How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Maryland?

Getting in an accident, whether it’s a car crash, a slip and fall, or any other type of injury-causing incident, always leaves lasting effects. These accidents can cause physical, emotional, and financial damage that lasts long after the incident itself. If you find yourself in a situation where someone else is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

However, receiving compensation cannot happen if you don’t act fast enough. One of the most crucial steps in a personal injury claim is filing your claim within the time limit set out by the law. In Maryland, the law outlines a specific timeframe in which you must file your claim, known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations outlines the window of time within which you must file a lawsuit, or you forfeit the right to compensation.

This article will explain the statute of limitations and other critical aspects of filing a personal injury claim in Maryland.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Maryland?

The statute of limitations in Maryland for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This time frame applies to most personal injury cases in Maryland, including those related to car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, and premises liability.

In some cases, the deadline for filing a case may be shorter or longer than three years. It is recommended to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the exact deadline for your case.

What Happens If You Miss the Deadline for Filing?

If you miss the three-year deadline, the court will typically dismiss your case, and you will lose your right to recover compensation. The defendant or liable party has the right to ask the court to dismiss your case for failing to meet the statute of limitations requirements.

Therefore, it is crucial to understand the statute of limitations and to consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid any delays. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and work towards ensuring that you meet the deadline for filing.

Do Any Exceptions Apply?

Some exceptions apply to the three-year statute of limitations. These exceptions will typically pause or extend the deadline for filing. The following are some circumstances that may apply:

Delayed Discovery of Injury

In some cases, injuries may not become apparent until months or years after an accident. For instance, an employee working in a construction site may inhale dangerous substances that cause severe lung damage over a long time. The worker may not become aware of this damage until years after they last worked at the site, at which point they can seek compensation. In such cases, the three-year clock begins ticking once the injury becomes evident.

Minors’ Claims

The statute of limitations is different for minors injured in accidents. A minor has three years to file a claim starting from their 18th birthday. This means that the statute of limitations effectively gets paused until the minor turns 18.

Wrongful Death Claims

In the case of wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.

Claims Against Government Entities

Claims against government agencies have a much shorter deadline. You have only 180 days from the incident to file a claim with the government agency in question. Failure to file the claim within this timeframe typically results in the dismissal of your claim.

Tolling Agreements

A tolling agreement is a written agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant, which extends the time for filing a lawsuit by agreement. Litigants with personal injury claims in Maryland can sign a written agreement with the defendant, which extends the statute of limitations for a specific time. A tolling agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the statute of limitations and the details of filing a personal injury claim in Maryland is critical to protecting your legal rights. You must act fast if you are injured due to someone else’s fault to ensure that you meet the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Always ensure that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss any critical deadlines for filing.

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