Personal injury – Can I claim

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be wondering whether you have legal grounds to make a claim. Alternatively, you may have been injured in an accident for which you were not responsible and you might not have wanted to pursue a claim at the time due to not wanting to face the attention that a case could bring. This is common among people following a personal injury, and it is quite natural to wish to deal with the matter of recovery in private (sometimes, people may feel embarrassed about their injury, blaming themselves for perhaps not paying enough attention). Whatever your situation, when you decide that it is time for you to begin a claim, you may have some queries that need answering first (see personal injury lawyers for further details). Let’s look at whether you can claim.

Duty of care

Going back to our earlier point of believing we could have done more to avoid an injury (and therefore believing our claim won’t be successful), the first thing to note is that the owner/proprietor of the premises or land in/on which your injury occurred owes a duty of care to all visitors. This means that even if your accident occurred in a public place – due to uneven walkways, for example – there will be a local authority that may be held liable for not upholding the duty of care. If you are unsure, speak to a lawyer who will know how to investigate your claim and can tell you how your claim will be directed – when dealing with personal injury lawyers, your initial consultation is typically free, meaning you could get answers in a few minutes over the phone from the privacy of your own home.

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Time limits

People often mistakenly believe that unless they begin their claim for personal injury compensation right away (or within a few days of their injury), that they may have missed the window in which their claim will be accepted. This is simply not the case. However, we must bear in mind that there are certain time limits in place. Typically, and depending on which country your accident occurred, you can expect a time limit on beginning your claim of three years from the date of your injury. Note that this does not mean your claim must be completed within three years of the date of your injury (just that you must have started legal proceedings in this time).   

…And if you were injured as a child? You must begin your adult claim within three years of your date of knowledge. This is the date on which you became aware that your injury is linked to a childhood incident.