The Limitation Act, 1980 applies to accidents that have taken place in the UK. This generally means any accidents that occur at work, in a car, a public place or have been caused by a faulty product carry a time limit of 3 years after the incident for the person to bring forward a claim. If an individual does not bring forward a claim by themselves, or a solicitor during this period, the limitation expires and the claim is no longer valid. Even if the claimant has brought forward a claim but not settled during this period, they cannot proceed with their claim unless they have issued proceedings in court before the 3 year deadline. This is called “statute barred”.

However, the above only applies to adults and there are exceptions. For example; children under the age of 18 whose parents have not brought forward a claim, still have 3 years from when they turn 18 to make a claim. Although given the time passage proving injuries and pursuing the right defendant might prove to be a challenge.

Similarly, people who have been injured due to negligence of a health professional, have 3 years from the date of knowledge. This means diagnosis of a condition caused by adverse working conditions.

If an individual starts a claim but pass away during the course of the claim, the limitation starts from the date they passed away. This gives time for their friends or family to carry the claim forward.

Accidents abroad

Limitation also varies for criminal claims which have a two year limit. Accidents abroad also have different time limits depending on where the accident occurred. However, if you flew abroad working for an employer based in the UK or a holiday company based in the UK, the normal timeline applies.

The UK Law works very closely with EU law, and accidents that happen in European countries can be claimed for. France has a limit of 10 years for such claims, but Spain only allows for one year. There are certain conditions which need to be met before an accident can be brought forward; This includes a statement from both parties agreeing on the events that transpired along with evidence such as photographs of the incident. You can only make a claim if you are not at fault.

It is advisable to get the other driver’s license details and photographic evidence of the same whenever possible. If you have been injured in an accident in a European country, it is also advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible as a general rule, not just for the benefit of the claim.

If you’ve been a victim of an accident at work, whilst out or if your health has been adversely affected due to a mistake made by a medical professional, you are entitled to making a claim. Whether this happens in the UK or European countries, you have rights and recourse to claiming.

Claims are not just about monetary compensation but also ensuring your best interest is protected and you get the best care/rehabilitation to get back to health. Our Specialist Solicitors are experienced in dealing with all sorts of injury claims. We take on a bulk of our claims on a conditional fee basis where you may not have to pay out of your own pocket to bring forward a claim.

Please feel free to get in touch with our specialist solicitor team to enquire about your claim. We can be reached on 0203 9252 301 or alternatively email us at