cause for the delay.
The general rule for adults who are considering making a personal injury compensation claim is that you have three years from the date of the accident.