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If you've been injured and it wasn't your fault, we're here to help

Being injured can be extremely traumatic, especially if you've been harmed through the negligent actions of someone else. 

There are strict limitation periods on personal injury compensation claims in the UK. Before you proceed, it's important to understand the time limit for accident claims and how they could affect your case. 

No matter if you need to know the accident at work or clinical negligence limitation period, we're here to help you understand the personal injury claims time limit in the UK and support you in seeking compensation. You can reach our friendly team of personal injury specialists on or request a callback from us at a time that suits you. No matter the nature of your injury or accident, we're here to help you put it right.

Personal injury claim time limit: How long after an accident can you make a claim?

You can choose to start your personal injury compensation claim as soon after your accident as you like. We recommend you get in touch with us as soon as possible. With your accident fresh in your mind, you will be able to relay the details of what happened more accurately. This will help your legal team provide clarity and strong evidence when they submit your claim.

Is there a time limit for personal injury claims?

Yes, under UK law you will usually have a three-year time limit in which to make your personal injury compensation claim. A court may grant exceptions to this limitation period for personal injury under certain circumstances. 

If you choose to proceed with a claim through National Accident Helpline, your legal representation will advise you on how long you have left.

When does my claim limitation period start?

Typically, your personal injury limitation period will start from the date of the accident. This is the date on which you first became injured. You will then have three years to make your claim from that date. There are exceptions to this rule, though, and it is important you know about these.

Some injuries, particularly those resulting from medical negligence, might not be instantly apparent. Your three-year clinical negligence limitation period could start from the “date of discovery”. This is the date on which you were first made aware of the clinical negligence that led to your injury.

If you were severely injured and left incapacitated for an extended period after your accident, you might have been unable to claim. In this instance, you will have three years from the date of your recovery to claim. 

Our team of dedicated, supportive personal injury experts can offer more detailed information on time limitations for claiming compensation. Call us now on .

Is there a different claim time limit for children?

Yes, the time limits for injured children are different. If a child is injured before they turn 18 years old, they will have a three-year claim limit starting on their 18th birthday that terminates on their 21st birthday. 

If a parent or legal guardian claimed for a child's accident or injury before they turned 18, the child would not be eligible to claim for the same accident when they turn 18. Under UK law, as a parent or guardian, you would be called a ‘litigation friend'. Strict rules and regulations govern claiming for a child.

If your child has been injured due to someone else's negligent actions, call us on to find out more about claiming as a litigation friend.

What about fatal accidents? Do they still have a claim time limit?

Losing a loved one in a fatal accident can be extremely traumatic, even more so if they suffered for an extended period before passing away. We understand that making a claim for compensation might be the last thing on your mind while you're grieving. 

There are still time limits for accident claims that result in death. If someone you love has died as a result of an accident or injury that wasn't their fault, you'll have three years from their date of death to submit a claim.

When do I need to file a claim?

Gathering and recording all the evidence and details for your claim can be a lengthy process. That's why we advise you to get in touch with us as soon as possible after your accident so as not to run out of time on your personal injury limitation period.

The details of your accident will usually be clearer in your mind in the first few months following your injury. Your legal team will be able to build a stronger case with clear details and evidence, giving you a better chance of making a successful claim.

What are the limits on common accident types?

We have outlined the time limits for some of the most common accident types below. It is important to note that exceptions may apply to these limits. If you are unsure on whether you can still claim, contact us today.

  • Medical negligence claim time limit: You have three years from the date of the injury or the date the injury was discovered. Also known as the “date of knowledge”.
  • Car accident claim time limit: Car accidents and road traffic accidents in general have a three-year limit from the date of the accident. If you were left incapacitated and unable to claim for some time after your accident, you would have a three-year limit from the date of recovery.
  • Personal injury claim time limit: For personal injuries that were someone else's fault, you will have three years to claim from the date of your accident. 
  • Accident at work claim time limit: For accidents at work, you will have three years from the date of your workplace accident to claim.
  • Slip, trip or fall accident: Injuries that occur from a slip, trip or fall have a three-year time limit from the date of accident.

Why should I make a compensation claim?

We don't believe you should have to suffer the financial hardships following an accident that was no fault of your own. Making a claim for personal injury compensation can help you recover lost wages and medical expenses and pay for ongoing care related to your accident. In the case of fatal accidents, it could cover grief counselling and funeral costs. 

Our team are here to help you. Reach out to us on today to discuss your personal injury claim with us.

Kevin knew he needed to do something about his accident, so he spoke to us to find out how we could help. We were able to put Kevin in contact with a specialist, no win no fee solicitor who handled his case from start to finish.

Kevin's story

Kevin knew he needed to do something about his accident, so he spoke to us to find out how we could help. We were able to put Kevin in contact with a specialist, no win no fee solicitor who handled his case from start to finish.

How do I start a claim?

If you're ready to start your claim, the first step is to get in touch with us on or request a callback at a time that suits you. 

During a free, impartial consultation with one of our personal injury specialists, we'll listen to your story, record the details of the accident and understand how it has impacted your life. We understand that discussing an accident can be hard, so we'll never rush you, giving you the space and time to tell us everything. 

We'll then advise on whether you have a claim, if you're within the personal injury claims time limit for the UK and inform you of the process of making your claim. The final decision is always yours, though - our representatives will never force you to make a claim you're uncomfortable with.

Frequently asked questions...

If you've suffered an accident that wasn't your fault, you can get in touch with us to see if you have a case regardless of whether you have claimed with us in the past or not. Your Legal Support Advisor will assess your situation honestly and objectively.

Proving a personal injury claim is all about establishing fault across four main factors.

Duty: Did the other side owe you (the claimant) a legal duty of care in the circumstances? 

Example: A council is duty bound to keep public pavements, kerbs and roads in safe order. 

Breach: Did the other side commit a breach of that duty by acting (or not acting) in a particular way? 

Example: The council failed to maintain or repair the pavement where you tripped and fell. 

Causation: Did the other side’s actions (or lack of them) cause your personal injury?

Example: The staircase was defective, so you could not have reasonably predicted that walking down it would cause an injury. 

Lastly, there’s: 

Damages: Were you demonstrably injured by the other side’s actions or inactions?

Example: The court (or through the settlement negotiation with the other side’s insurers) is able to compensate you because you broke your leg in the fall.

Asbestos-related illnesses are physically and psychologically damaging. If you’re too poorly to make a no win no fee asbestos compensation claim, then a loved one or another you trust can do it for you. This person is called a Litigation Friend. They make the decisions for you and work with your solicitor to represent your interests fully. In the tragic event of a victim passing away before the claim is settled, a Litigation Friend can complete the claim on their behalf.

Is there a different time limit for no win no fee claims?

No, the time limitation for personal injury claims in the UK is the same whether you make a no win no fee claim or not. The only difference between making a claim under a no win no fee contract and not is how your legal representation is paid. 

No win no fee explained

A no win no fee claim is one of the most common ways to make a personal injury claim in the UK. In fact, nearly 95% of claims are made this way. No win no fee can be a risk-free and cost-effective way to claim. 

Once your personal injury solicitor takes on your case there are no upfront charges. You only pay if you win, and with National Accident Helpline you will never pay anything if you lose. If you are not successful, you will not be responsible for paying your legal fees. However, you must have the right insurance coverage before starting your claim. But don't worry, we can help you sort that out. Your solicitor will ensure that all the costs of processing your case, are covered during the case .

For more information about how no win no fee claims work, or how the procedure works if you can't make a no win no fee claim, call us on or arrange a callback from our friendly team.

Why should you talk to National Accident Helpline?

With years_since years of personal injury experience behind us, National Accident Helpline has become the UK's leading personal injury specialist

We have supported and guided over 2 million people, just like you, to get their lives back on track after an accident that wasn't their fault. Thanks to our team of dedicated personal injury experts, we've earned an ‘Excellent' rating on consumer review platform Trustpilot

At every step of the way, we aim to make the process of claiming as simple and hassle-free as possible. We'll connect you with the ideal personal injury solicitor for your compensation claim and be on hand to give advice and support whenever you need.

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Experienced - Serving the nation for over years_since years.
Accredited - Personal injury experts you can trust.
Trusted - Rated 'Excellent' on Trustpilot with more reviews than any other Helpline.
National - Every day, we help 100's of people across the UK who've been injured in accidents.

If you have any more questions about the time limitation period for personal injury in the UK or think you might be approaching your time limit, get in touch with our friendly, professional team now. 

We are here to listen to your story, help you understand the time limits for claims, advise on what the claims process would entail and, if you want to, help you make your personal injury claim. Call us now on or request a callback for a time that works for you.