What is the time limit for medical negligence claims?

The time limit for bringing legal proceeding for medical negligence, which has resulted in harm, either physical or psychiatric, is three years. It is possible, under some exceptional circumstances for this deadline to be extended. The three-year time limit is set out in the Limitation Act 1980.

The three years start from the date of the negligence or from the date that the person who has been harmed by the negligence has knowledge of certain facts, which make up the claim.

There are a couple of exceptions to the three-year time limit rule:

  • There are different rules for children. The three-year time limit will only start from the date of their 18th birthday
  • If a person has experienced negligence when they were unable to deal their own affairs, the time limit only starts when they regain their capacity to do so
  • The court can allow a claim that falls out of the three-year deadline to proceed if they think there is good reason for the delay

It is always recommended to approach a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible. Leaving it close to the end of the three-year period is not advisable. Your solicitor needs ample time to investigate the claim and prepare the case before a claim can be issued. Also, the sooner a case of medical negligence can be investigated, the higher the likelihood that relevant documents still exist or are easily accessible and those involved will be able to remember more clearly what happened.

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19 Oct 2017

Clinical Negligence

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