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Time-bar - why you shouldn't wait three years to make a claim

Think about what you did yesterday. You can probably remember just about everything – even certain feelings or emotions with a degree of accuracy.

What about the events of a week ago? Maybe a little harder but you could probably paint a clear picture.

Now try and recall what you did a month ago… a lot harder, right?

One year ago? Maybe impossible unless you check over old texts, social media or emails to jog your memory.

Now imagine trying to recall the events from three years ago. Arguably, most would find it impossible.

Well this fading image also applies to personal injury claims.

The law says a person has three years to make a claim from the date of their accident – this is called time bar.

But the reality is the longer you leave it then harder it can be to build a clear picture of what happened.

People’s memory of what happened can change over time – and not just your memory but the memory of any witnesses you might rely on. This is especially true of road traffic accident claims.

Or paper work like risk assessments may suddenly ‘disappear’ or be untraceable after a long period of time. Again, these are vital pieces of evidence in a workplace accident claim.

We do appreciate some things can prevent a person from immediately seeking independent legal advice after an accident.

It may be your medical recovery. Maybe you’re still coming to terms with the accident and processing your emotions. Maybe you’re confused about what your options are because your insurance company is trying to lead you down a certain path.

But the truth is that yes, while time-bar says you have three years to make a personal injury claim, it can actually be harder to win in the long run.

But it’s not just about being able to gather evidence or make it easier for people to remember things.

For example, if the accident caused a serious injury then coming to Digby Brown as soon as possible means we can get to work immediately to make sure you have the medical care needed to help you recover as quickly and strongly as possible.

We can even help you secure lump sums called interim payments which will let you pay urgent bills like a mortgage.

This is precisely why waiting the full three years is not practical.

Because a lot can happen in three years and while time can be a healer, time-bar isn’t.

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