The Statute of Limitations in Ireland
The Statute of Limitations refers to the amount of time which you have to make a claim for personal injury or other loss or damage through the Irish Courts. The Courts and Civil Liability Act 2000 sets out the statute of limitations and in most cases, a potential plaintiff has two years from the date of knowledge of an injury in which to initiate proceedings.
The date of knowledge
Usually, the date of knowledge of an injury will be the date on which the injury was suffered. It is therefore important get legal advice as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Generally, a claim must be made within 2 years of the date of injury however, there are exceptions. For example, you may not be aware that injury occurred until a later date for example in cases of PTSD or a slow onset conditions or acquired injuries such as mesothelioma (an asbestos related injury) or repetitive strain injury. Another exception allowed by the Irish courts to the strict Statute of Limitations is where there has been a misdiagnoses of an illness.
Victims of an accident who are considered to be mentally impaired or who sustain catastrophic injuries which prevent them from making a personal injury claim, have two years from the date on which they are considered to be “capable” – if ever – in which to claim personal injury compensation.
Where a claim involves a minor i.e. someone under the age of 18, it is important to note that the date of knowledge of an injury is in fact the minor victim’s eighteenth birthday i.e. the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims in Ireland for children does not start until the child reaches the age of 18. The injured party has two years within which to submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland or to issue proceedings in court. A minor can, however, pursue a claim for injury compensation before his or her eighteenth birthday in the event that a parent or guardian acts as his or her ‘next friend’.
The Statute of Limitations restricts how much time you are allowed after a personal injury to make a claim for compensation and in the majority of cases, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date an injury occurred or was diagnosed. Under the Statute of Limitations, children are permitted two years from their eighteenth birthday in which to file a compensation claim. There are some other limited exceptions.
Contact us today for further information on the Statute of Limitations and how it applies to you.