If you are seriously injured in an automotive vehicle accident, the furthest thing on your mind is, “how long do I have to file a claim.” Accident victims have a laundry list of things to worry about, including receiving proper medical treatment, scheduling auto repairs, and trying to get back to work. However, this does not mean you should not include seeking financial compensation on your “to-do” list.
When filing an injury claim, an accident victim has to worry about two distinct deadlines. First, any claim made against your auto insurance provider should be made as soon as possible. Nearly every policy has a reporting requirement. Second, and more importantly, Maryland’s statute of limitations requires that any personal injury claim be filed within three years of the date of the accident.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our experienced Maryland car accident lawyers are dedicated to maximizing the potential compensation for our clients. Therefore, it is critical to start gathering evidence and medical documentation as soon as possible. Call (410) 694-7291 if you have been hurt in a car crash.
The Statute of Limitations and Injury Compensation Claims
Every state has a statute of limitations that governs when an injury claim should be filed. In Maryland, an accident victim must file a claim within three years of the date of the incident. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the injured victim is a child, the clock does not start counting until the victim turns eighteen. Additionally, the timeline could be extended if the victim suffered a disability that makes it impossible to pursue an injury claim. In other cases, a victim might have more time if a defendant fraudulently hides their negligence. For example, you might be afforded an extension of time if you were a victim of a hit-and-run and it took time to identify the at-fault driver. Our experienced Baltimore car accident attorney will work to ensure you have the maximum amount of allotted time to file your lawsuit.
Reasons to Delay Filing a Claim or Settling With an Insurance Company
Three years sounds like a long time, but time will pass quickly. Just because you have the time does not mean you should delay in contacting our Maryland personal injury lawyers. However, while you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible, it does not mean you should rush to file your claim.
When you file a lawsuit or reach a settlement with an insurance company, you want to ensure you are being compensated for the full extent of your injuries and damages. Without proper investigation and medical treatments, it might not be possible to know this until weeks or months after an accident.
Traumatic head injuries are common in serious car accidents. However, the symptoms associated with these types of injures are not always obvious immediately following a crash. Additionally, even a mild brain injury could have long-term impacts. Because some brain injuries are not evident on a scan or other diagnostic tests, it could take time to assess the lasting health problems. Everything from headaches to long-term memory loss could affect your ability to engage in daily activities or even work. Should you reach a settlement or file a claim before understanding the long-term effects of your brain injury, you might not receive the compensation you deserve.
Head and brain injuries are the only types of injuries that are difficult to diagnose. Soft-tissue injuries might not manifest themselves in the days or weeks following an accident. Additionally, the lasting impact of these injuries varies from accident victim to accident victim. For example, one driver could suffer a whiplash injury and be back to normal in a couple of weeks, while another victim could suffer discomfort or pain for years.
The critical factor in an injury claim is diagnosing and understanding the seriousness of the injury. If your injury will require multiple surgeries, years of physical therapy, or severely limit your ability to work, you want to ensure you are compensated appropriately.
Settlements Prohibit Additional Claims
Accident victims only get one bite at the pie. Once you accept a settlement or are awarded a jury award, you are prohibited from seeking additional compensation, even if you suffer further complications from your injuries. Insurance companies know this. They also understand that many accident victims feel the pressure of mounting medical bills and lost hours at work. A fast settlement check often appears to be a much-needed financial windfall. Our Dundalk car accident attorneys will want to value your claim to make sure a settlement amount is appropriate. However, this takes time, especially if you suffered an injury that is challenging to diagnose.
Even though we advise contacting our office as soon as possible, we will not rush to file a personal injury claim. it takes time to gather physical and medical evidence. Your compensation will ultimately hinge on an accurate estimation of your financial damages and the legal strength of your case. Building a strong personal injury claim takes time and resources,
Our Experienced Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Will Properly Evaluate Your Case
The timing of a lawsuit is important. While it is governed by state law, you do not want to file an injury claim until you have fully evaluated the extent of your injuries and damages. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our Ocean City personal injury lawyers are committed to obtaining the maximum compensation for our clients. This means taking the time and effort to thoroughly understand their injuries, including their financial, physical, and emotional impact. Call (410) 694-7291 to discuss what your case is worth and when you should file a claim.