The Professional Negligence Limitation Period
What is a Limitation Period?
A limitation period is a legal time frame within which a compensation claim must be made. These can vary, depending on the type of claim, the severity of the case and the implications it has had on your life as a whole.
If you think you have suffered from professional negligence, you must be aware of the professional negligence claims limitation period to avoid weakening your claim case. The sooner you put a claim forward, the easier the process could be for you.
If you have only just become aware of the situation that took place, or you are currently not sure whether the situation has caused you any losses, it is still worth contacting an advisor to assess your case.
How long is the Professional Negligence Limitation Period?
In most cases, the professional negligence limitation is usually 6 years; beginning from the date when the negligence took place. Having said this, if you would like to make a professional negligence claim, you should try to submit it as soon as possible, as the defendant could potentially dispute that the event took place outside of the time limit; therefore they could have a strong defence in arguing that too much time has passed.
Many people may only come to realise a lot later (even years) that the negligence took place. In such cases, the amount of time you would have to make a claim is 3 years if, when you realised it happened, it was later than the 6-year allocated period in which the situation took place. This would start from the ‘date of knowledge’; the date that you realised you had suffered professional negligence.
There is a ‘stop date’ of 15 years, meaning that once this long period has passed, it is too late and you would be unable to make a claim. For example, if you realised your solicitor provided you with poor advice 14 years after it happened, then you would only have 1 more year left to follow through with the procedure and go to Court, if necessary.
What must be done during the Professional Negligence Limitation Period?
After the act of professional negligence took place or the ‘date of knowledge’, as long as you make the claim within the professional negligence limitation period, you should do the following:
- When you realise it has taken place, contact a professional negligence advisor immediately to get advice on your situation and start the claims process. Accident Line Direct can help with this.
- Once you have received advice from a professional advisor and you are happy to proceed, we can put you in touch with a specialist professional negligence solicitor who could further investigate your claim and determine whether it is strong or not.
- If they find the case to be pursuable, they will help you gather the necessary information and evidence to prove the negligence and how it has incurred you losses.
- If your lawyer has fought your case against the defendant (professional who was negligent), but you are still unable to reach a settlement, then the next step would be to proceed to Court. This is less common, but can happen if they feel the need to dispute your case (it is usually encouraged to settle it without proceeding to Court).
There is a Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol to follow, and there are many steps involved within the stages mentioned above; all of which can take a long time to complete. It could be a significant amount of time until your claim is settled, which is why it is so important to be aware of the professional negligence limitation period, and start making your claim as soon as you can.
How can Accident Line Direct help?
At Accident Line Direct, we have a team of experienced, professional and trustworthy advisors, who can give you more information on your situation of professional negligence if you require. Our lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that you are not financially at risk when making a claim with us.
You should never assume that you are too late to make a claim, however, the sooner you put your claim forward, the better, so contact us today if you wish to begin your claims process or simply to get more information.
Posted in: Professional Negligence on Tuesday 20 February 2018
by Grace Hickman