(1) This section applies to any action for damages if the damages claimed consist of or include damages in relation to personal injuries to any person.
(2) If an application is made to a court by a person claiming to have a cause of action to which this section applies, the court, subject to subsection (3) and after hearing such of the persons likely to be affected by that application as it considers appropriate, may, if it decides that it is just and reasonable so to do, order that the period within which an action on the cause of action may be brought be extended for the period that it determines.
(3) In exercising the powers given to it by subsection (2), a court shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including, for example, the following:
(a) the length of and reasons for the delay on the part of the plaintiff;
(b) the extent to which, having regard to the delay, there is or is likely to be prejudice to the defendant;
(c) the conduct of the defendant after the cause of action accrued to the plaintiff, including the extent (if any) to which the defendant took steps to make available to the plaintiff means of ascertaining facts that were or might be relevant to the cause of action of the plaintiff against the defendant;
(d) the duration of any disability of the plaintiff arising on or after the date of the accrual of the cause of action;
(e) the extent to which the plaintiff acted promptly and reasonably once he or she knew that the act or omission of the defendant, to which the injury of the plaintiff was attributable, might be capable at that time of giving rise to an action for damages;
(f) the steps (if any) taken by the plaintiff to obtain medical, legal or other expert advice and the nature of the advice the plaintiff may have received.
(4) The powers given to a court by subsection (2) may be exercised at any time notwithstanding—
(a) that the limitation period in relation to the relevant cause of action has ended since the cause of action accrued; or
(b) that an action in relation to such personal injuries has been begun.
(5) This section does not apply in relation to a cause of action to which any of the following applies:
(a) section 16AA (Motor accident claims);
(b) section 16B (Other claims for damages for personal injury);
(c) the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002
, part 3.1 (Wrongful act or omission causing death).
(6) Also, this section does not apply in relation to the period mentioned in section 30B (2) (Special provision in relation to children—claims relating to health services).