Even where there may be some basis to argue that, in the particular circumstances of your case, the strict two-year period from the date of the accident to the date of commencing proceedings should be extended, there is no merit whatsoever in sitting on your hands and adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach.
If you do allow time to drift with the result that your application to the Injuries Board hasn’t been submitted within the two-year window, you can rest assured that your claim will be defended on the basis that it has been extinguished by the Statute of Limitations.
And, even if the issue of liability is pretty much ‘open and shut’, you’ll still have to endure the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not the defence’s argument that your claim is statute-barred will be upheld until a judge has heard all of the evidence and has teased out in forensic detail precisely when you learned each relevant fact and whether you have acted with sufficient haste in all of the circumstances.
Essentially, two things need be said about the Statute of Limitations:
- You can never be too hasty in commencing investigations if you suspect that you’ve been injured as the result of the fault of another, and there’s absolutely no upside to adopting a relaxed approach. You won’t be rewarded for waiting around, no matter what the circumstances.
- That said, if there have been more than two years between when the accident occurred and when you found out that you might have a claim, you shouldn’t assume that your case is hopeless. It’s still worth talking to a solicitor to see if either or both of the date-of-knowledge test or the disability test or any other rule of law can save the day in your case.
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Flor McCarthy is one of Ireland’s leading lawyers, certified by the Law Society of Ireland in Data Protection Practice. He was chosen as Munster Solicitor of the Year at the Irish Law Awards in 2018. Flor completed his Masters degree in law at University College Dublin. [Read More]
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John specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims. His practice focuses on high value compensation cases. He has extensive experience in this area of litigation for over 10 years. John has acted in a wide variety of personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, medical negligence, defective product, professional negligence and judicial. [Read More]