Our Service For You

Birth Injury Articles
Am I Out of Time to Claim for a 3rd Degree Tear?

Am I Out of Time to Claim for a 3rd Degree Tear?

If you would like to sue the NHS for a 3rd degree tear, you need to make a medical negligence claim.

Medical negligence claim time limits

It is important not to delay legal action for too long because medical negligence claims must be made within three years of the event which in 3rd degree tear claims is the date of the birth. So if your child was born on 1 July 2016 and you sustained a negligent 3rd degree tear, you will have until 1 July 2019 to bring a claim.

What if I miss the three year time limit?

The three year time limit is not a guideline; it is stipulated in the law that personal injury claims, which include medical negligence claims, must be made within three years of the negligent act. Therefore if you do not begin legal action before the three years is up, you will be out of time to claim for a 3rd degree tear.

Are there any notable exceptions?

There are some exceptions that could mean you are able to extend the time limit available. The exception that applies most to 3rd degree tear claims is a 'later date of knowledge'. This means that you did not know that you had been the victim of negligence until sometime after the birth.

Often what happens is that the 3rd degree tear was missed, and only when a woman seeks medical advice for her symptoms is the tear finally diagnosed. In such cases, the victim did not know she had a 3rd degree tear and did not know she had experienced negligent care.

The three year limitation date will still apply, but it will start from the date the 3rd degree tear was diagnosed which could be days, weeks, months or even years after the baby was born.

Speak to a solicitor today

You need to speak to a solicitor as soon as you suspect that you have been subject to negligent medical care. Getting early legal advice will ensure that you do not run out of time to make a 3rd degree tear claim. If you do run out of time, you will not be able to take legal action, even if you have strong grounds for a claim.

We offer a free initial enquiry to anyone considering a medical negligence claim. Contact us for expert legal advice.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Free enquiry

Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry



"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?


Our Expertise

clinical negligence panel


Free Birth Injury Guide

Helping Clients throughout England and Wales

contact us