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Limitation Act: Key Time Limits for Legal Claims

What is the Limitation Act?

The Limitation Act sets out time limits within which a claimant must initiate legal action for various categories of civil disputes failing which, no legal action maybe initiated at all. These time limits are in place to ensure swift action by a claimant and prevent stale claims from being litigated in court wherein damages may be harder to assess due to the delay. It is essential to be aware of these time-bars or time limits so as not to lose your fundamental right to legally protect your interests.

Examples of Statutory Limitation Periods for Various Legal Claims

The time limits vary depending on the type of claim or action involved. We set out a few examples below:

  • Contractual claims: A claimant has 6 years from the date of the breach of a contract to commence legal proceedings.
  • Tort claims (e.g., negligence, trespass): Generally, the limitation period is 6 years from the date the tortious act was committed. However, there are exceptions depending on the specific tort involved.
  • Personal injury claims: The time limit is 3 years from the date of the claimant’s injury, or from the date the claimant first had knowledge of the injury.
  • Defamation and malicious falsehood: The time limit is 6 years from the date of the defamatory statement or act.
  • Recovery of land or property: The claimant has 12 years from the date when the right to his/her claim arose.
  • Enforcing a judgement: A claimant has 12 years from the date of the judgement to enforce it.

Special Provisions and Considerations for Limitation Periods

However, it is essential to note that the Limitation Act contains provisions for extending or pausing the limitation period in specific circumstances. For example, in cases involving fraud the limitation period may be extended. Additionally, the limitation period may be paused if the claimant is a minor or lacks mental capacity.

Given the complexity of limitation periods and the potential consequences of losing your right to commence legal proceedings, it is advisable to consult a lawyer to ensure that your right to pursue legal action is protected by commencing legal proceedings within the appropriate time frame.

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Any information of a legal nature in this blog is given in good faith and has been derived from resources believed to be reliable and accurate. The author of the information contained herein this blog does not give any warranty or accept any responsibility arising in any way, including by reason of negligence for any errors or omissions herein. Readers should seek independent legal advice.

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