VI. Is there a time limit for filing a personal injury claim?
Under section 27 of the Limitation Ordinance (Cap.347), where a plaintiff makes a claim for personal injury, the limitation period is three years from the date of the accrual of the cause of action (that is, the date of the accident / the date when the plaintiff was injured) or the date of knowledge (that is, knowing that the injury was significant and attributable to the defendant), whichever is later.
According to section 28 of the Limitation Ordinance, where the claim is one of a fatal accident, the limitation period is three years from the date of death or the date of knowledge of the death by the deceased's dependent, whichever is later.
Where the person injured is under a disability, the 3 years' limitation period is not applicable until the person ceases to be under the disability or dies, whichever is earlier (section 22(1) and 22(2) of the Limitation Ordinance). A person is considered to be under a disability if he/she is a child or a patient who is mentally incapacitated. Thus, for children, the limitation period is not applicable until the age of 18.
However, the Court has discretion to extend the limitation periods where it is fair and reasonable.