3 Year Limitation Period – All Personal Injury Claims
The most important time limit in a personal injury compensation claim, is the 3 year limitation period. You must start Court proceedings within 3 years of your accident, otherwise you will lose your legal right to claim compensation. There are limited situations where a Court may extend this period, but it is very important to get advice from a compensation lawyer well before then.
Before you can start any Court action, generally you must follow what are called pre-Court steps.
Different types of accidents (e.g. motor vehicle accidents, workers compensation, public liability accidents) have slightly different pre-Court steps that must be followed. There are also legal time limits that apply as to when you must start a compensation claim for personal injury.
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Insured vehicle – If you have details of the vehicle at fault and it is insured, then a Notice of Accident Claim Form must be lodged with the CTP insurer either within 1 month of you first consulting a lawyer or 9 months from the date of the accident, whichever comes first.
If this is not done, you must then provide a reasonable excuse for delay. It is best to get legal advice about this.
Uninsured or unknown vehicle- If the vehicle at fault was not insured or is unknown (e.g. hit & run), then a Notice of Accident Claim Form must be lodged with the Nominal Defendant (Government CTP Insurer). Claims against the Nominal Defendant have different limitation periods:
- A Notice of Accident Claim form must be lodged within 3 months of the date of the motor vehicle accident;
- If a Notice of Accident Claim form is lodged after 3 months of the date of the motor vehicle accident, then a reasonable excuse for delay must be provided; and
- If a Notice of Accident Claim form is not lodged within 9 months of the date of the motor vehicle accident, you will forever lose your legal right to claim compensation for personal injuries against the Nominal Defendant.
Workplace Accident Claims
After an injury at work, you must make an Application for Compensation to WorkCover or directly to your employer (if they are self-insured) within 6 months of the injury.
There is a risk that you could lose your right to claim workers’ compensation if you do not make your Application in time. There are certain cases where you will be allowed to lodge your Application for Compensation after 6 months, but it is essential to get legal advice from compensation lawyers.
Public Liability Claims
To start a public liability claim you must lodge a Part 1 Notice of Claim under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act with the person or business who you hold responsible for causing your personal injury (this is called the “respondent”). The Part 1 Notice of Claim must be lodged with the respondent either within 1 month of you first consulting a lawyer or 9 months from the date of the accident, whichever comes first.
If this is not done, you must then provide a reasonable excuse for delay. It is best to get legal advice from AMK Lawyers, Compensation Lawyers.