How to Know How Long You Have to Sue after a Car Accident

No one wants to think about the possibility of being involved in a car accident. But if it does happen, you may be wondering if you have a case to sue. In Australia, you can sue for damages if you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. However, there are time limits in place for taking legal action, so it’s important to seek advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

That said, let’s talk about when you can sue for a car accident:

What Is the Date of Discoverability?

The date of discoverability is a key issue in car accident claims in Australia. It is the date on which the injured party first became aware, or ought to have become aware, of their injury.

The date of discoverability is important because it can affect the number of damages that are recoverable. In some cases, it can also affect whether a claim is statute-barred (i.e. out of time).

There is no hard and fast rule for establishing the date of discoverability. The courts will consider all the relevant circumstances of each case.

Some of the factors that have been considered by the courts include:

  • The nature of the injury
  • The symptoms of the injury
  • The injured person’s age, occupation and health
  • The circumstances in which the injury was sustained
  • The nature of the treatment received
  • The advice received from medical practitioners
  • Whether the injury is of a type that is commonly known to be associated with car accidents
  • Whether the injured person made inquiries about the possibility of their injury being caused by a car accident

In some cases, the date of discoverability will be the date on which the accident happened. In other cases, it may be some time after the accident when the injured person first becomes aware of the symptoms of their injury.

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is not statute-barred.

What’s My Time Limit to Make a Claim?

There are also time limits for taking action after a car accident. In most states and territories, you have three years from the date of the accident to start legal proceedings.

However, if you’re claiming damages from a government authority, such as a local council, you may only have six months to take action.

It’s important to get advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident, as they can help you determine who is at fault and whether you have a case to sue.


All in all, if you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, it is important to take action and go about your claim as soon as possible. However, knowing that some claims can be quite complex, we recommend working with professional lawyers to help out. They can help you navigate through the complicated world of claims and help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Have you been in an accident and made a claim? D’Angelo Legal is here to help you with a no-win, no-fee arrangement. If you’re looking for a Perth compensation lawyer, reach out to us today and start a conversation!