What is the Statute of Limitations and how will it affect claiming compensation for failure to diagnose DVT?

The Statute of Limitations means that you have three years to make a claim compensation for failure to diagnose DVT. This time period generally starts from the date an injury or illness was sustained. If you were not aware of an illness or injury until a later date then the three year time limit would begin on the date that you first became aware of it. For you, your three year limit for making a DVT failure to diagnose compensation claim would begin on the date that you were finally diagnosed with DVT; this date is known as the “date of knowledge”.

The UK Statute of Limitations was established in 1980 as part of the Limitations Act. Its introduction was to ensure that potential claimants would make a claim for compensation while evidence was still recent and so that the medical professionals that would be considered as negligent parties would not have to continuously fear potential litigation. Generally, the amount of time anyone with a potential injury claim has to pursue a claim is three years, however there some exceptions to this.

These exceptions are very rare but do occur on occasions. Instances where an exception may be made for the three year time limit would be if there is a there was a scenario of a certain legislative act conflicting with the Statute of Limitations or if the person who has sustained illness or injury due to negligence is a child. With regards to conflicting legislation, if the failure to diagnose your DVT was due to a faulty piece of medical equipment then your claim would not be made against the hospital, but the manufacturer of the equipment under the Consumer Protection Act. You may still have three years in which to make a DVT failure to diagnose claim, however only if the product has been in circulation in the UK for less than ten years. Therefore, if the product has been around for nine years you would only have one year to make a DVT compensation claim

With regards to child injury claim due to medical negligence, the Statute of Limitations applies somewhat differently due to the fact that as minors, children are not allowed to make a claim for themselves or advise a solicitor on their own behalf under UK law. Therefore, the three year time limit does not begin until they turn eighteen. However, a claim can be made on their behalf before their eighteenth birthday by a parent or legal guardian who is representing them as their “litigation friend”

It is still in your best interest to contact a solicitor at the first possible moment. Although three years may seem like a sufficient amount of time to prepare and pursue a claim, it is best to begin the claims process as soon as possible so that you may find out the viability of your DVT compensation claim and so that you will still have an adequate amount of time should there be any delays in your claim. A delay could come in the form of solicitor being unable to gather sufficient evidence to support your claim, or if the solicitors negotiating the value of your claim cannot agree on the amount of compensation you should be entitled to. Therefore, you should discuss your claim for compensation for failure to diagnose DVT with a solicitor as soon as it is convenient to ensure the success of your claim.