How long do I have to claim?

How long do I have to claim?

smiling_ladySummons setting out your claim against the wrongdoer must be delivered to  the wrongdoer within 3 years of the date on which the damage was caused.

Exceptions to this rule are children and the mentally handicapped:

Mentally handicapped

If you are mentally handicapped (or are considered incapable of managing your own affairs) your claim will not fall away due to time delay for as long as the condition persists.


Claims relating to children (minors) have to be made by the latest of the following:

  • within 3 years of the incident; or
  • before the person’s 19th birthday.

In some instances the prescription date may be later than the dates indicated above e.g. if the harm only occurs later, as in the event of death some months after the incident.

In claims against the state or local or local government notice should be given within 6 months of the date of the loss.  It is possible to obtain condonation for late notice, which is granted in most instances.

A CLAIM NOT INSTITUTED IN TIME WILL FALL AWAY OR LAPSE. (Laywers refer to this rule as prescription)

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