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Court of Appeal Considers the Limitation Period for Personal Injury Actions

Section 50C of the Limitation Act 1969 has a 3-year limit for a plaintiff to commence a personal injury claim from the date that the cause of action was ‘discoverable’. 

Section 50D of the Act says the cause of action is discoverable when the claimant knows or ought to know of the fact that:

  1. the injury or death concerned has occurred,
  2. the injury or death was caused by the fault of the defendant,
  3. the injury was sufficiently serious to justify the bringing of an action on the cause of action.

In the 31 March 2023 Court of Appeal decision in Horne v J K Williams Contracting Pty Ltd [2023] NSWCA 58 the Court concluded that the plaintiff knew of the 3 facts soon after the accident.  The plaintiff’s push bike had collided with orange barricades on the side of the road.  

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