How Long After a Car Accident Can I Sue in Maryland?

Car accidents can be life-altering events, causing severe injury, trauma, permanent disability, and death. If another driver caused your car accident in the state of Maryland and you were injured, you have a right to pursue compensation. However, if you don’t file your lawsuit before the state’s statute of limitations is up, the court will likely throw it out.

If you’ve been injured in a Maryland car crash, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file for damages. Over time, eyewitness memories may fade, and you may lose some of your evidence. Although you have three years to file, you should consider filing as soon as possible.

The Damages You Can Claim After a Car Crash

In the state of Maryland, victims in automobile accidents are eligible to receive compensation for any damages that were a result of the accident. In order to do so, you must be able to prove:

  • That the defendant caused the accident through negligence
  • That the accident caused your injury
  • That your damages are a result of this injury

Some of the damages you may be able to claim include vehicular damage or valuable items that were broken during the accident, your medical bills, your lost wages, and any special equipment or modifications you rely on now that you are living with your injury.

About Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Maryland requires its residents to carry a certain amount of personal injury protection insurance, which is commonly known as PIP. In this state, if you are injured your initial damages will be covered by your own PIP policy, which covers both you and your passengers regardless of whether or not you have health insurance.

This kind of coverage has a per-person maximum limit. If your damages exceed the limits of your policy, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit. You may also want to consider getting the maximum of PIP coverage you can afford rather than settling for the minimum as is required by law. Doing so can help you avoid future lawsuits altogether.

Why You Can’t Sue After the Statute of Limitations Is Up

The statute of limitations laws exist to protect the interests of defendants. The longer it’s been since your accident, the less likely your chances are of successfully being able to prove your case. Filing within the statute of limitations ensures that you will still be able to contact witnesses and produce relevant evidence so you can get compensation.

In a lawsuit that involves seeking damages related to a car crash, it is essential that your attorney can demonstrate in the court that the other driver was at fault. There are a number of ways in which the other driver may have caused the accident, including:

  • Running a red light and striking your vehicle
  • Speeding
  • Drinking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Changing lanes without looking
  • Pulling out suddenly at an intersection and hitting your vehicle

After an accident, it is important to contact the police and ensure that proper paperwork is filed that you can provide to your attorney. The same applies to any medical paperwork you received regarding your injuries and follow-up care. It is important to keep your documentation together in a file so you don’t lose anything you’ll need in court.

If you or a loved one has been injured that was caused by another party’s negligence, you have rights under Maryland law. There is no reason you should spend years paying for someone else’s mistake. As long as you file within the state’s statute of limitations, you may not have to.