Trethowans Solicitors Advise Businesses on Dealing with Historic Litigation
While most litigation is pursued in the first few years of an actionable event arising, a recent article published by Trethowans Solicitors advises businesses on how to deal with historic claims
While most litigation is pursued in the first few years of an actionable event arising, a recent article published by Trethowans Solicitors advises businesses on how to deal with historic claims; particularly when the company no longer holds the relevant insurance details from that time.
The blog post was published on 26 February 2013 under the heading ‘Tracing Insurance’. It explains that limitation dates generally restrict claimants to seeking legal redress within three years for personal injury cases, and 6 years for other issues. But section 11(4)(b) of the Limitation Act 1980 states that the 3 year time limit applied to personal injury cases can be deemed to run from the ‘date of knowledge’ if this is later than the actionable event.
The date of knowledge is deemed to come into effect when the claimant becomes aware of the injury suffered, and how it could be attributable to negligence, nuisance or breach of duty. Because of this companies can face claims arising out of actionable events from decades earlier. When this happens companies can struggle to identify the appropriate public liability or employer’s liability insurer for the period in question can be difficult, and in some instances the company may no longer retain the information.
Without the relevant insurer a company could wind up addressing the claim themselves. If the claim is successful the company would be required to meet the damages and costs agreed.
The first port of call should always be to peruse company records. If only subsequent insurers can be identified it might still be possible to work backwards and find out where the policy had been transferred from. Another option is the Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) who can search for insurance records for a historic period.
If this tracing service fails to turn up a result, it is possible to turn to insurance archaeologists who search archives and records to identify an insurer for a particular time.
It is important to seek legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity if an insurer cannot be located for the relevant period.
Trethowans Solicitors is a premier law firm which provides a wide range of services to corporate clients and individuals.
Visit the Trethowans website today to find out more and to find out how to seek legal advice with insurance litigation
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