Can I make a medical negligence claim after 3 years?
Claims for medical negligence need to be brought within 3 years of the date of injury for adults. In some cases, the effects of negligent care may come to the surface a long time after the incident. The 3 years Negligence Limitation rule is found in the Limitation Act, 1980. If a claim is not formally started at Court, by commencing legal proceedings, within the 3 year limitation period, then an injured person is usually statute barred from pursuing the claim. Expiry of the Limitation period is a defence that a hospital, medical practitioner, or trust may well choose to use to stop an injured Claimant succeeding with a case. However, if your date of knowledge, i.e the date upon which you found out that a medical practitioner has been negligent, was more than 3 years ago, then the Limitation Act is accommodating: for adults who are mentally capable, the time limit is three years from the ‘date of knowledge’. This could be the date the negligence occurred (if it was realised immediately), or the date you first observed symptoms, suffered a related illness, or malpractices were discovered.