I developed an illness due to my workplace; however my colleagues have warned me of the statute of limitations and date of knowledge — what is this?
The statute of limitations and date of knowledge places a time limit of three years in which to make a claim to compensation from the date on which you became aware of your illness. The statute of limitations places a time limit from the date of knowledge for an injury in order for the claimant to seek compensation within a reasonable timeframe. The reason for this is so a claim can be made while evidence is available and memories reliable while the date of knowledge for a claim is still fairly recent. For this reason, you should consult a personal injury solicitor and discuss the circumstances of your injury to ensure that your claim can be made within the time limit for compensation.
The statute of limitations and date of knowledge begins upon the date on which you were aware of an injury being sustained. In many cases, this can be the same day on which your accident and injury occurred, and your time limit for compensation will begin immediately. However if you developed an illness, it is likely that it was sustained over a length of time, which would make the date of knowledge for a claim difficult to establish. Because of this, the date of knowledge for an injury will commence on the date on which you received your diagnosis, and three years are provided in which to initiate a claim.
The statute of limitations and date of knowledge should be well noted when making a claim, as complications may arise. The date of knowledge for a claim could be months, years or even decades after an injury may have been sustained; meaning evidence may not be readily available to support your claim. As such a delay may occur before the date of knowledge for an injury, it may need to be established that — in all probability — you developed your illness as a result of working in the environment in question. If the negligence of your employer can be determined, it may be possible to initiate a claim within the three year time limit for compensation.
Once the date of knowledge for a claim has passed, it is important to contact a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity in order to determine your eligibility to seek compensation for your injury. Your solicitor can help determine which party is liable for your condition, assist in gathering evidence to support your claim and can offer you professional legal representation — provided you are still within the time limit for compensation. When the three year limit after the date of knowledge for an injury has passed, it may not be possible to make a claim for compensation. For this reason, you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity to ensure that your claim is made within the statute of limitations and date of knowledge.