Crucial Information For Any Claimant Making An Accident Compensation Claim.
You have to consider a few things before you can make a claim or are eligible to put forward an accident injury claim.
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Making A Non-Fault Personal Injury Claim
Basically if someone (or something) else was, at least in part, responsible for your accident or injury then you have a possible personal injury claim.
Time Limit In Making A Claim
Strict time limits apply for making a personal injury claim. Known as the limitation period, the standard period for commencing proceedings to bring an accident claim for compensation is three-years. Failure to commence a court action within that three year period means that the claim for personal injury compensation becomes time-barred, or statute barred, preventing you from claiming your rightful compensation.
Although the three-year period normally starts from the date of the accident or injury, there are exceptions to this, depending on the nature of the accident or personal injury, and sometimes the circumstances of the injured person. These exceptions mean that the three year period may start sometime after the actual accident or injury.
In industrial disease or illness cases, the three-year period will start from the date that you knew, or are deemed to know, that you have developed symptoms, the condition or the disease. This may be the date that the symptoms began or became apparent, or it might be the date that the condition is diagnosed or suspected by you or others, such as medical advisers. The time limit may run from the earliest of these various dates.
The rules surrounding these various limitation periods and exceptions can be complex. It is vital that if you think you may be entitled to claim accident compensation you seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to prevent your personal injury claim becoming time-barred before you can start proceedings.
Criminal Injury Time Limitations (C.I.C.A)
If you are assaulted, there is a two-year time limit, from the date of the incident, in which one should lodge a claim with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Agency ( C.I.C.A). If you miss this time limit, the CICA may not be willing to consider your application if it is made late. However, it would still be worth at least asking as soon as possible for the matter to be considered, albeit outside the relevant time limit.
- Exceptions to the three-year limitation period
- Date of knowledge
- Injuries to children under eighteen
- Mental Health Act 1983
Crucial Information On What To Do When A Road Traffic Accident Occurs.
The first person on the scene of a collision will almost certainly be another road user. So as a driver your knowledge of first aid could make a real difference to someone in the event of a road accident.
Stop. Apply handbrake. Turn off engine
- Remain calm. Assess the scene and seriousness of the collision. Determine what happened, how many people and vehicles are involved and the exact location.
- Make sure you stay safe: keep off the road. If you need to stop or warn approaching cars, signal to them from the pavement. Wear fluorescent reflective clothing use warning triangles, flashing lights and hazard warning lights. Don’t smoke.
- If you are in a car and you come across an accident, first park safely and turn off the engine before you get out to help. Use a hazard triangle if necessary.
- Consider the safety of others. Immobilise the vehicle(s), look out for hazards – leaking fuel, chemicals, broken glass or shed loads – guide uninjured passengers to a place of safety.
- How many casualties are there? What is the severity of the injuries? Is anyone trapped? Is there a danger of fire?
Call for help
- Dial 999 (or 112) for the emergency services. If there is no phone nearby, recruit help and send two people in opposite directions.
- Do not use mobile phones if there is a danger from petrol-spillage or fumes.
Apply emergency first aid
- Remain calm. Reassure the victims.
- Do not allow smoking or offer food or drink to casualties as this could hamper urgent medical treatment.
Do this as soon as you can or get someone else to do it while you deal with an injured person. You will need to tell the emergency services:
- where you are;
- what has happened (describe the accident);
- how many people are injured;
- whether they are breathing or bleeding.
The operator will talk you through what to do while you wait for an ambulance to arrive.
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This article was reviewed by the British Red Cross in December 2009.