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Are There Time Limits When Making A Cauda Equina Claim?

If you are thinking about making a cauda equina claim, you shouldn’t delay in seeking expert legal advice. This is because medical negligence claims (now called clinical negligence claims) must be made within a certain amount of time. If you wait too long, you could find you have run out of time.

Time limits of medical negligence claims

The Act of Limitation states that medical negligence claims (like all personal injury claims) must be brought to the courts within three years. The start date will usually be the day the negligence occurred. For example, if you attended A&E with the typical symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome but doctors failed to recognise the condition, their failure to make a diagnosis will amount to an act of negligence. You will then have exactly three years from this date to claim compensation.

Alternatively it is possible to start from the date you became aware of the negligence – known as the ‘date of knowledge’. For example, if you complained to your GP about back pain and tingling, but these symptoms were not investigated until years later when your condition became progressively worse, you will only then become aware of your GP’s negligence. Your date of limitation will then be three years from the date an accurate diagnosis was made.

However, there are some exceptions to the rule:-

1. You are a minor

Anyone under the age of 18 is considered to be a minor, meaning they are not considered able to make a claim on their own behalf. Thus there are two options available: either a parent or legal guardian must make a claim on their behalf, or a potential claimant must wait until their 18th birthday, after which they have exactly three years to make a claim. This means that limitation expires on their 21st birthday.

2. You lack mental capacity

Anyone who lacks mental capacity will not be restricted by the Act of Limitation. The three year time limit does not therefore apply.

Speak to a solicitor today

While there are some exceptions to the rule, the majority of cauda equina claims must be made within three years of the event. That is why it is so important to speak to a solicitor as the earliest opportunity. If your date of limitation has expired or is fast approaching, you may be denied the chance to claim compensation – even if you have a valid claim.

To ensure you are able to claim the cauda equina compensation you so rightfully deserve, contact us today at the Cauda Equina Solicitors.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300, from a mobile click to call 01275 334030 or complete our Free Online Enquiry for a no cost, no obligation opinion.

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