Limitation in clinical negligence claims
Produced in partnership with Alex Rush of Stewarts Law
Limitation in clinical negligence claims

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note Produced in partnership with Alex Rush of Stewarts Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Limitation in clinical negligence claims
  • Limitation generally
  • Limitation in clinical negligence cases
  • Sanctions

Limitation generally

Section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980) provides a general rule that an action founded on tort shall not be brought after expiry of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.

LA 1980, s 12 imposes a special time limit for actions under the Fatal Accident Act 1976.

In fatal accident claims the dependents also have three years from the date of death or if later, the date of knowledge of the person for whose benefit the action is brought.

Limitation in clinical negligence cases

A special rule, however, applies, under LA 1980, s 11, in respect of claims seeking damages for personal injury (which includes clinical negligence cases). Under section 11, that three-year period starts from the date the cause of action accrued or the date of knowledge, for the purposes of section 14, of the person injured, if later.

For the limitation period to stop running, proceedings need to be started. Under CPR PD 7A, para 5.1, this means that when the claim form has been issued at court at the request of the claimant (CPR 7.2) but where the claim form was received in the court office on a date earlier than the date on which it was issued by the court, the claim is ‘brought’ for the purposes