Sometimes an injury may not come to light until quite some time after the accident was caused or illness inflicted. In situations where it is a latent illness, for example somebody who suffers illness as a result of asbestos in the workplace, the limitation period may be extended to three years after the person (Claimant) acquires the ‘relevant knowledge’. However, time is of the essence because there is currently a final time limit of fifteen years after the accident regardless of the circumstances, known as a long stop -after which time you simply can’t make injury compensation claim.
Relevant knowledge could be a positive action or a failure to do something (an omission). The Claimant must know that they have suffered ‘significant damage’, i.e. damage that is ‘more than trivial’. A cause and connection (causal link) between the significant damage and the negligent act of somebody else (Defendant) must also be established by a two-stage test. It must firstly be established that somebody owes you a duty of care and secondly, it must be proven that this duty of care has been breached. In road traffic accidents for example, this is usually a simple process such as failure to check the brakes of a car at a garage but other situations are often more complicated.
If you have knowledge of significant damage and of a causal link then the final piece of knowledge required is the Defendant’s identity.
Once you have established that you have suffered an injury caused by somebody else, you must act immediately because a Court will not view this as grounds for making a claim outside of the Limitation Period if you are deemed to have relevant knowledge. If you feel that you may have a claim under similar circumstances contact one of our expert Andover and Salisbury Injury Compensation Claim Solicitors as soon as possible.