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Personal Injury Solicitors Dublin |  Articles

Whiplash injury within the last 3 years? You might want to get a solicitor!

Some people will know the answer to that question, but for those who don’t, it refers to something called the ‘limitation period’.

Without getting into speaking legalese, it simply means that if you have suffered personal injury in an accident that was caused by another person, then as an adult, you have just 3 years from the date of the accident within which to start a claim against the person that caused it.

If you don’t start a whiplash claim, within three years from the date of the accident, you won’t be able to claim at all. Your claim will be ‘time-barred’ or ‘statute barred’. In other words, your chances of claiming will be over.

By, ‘to start a claim’, means that the court process must have been commenced. It’s not enough that you have been in correspondence with the other party’s insurance company. If the claim hasn’t been settled, papers must have been sent to the county court for ‘issuing,’ i.e., you must have paid your court fee and got your court papers stamped, at the very least.

Why do some people who have suffered personal injury in a road traffic accident not make a whiplash claim straight away?

There may be any number of reasons. Here are some of them:

  1. They don’t realise that they are entitled to claim
  2. They are aware that they can claim but want to wait and see how their whiplash injury develops before deciding whether to make a claim
  3. They are aware that they can claim and also know that they have three years within which to do so. For that reason, they put off claiming until they have ‘got the time’ to get in touch with a solicitor.
  4. They know that they can claim for the personal injury that they have suffered but haven’t made a claim before and are a bit nervous about doing so now.

It has always made sense to take legal advice as soon as possible from an expert personal injury solicitor when you’ve suffered a whiplash injury in a road traffic accident:

  • The circumstances surrounding the accident are still fresh in your mind. Just as importantly, they are still fresh in the minds of any possible witnesses.
  • Talking to an experienced personal injury soon after the accident will help take some of the strain of the accident from off your shoulders.

Being involved in a car accident is not a pleasant experience, even if you have not been seriously injured. In any event, let’s not minimise whiplash – chronic whiplash is highly painful and debilitating. 

  • A whiplash injury solicitor may be able to arrange for you to start receiving physiotherapy or other rehabilitation treatment at an early stage, to help you to recover more quickly from your injuries.
  • All personal injury claims, even fairly straightforward ones, can take time to get settled, or brought to a conclusion through court proceedings. It’s better to get your claim underway early on, rather than rushing round to sort it out close to the limitation period.
  • If you only start a whiplash claim some years after the accident happened, it does tend to make the insurance company on the other side rather defensive and suspicious about how genuine your injury claim is. It can lead to them defending the claim or raising arguments about ‘fundamental dishonesty’ even in claims where there is a genuine injury. This only serves to make the claim drawn out and perhaps even challenged in court.


If you find yourself in a position of unsure to claim, we strongly suggest that you speak to an experienced personal injury solicitor who regularly deals with whiplash claims and get them to start your claim immediately.

At Personalinjuriessolicitorsdublin, we're continually helping people across Dublin make successful claims for whiplash. If you have any questions or would like to pursue a claim then contact one of our specialists today.

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