How long do I have to bring a claim, what are the time limits?
With all clinical negligence claims there is a three year period (known as the limitation period) within which you have to commence Court proceedings by issuing a Claim Form at court. This period begins from the date of the negligence or the date you were first aware of the negligence. For example, if you underwent a substandard operation on 12 March 2015 (and knew or should reasonably have known it was substandard at that time), Court proceedings would need to be commenced by 11 March 2018 to prevent your claim being statute barred (out of time). However, if you were not aware that the operation was performed in a substandard way until 15 April 2016 when (for example) further medical investigations revealed this to be the case, Court proceedings would need to be commenced by 14 April 2019.
There are exceptions to these rules. If you are under 18, then the three year period does not start until your 18th birthday (you will therefore have until your 21st birthday to start Court proceedings). If you do not have capacity (this will require a medical assessment) then the three year period does not apply. The Court also has a discretion to waive the limitation period in limited circumstances (for example, if you have a psychiatric injury which has prevented you from bringing a claim at an earlier time).
If you have concerns about the treatment you have received, it is preferable to seek advice at the earliest opportunity. If you have any questions about whether you can bring a claim, please speak to a member of our team.
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