Q&As

What is the limitation period for an accident which occurred at sea? The claimant is a fisherman and was injured when he slipped on the vessel he was working on. The Merchant Shipping Act 1995 seems to apply only where the injury happens to someone on a different vessel and the Athens Convention applies to passengers. Can you direct me to any authority that dictates that the limitation period is less than three years (as long as English law applies)?

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/06/2018

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

  • What is the limitation period for an accident which occurred at sea? The claimant is a fisherman and was injured when he slipped on the vessel he was working on. The Merchant Shipping Act 1995 seems to apply only where the injury happens to someone on a different vessel and the Athens Convention applies to passengers. Can you direct me to any authority that dictates that the limitation period is less than three years (as long as English law applies)?
  • Dealing with a limitation issue
  • The Limitation Act 1980
  • The Athens Convention
  • Merchant Shipping Act 1995

What is the limitation period for an accident which occurred at sea? The claimant is a fisherman and was injured when he slipped on the vessel he was working on. The Merchant Shipping Act 1995 seems to apply only where the injury happens to someone on a different vessel and the Athens Convention applies to passengers. Can you direct me to any authority that dictates that the limitation period is less than three years (as long as English law applies)?

Dealing with a limitation issue

Limitation is of critical importance. As noted in Practice Note: Dealing with a limitation issue, if a practitioner is in any doubt whatsoever as to the date on which proceedings should be issued, they should issue early to be on the safe side.

The Limitation Act 1980

The Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980) applies to the vast majority of personal injury claims. The ordinary limitation period for personal injury claims is governed by the provisions set out at LA 1980, ss 11 and 14. However, there are certain personal injury cases which fall outside of the usual limitation period.

There are two sets of special provisions relating to an injury which occurs at sea or otherwise, on water.

The Athens Convention

The Convention applies to international carriage by sea. However, pursuant to section 184 and Schedule 6 to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (MSA 1995), the

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