There are many victims of medical negligence who make delay in taking legal steps only to discover that the time limit for filing a claim has expired. This happens with many of the victims as they are not quite aware of the medical negligence time limit. If you are not sure whether you can claim compensation for an act of medical negligence or the stipulated time limit has already expired, we request you to consult with our solicitors to know about time limitations and other details pertaining to compensation claim litigation.
Salient benefits of filing a claim within time limit
The general time limit for filing a claim is three years, with some exceptions also existing. The main benefit of filing a medical negligence compensation claim within the stipulated time frame is quite obvious. If you fail to file a claim within three years (unless exceptions apply), you actually lose your chance to file a court case. However, there are certain other benefits of entering litigation as early as possible that are described here below.
• You may lose access to or misplace the documents and evidences that are very important for filing a case.
• The existing rules and regulations are subject to change and your claim’s potential may decrease under new amendments.
• Your memory may betray you. You may forget essential information pertaining to your claim with changing times.
• The current fee structure for clinical negligence claims is also subject to change. If you decide to file a claim later, you may end up paying higher fees if the rules change in the future.
To sum up, it is always advisable for you to bear in mind the medical negligence time limit as regulations and circumstances may change by-and-by.
Exceptions to the general time limit
Please note that the time limit for filing a case starts from the Date of Knowledge. Date of Knowledge is the date when a patient and/or a physician realise the ill effects of medical errors. Any adult who is mentally alert must file a claim within three years from the Date of Knowledge. We request you to check out the exceptions to the general time limit for filing a medical negligence claim compensation case (i.e. 3 years).
• Children (minors under 21 years of age): Victims who have not yet reached 21 years of age can consider litigation only when they reach their 18th birthday. They can file a medical negligence claim after reaching adulthood.
• People (minors and adults) with mental disabilities: There are many victims of brain injuries or are mentally not fit to take decisions due to other reasons. People with mental illness/disabilities are exempted from the general medical negligence time limit and their claims for compensation after the stipulated time frame are not considered null and void.
• Dependents of deceased person: If a person dies because of a medical error and is survived by children who are minors, any of the dependents can file a claim after reaching 21 years of age.
Can the court extend the time limit?
If the medical negligence time limit has expired and you think you have no other option left, you can apply to the court through our experienced medical negligence solicitors. There are certain instances where the court had extended the time limit after considering all the aspects of a medical negligence compensation claim case. However, it all depends on the court and we cannot assure you an extension as it not under our discretion. You can fill out the online form provided in this website to get detailed information on the time limit for filing claim cases or to know your eligibility.