The question of how long can you sue after a car accident in Maryland is one of the most important things you should ask when you are making a claim. The strongest of cases will be worthless if you miss deadlines to file a lawsuit. Although people who rush to sue and to settle can lose out, those who wait too long face very real dangers.
Your Baltimore car accident lawyer will advise you of the deadline to file a claim and when to litigate.
The Deadline to File a Car Crash Claim in Maryland
Maryland, like other states, has strict deadlines to file claims. This is not just a feature of personal injury or tort claims. If your claim is against a Maryland government entity, the deadlines are typically shorter.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Injuries in Maryland?
The Statute of Limitations governs how long you can sue after a car accident in Maryland. More most car, truck, motorcycle, bus, pedestrian or other claims, the lawsuit must be filed within three years of the accident under § 5-101 of the Maryland code for Courts and Judicial Proceedings. A lawsuit for an accident that occurred on March 1, 2019, must be filed by March 1, 2022.
If you fail to file a lawsuit within three years of the personal injury accident, the defendant can use your failure to file as a defense against a civil lawsuit. If the defendant shows the Statute of Limitations has expired the case will usually be dismissed by the court.
How Long Should I Wait to File a Collision Lawsuit?
You should never run up against the Statute of Limitations. This puts undue pressure on you and your attorney. A last-minute glitch in filing can mean your case runs out of time. If you are filing a personal injury or a wrongful death lawsuit after a highway accident, give yourself plenty of time.
On occasions, accident victims who negotiated for years with the insurance companies will contact an attorney the day before time runs out on their case. They suddenly realized the insurance company won’t settle and want to sue. It’s difficult for car accident lawyers to take on a case on the eve of the Statute of Limitations because we need to do a thorough investigation.
Car accident cases can be extremely complicated. It often takes weeks for an attorney to do the groundwork. Lawyers are usually hesitant to take on these cases.
Ideally, talk to an attorney soon after your car accident with injuries. If you hire a Maryland car accident lawyer early on, we can advise you how to deal with insurance companies. We will handle the negotiations so as you can avoid common insurance company mistakes in Maryland.
Should I Hire a Lawyer Immediately After a Maryland Car Accident?
If you hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car wreck we can take over all negotiations with the insurance company and ensure you don’t fall for any insurance company tricks like admitting liability or partial liability for the crash.
Hiring a lawyer and filing a suit early on in your case means the testimony of witnesses can be gathered while the events are still fresh in their minds. The attorney often requests important information like video camera footage, and film from businesses and parking garages before it’s destroyed or lost.
If you wait more than two years to contact a lawyer, evidence gathering is usually more difficult. It may not be easy to track down witnesses and their recollections will be less vivid and more likely to be challenged by the other side in a lawsuit. Police officers involved in the case may have new jobs. Video evidence might have gone. One exception to the three-year statute of limitations relates to minors.
Suing for City Trash Truck or a County Car Accident Injuries
If you were hurt by a city, state or municipal employee in Maryland, you typically have even less time to sue. Every year, the drivers of police cars, ambulance, garbage trucks, and city work vans hit and hurt other motorists. You may have grounds to sue a county, city, the state of Maryland, or another government entity like a waste authority.
Under the Local Government Tort Claims Act, a suit against a local government entity or its employees is not permissible unless the claimant gives notice of the action within one year of his or her injury. The claimant must provide notice in writing and state details such as the location, time, and cause of the injury.
The question of how long can you sue after a car accident in Maryland depends on the age of the victim and the identity of the defendant in the case of local government employees. However, the vast majority of car accident cases are governed by the three-year deadline of the Statute of Limitations. As a rule of thumb, file a claim promptly after a wreck and file a lawsuit as soon as possible if the insurance company is not amenable to your demands. Consider your claim as a second priority after getting treatment for your injuries.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit as a Child in Maryland
Children are defined as those under 18 by law. They have to wait until they turn 21 to file a suit in a car accident or another personal injury case. In the case of Mason v. Board of Education of Baltimore County in 2012, the justices considered when a minor becomes an adult. They ruled it is a day before the teen’s18th birthday, rather than the birthday itself. A minor has until the age of 21 to bring a personal injury lawsuit for a car wreck injury sustained before the age of 18.
Baltimore, MD Car Accident Injury Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, our attorneys will ensure you do not miss any deadlines and your case progresses. Oftentimes, an insurance company will stall in the hope you are not aware time is running out to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies bank on claimants being unfamiliar with the law. Attorney Randolph Rice will make sure you know all of the deadlines and file a case on your behalf if necessary. See our past case results on our website or call us at (410) 431-0911.