The Statute of Limitations Act in Ireland was first introduced in the 1950`s as an amalgamation of several previous Acts relating to the length of time people had in which to make claims on land and rent owed to them. This Act developed over the years to limit the time allowed for claims in many different areas of the law, eventually incorporating claims for personal injury. Currently, the “personal injury” Statute of Limitations is set at two years from the “date of knowledge” that an injury has occurred. But in order to understand the personal injury Statute of Limitations fully, one has to define what a “date of knowledge” is, and what exceptions apply to the Act.
Date of Knowledge
The “date of knowledge” in personal injury claims for compensation is the date on which it was discovered that an injury existed. Some dates of knowledge are obvious – for example, if you are injured in a road traffic accident, taken to hospital and diagnosed with whiplash. Other injuries, however, may manifest over a period of time – such as repetitive strain injuries or work-acquired hearing loss – and the date of knowledge in these cases, according to the personal injury Statute of Limitations, is the date on which the ailment was diagnosed.
Children and the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The laws in the personal injury Statute of Limitations regarding children are one of the major exceptions to the two year rule. Children have two years from when they reach the age of majority (currently 18 years of age in Ireland) in which to make a claim for personal injury compensation. They can make a personal injury claim for compensation at any time from the date of knowledge of their injury, but have to be represented by a parent or guardian, acting as their “next friend”. Compensation settlements for children under the age of 18 also have to be approved in court before compensation payments can be made, and any application to the Injuries Board Ireland for assessment of a personal injury compensation claim has to be made by post – online applications are not permitted.
Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Other exceptions exist to the personal injury Statute of Limitations, but are usually only applied in exceptional circumstances. One reason for an extension of the personal injury Statute of Limitations would be if an injury caused by third party negligence was masked by another condition – for example, a spinal cord injury in a road traffic accident masked by a broken rib. Even still, your claim for personal injury compensation may no longer be against the person who was responsible for the road traffic accident in which you acquired the initial injury, but the doctor who overlooked the spinal cord injury.
Solicitors and the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Whenever you have been hurt in an accident that was not your fault, it is in your best interests to contact a specialist personal injury claims solicitor as soon as any risk to your long term health has been dealt with. A solicitor will be able to offer you helpful and practical advice on whether your claim is affected by the personal injury Statute of Limitations and help you prepare your application form to the Injuries Board Ireland, or case for litigation, when your injuries are due to medical negligence. Even when children are involved, a solicitor should be contacted as soon as possible after an accident in order that evidence and witnesses statements can be collected while the event is still fresh.
Free Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Advice
If you are concerned about how the personal injury Statute of Limitations might affect your claim for personal injury compensation, you are invited to call our free personal injury Statute of Limitations advice service on 1800 911 940. By calling our advice service, you will be able to discuss your claim for personal injury compensation with an experienced solicitor and find out if the personal injury Statute of Limitations affects you. Our solicitors will be able to offer you some helpful and practical advice about how the personal injury Statute of Limitations is applied in your situation. There is no obligation on you to proceed with a personal injury claim for compensation once you have spoken with us.
Call us now on 1800 911 940 or if you cannot speak now please fill in the form on the left and we will call you back.
Our Promise to You:
- 100% Free consultation with an experienced personal injury solicitor
- 100% Up to date information about the Statute of Limitations
- 100% No obligation to proceed with a claim for compensation
- 100% Complete confidentiality and discretion assured
What You Can Expect When You Call
We have been offering advice to clients for over twenty years, and acknowledge that when you call our free advice service it will be because you or a loved one has recently been injured, or diagnosed as having a serious illness.
You will find us understanding and considerate of your situation, and will ask you to tell us how your injury was sustained, what treatment you are undergoing for it and how your injury – or the injury to a loved one – has affected your quality of life.
We will provide a provisional assessment of your entitlement to claim personal injury compensation and advise you of a timetable for the process to ensure that your claim for compensation is made within the personal injury Statute of Limitations.
You do not have to act on the advice we offer you, and many of our clients have found it useful to first discuss their options with family and friends before proceeding with a claim for personal injury compensation.
The best course of action to avoid any issues with the personal injury Statute of Limitations is to contact us on 1800 911 940 as soon as possible after an accident has occurred. Our lines are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm, seven days a week, and we also operate a call-back service if now is not a convenient time for you to talk with us.