Dealing with a limitation issue
Dealing with a limitation issue

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with a limitation issue
  • Assessing the limitation date
  • Dealing with an upcoming limitation date

Assessing the limitation date

On instruction, limitation should be one of the first issues you consider. Although the general rule is relatively straightforward (a three-year limitation period running from the date of the accident), there are a host of exceptions where different deadlines apply, and in many circumstances the deadline is much shorter than the three years given under the Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980).

When first dealing with the limitation issue consider the following:

  1. will the action include a claim for damages arising from personal injury to any person?

  2. scan the list of exceptions in the table in Time limits under the Limitation Act 1980—personal injury claims—Exceptions to the general rule to see whether your case may fall within one of those. If your case is on the list, then see Practice Note: Specific time periods for different types of personal injury claim to see whether your case is in fact such an exception. If it is, the relevant limitation period/position will be set out in that Practice Note

  3. consider which came later: the date of injury or the claimant’s date of knowledge. If you are unsure as to when the claimant acquired knowledge, you should analyse the facts of your case using the process set out in Practice Note: Date of knowledge—section 14 of Limitation Act