The Statute of Limitations
As with any legal claim there is a period of time in which you are able to take proceedings against the other party set out in legislation. This is referred to as the Statute of Limitations. In a claim for personal injury claims* this period of time is 2 years from the date of the accident. It is also important to note here that in personal injury claims, the matter will not be heard in any court without first being referred to the Injuries Board.
Medical negligence claim will also fall into the same period of time as personal injury claims of 2 years. The situation may occur that the negligence claimed was not actually known to the prospective plaintiff until after those 2 years. However, a concession is provided in the Statute of Limitations (Amendments) 1991 Act, which gives the matter more scope in these claim in that the 2 year period only starts once the prospective plaintiff was actually made aware of the negligence as opposed to when the negligence actually occurred. It is important however that where a claimant has any uncertainty regarding any potential medical negligence claim they may have they must contact their solicitor. Where a claim is deemed to be statute barred, a prospective claimant irrespective of the severity of their injuries or loss, may not have any recourse to compensation.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.