Maryland Car Accident Statute of Limitations: What It Means for You

Written by Jobeth Bowers. Posted in .

Key Takeaways:

  • The standard statute of limitations for the claims process in Maryland is generally three years from the date of the accident.
  • Maryland works on a pure contributory negligence standard, which means that drivers who are responsible for the accident in any capacity are barred from recovering compensation for damages.
  • Having a lawyer on your side offers a significant advantage when filing your claim, examining your insurance policy, collecting evidence, and representing you in court against auto insurance companies.
  • Some exceptions for the state’s statute of limitations exist for special circumstances like injured minors and delayed injuries, and these exceptions can pause the three-year countdown (known as “tolling”).
  • It is advantageous to file your insurance claim as soon as possible. This will keep the evidence in your case fresh and give your legal representative more time to adequately develop a strong case.

A car accident is never easy to deal with, as victims could suffer injuries that change their lives forever. Even injuries one can eventually recover from could saddle people with debt, and paying off that debt is especially tough when injuries prevent working normally. Fortunately, you can pursue compensation for your injuries that can cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other damages you may have suffered. While a personal injury lawsuit could be ideal for your circumstances, it is important to remember that you only have a specific time frame in which you are allowed to file, known as the statute of limitations under state law, even if you have serious injuries. Take a closer look at the Maryland car accident statute of limitations, and discover how a car accident lawyer can help meet deadlines in your case.

How Long After a Maryland Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

It is best practice to receive medical attention immediately after your car accident injury. Not only will this help you maintain your own physical health, but medical care helps demonstrate that the accident caused injuries by establishing a medical record. Your medical bills can be paid by your health insurance and then reimbursed by your car accident case’s compensation later. According to the statute of limitations, however, you have three years to file a legal action in most cases. Your case will generally go better the sooner you receive medical attention.

In terms of insurance provider requirements, the limit will vary based on your policy. However, you should begin your claim as soon as possible, preferably with the assistance of a lawyer. A Maryland car accident attorney can help you meet deadlines and negotiate with the insurance company from a position of strength.

Maryland Statute of Limitations: What is it and How Does it Apply to My Car Accident Claim?

The statute of limitations for car accident claims in Maryland is three years from the date of the accident in most cases. After that three-year amount of time is up, you may not be able to file a formal lawsuit regarding your accident.

In some cases, there may be notice deadlines before the three-year statute of limitations. If you do not provide proper notice by these deadlines, you may not be able to recover any damages. This is why it is important that you get in touch with a Maryland car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident once you have received medical treatment.

Are There Any Time Limit Exemptions to the Maryland Statute of Limitations?

Some exceptions exist for the standard three-year time limit, which calls for tolling. This is a pause or extension for the statute of limitations. The most common exemption is for minors involved in car accidents. If a minor suffered damages in a car crash, the three-year limit does not begin until they turn 18, leaving them until their 21st birthday to settle the claim or file a lawsuit.

Contact the office immediately for assistance in navigating your case.

How Soon Should I Start Filing My Maryland Auto Accident Claim?

person filling out form on clipboard next to damaged automobile

While you may have a three-year statute of limitations, it’s ideal to file your auto accident claim as soon as possible. By acting quickly, it is easier to secure legal representation for your case since your case will likely require extensive preparation. A lawyer will need time to investigate and build your case, and that can be difficult when the three year limit’s end is rapidly approaching.

Additionally, many specific parties have shorter notice requirements in order to file a claim. For example, if the at fault party is a state employee or acting on behalf of the state or local government, there is a much shorter and specific requirement to place them on notice, or you will not be able to file a lawsuit, even if done within 3 years of the accident. An attorney will be able to properly navigate this situation for you.

Additionally, filing earlier means the evidence in your case is fresher. Wait too long, and some potential evidence could be lost altogether. When filing early, you also have access to the discovery process when your case begins in court. This puts a legal obligation on the opposing side to produce any relevant documents regarding your case.

As a disclaimer, filing a claim in court does not prohibit you from reaching a settlement outside of court. A settlement can be reached at any time up until the court issues a final verdict on your case. If an insurance company sees you building a strong case that you are willing to fight for, they may settle just to avoid the court expenses.

Why Clients Choose Bowers Law

At Bowers Law, you can expect a communicative attorney-client relationship in which our experienced attorneys will be by your side through every step of the process. We understand how debilitating car accidents can be, so we focus on the legal issues, leaving you free to focus on physically recovering. When we go to work on your case, we do not simply work to get you compensation. We always strive to win the maximum compensation. Take a look at what some of our previous clients had to say about our services.

Testimonials

Rebecca M.: “I’m extremely happy we found Bowers Law. Their hands-on approach is stellar. Professional, timely, and communicates wonderfully. Jobeth Bowers is always a phone call away and makes time for all his clients no matter the time or day. Although they are known for taking on insurance companies to get the best settlement, this firm also handles business and criminal issues for us. We have referred them to many and will continue to do so. Thank you, Bowers Law!”

Susan L.: “I would highly recommend this law firm. The staff and attorneys are friendly, informative, and easy to deal with. They work hard for you, and there is little you have to do yourself. This was a fantastic experience, and they received a ton of stress handling my case. I plan to use them in the future and recommend them to others, as well.”

Sheena C.: “My case was handled very professionally and at a great pace. I definitely felt they took in consideration that I’m a single parent and had my best interest at heart. I would definitely recommend Bowers Law, LLC to family and friends.”

Bowers Law Makes Filing an Auto Accident Claim Easy

At Bowers Law, we understand that navigating the Maryland legal system is likely the last thing you want to do after being injured in an accident. That is why we are happy to take care of it for you all while pursuing the maximum amount of compensation, leaving you free to focus on feeling better. Our experienced car accident attorneys have a long history of winning cases for clients throughout the Cecil County and Elkton areas. Get in touch with our team today by calling our phone number at 667-220-6500 or by filling out our online contact form for a free consultation.

Read More About How to Handle Auto Accident Claims in Maryland

Frequent Answered Questions

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer After an Auto Accident?

Hiring a lawyer after an auto accident comes with a wide range of benefits that you would miss out on if you tried to represent yourself or accepted the first settlement the insurance company offered. After all, insurance companies only profit by denying you as much money as they feel they can get away with, and their lawyers will work to dismantle your case. With a lawyer by your side, you can fight back for the compensation you deserve.

  • Experience with court processes and deadlines
  • Will go to court against insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers on your behalf
  • Can collect evidence to strengthen your case, like the accident report and photos from the scene of the accident
  • Knowledge of local laws relevant to your case
  • Experience with assigning monetary values to non-economic damages like pain and suffering
  • Can pursue maximum compensation to cover the full extent of your injuries
What Areas in Maryland Does Bowers Law Service?

Bowers Law serves mainly Cecil County and Elkton in Maryland. We have four offices in Aberdeen, Baltimore, Elkton, and Ocean City.

How Does Maryland Determine Fault in an Auto Accident?

Maryland determines fault in an auto accident by utilizing the pure contributory negligence standard. Under this standard, if you contributed in any way to causing the motor vehicle accident, you will not be able to recover compensation. To eliminate any fault being assigned to you, you must be able to demonstrate that you did not meet the following criteria and that the at-fault party did. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help.

  • The at-fault party had a duty of care to you.
  • They failed to meet their duty of care.
  • You would not have been injured if not for the other party’s failure to meet their duty of care.
  • The other party’s failure to meet their duty of care directly led to the damages that you suffered.
  • The damages you suffered must be demonstrable.
What Are the Main Benefits and Unknown Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer After an Auto Accident?

Aside from the most obvious benefits, hiring a lawyer after an accident will additionally offer several other advantages. In Maryland, there are a number of deadlines for filing certain claims that may be involved in some automobile accidents. Many people are aware of the three-year statute of limitations, but this is not the only important deadline. Claims involving government entities, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for bodily injuries, or claims for certain uninsured motorist situations all carry different and often very specific deadlines. Hiring an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney can assist in properly navigating each and every relevant deadline to make sure that all important recovery rights are explored with your personal injury case.

Jobeth Bowers

Written By Jobeth Bowers

Maryland Attorney Jobeth Bowers is the founder of Bowers Law and a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law

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