If you’ve been injured in an accident and someone else is to blame, there is a strong chance that you have a right to financial compensation. Unfortunately, the process is rarely as easy as filing a claim and waiting for the money to roll in. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with state laws in order to understand how, when, and against whom you should file your claim.
These state laws – or statutes – are very important in personal injury claims. Let’s talk about a few of Maryland’s statutes in more detail.
Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates how much time you have to file a personal injury claim, and is typically calculated from the date you first realized you had grounds for a claim (the so-called “date of discovery”). In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitations is three years. While that might seem like a lot of time, keep in mind that there are a number of logistical issues that can delay the claim process, and the last thing you want to deal with is finding yourself in a race against the clock to settle your case. (And yes, there are ways to potentially extend the statute of limitations, depending on your circumstances, but you don’t want to have to depend on those loopholes.)
Contributory negligence. This is a big one. Maryland is one of only four states (and, to a slightly lesser extent, the District of Columbia) that adhere to the law of contributory negligence, which dictates that if you are proven to be even 1% at fault in an accident, you are banned from receiving any compensation for it at all. It’s important to note, though, that this statute doesn’t necessarily represent a deal-breaker if you’re looking to file a claim. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a valid case, regardless of whether or not you think you might be somewhat at fault.
Non-economic damage caps. Personal injury claims are not always about physical damages. If you can prove that you’ve suffered psychological anguish as a direct result of your accident, you are eligible to file a claim for emotional distress (or non-economic damage, as it’s referred to legally). Maryland, like many other states, puts a cap on how much money you can receive if you file a personal claim for emotional distress. That cap is $920,000 (as of October 2022).
Knowing the laws that affect you is a crucial step in filing a claim for personal injury in Maryland. Even more important: retaining the services of a competent lawyer who can walk you through all of those laws in detail and help you present a case that has the highest odds of being successful.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury and you are considering filing a claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.