How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Baltimore?

Accidents can occur in any location at any time, and they often give rise to personal injury lawsuits. However, if you want to claim compensation for an injury that wasn’t your fault, it’s important to be aware of the rules and regulations that govern the claims process.

One of the most critical factors when determining if you’re eligible to obtain injury compensation is when the incident occurred. This is because there is a time limit, known as a statute of limitations, that prevents you from making a personal injury claim if you wait too long.

What’s the Time Limit on Personal Injury Claims?

In Maryland, there is typically a three-year time limit on personal injury claims, but the clock starts ticking from the date of discovery. In most cases, this means three years from the date the incident occurred, but there are some exceptions to this.

As personal injury lawsuits can be so complex, it’s also advisable to seek help from Baltimore personal injury lawyers sooner rather than later. With expert help, you can determine if you’re eligible to make a claim and, if so, how long you’ve got to take legal action against the person, people, or organization responsible for your injuries.

What is a ‘Date of Discovery’?

The term ‘date of discovery’ refers to the date that the plaintiff knew that they were able to make a claim or the date that a ‘reasonable person would have realized’ they were able to make a claim.

If you were hurt in a car accident, for example, it’s highly likely that the date of discovery would be the same date that the incident occurred, as any reasonable person would know that the car accident could give rise to a personal injury claim.

In cases of medical negligence, however, you might not know that negligence has occurred straight away. If so, the date of discovery may be later than when the negligence actually occurred (although a five-year time limit from the date of the incident will still apply).

What Can You Make a Claim For?

Personal injury claims can arise from a variety of accidents, including slip, trip, and fall injuries or workplace negligence. Road traffic accidents are a primary cause of personal injury claims, simply because there are so many crashes and collisions.

According to the latest statistics, 40,788 people sustained injuries in road traffic accidents in Maryland in just one year and 8,593 of these people were hurt in Baltimore City alone. Although not everyone injured on the roads will necessarily be eligible to make a claim for compensation, the high number of accidents does give you an idea of how common personal injury claims are.

In addition to this, medical malpractice accounts for a proportion of personal injury claims in Maryland too. According to the Maryland Association for Justice, between 600-650 cases are filed in Maryland each year, which means around two cases per day are being made, on average.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There can be exceptions to the statute of limitations when you’re making a claim for a personal injury. If you’re taking action against the state or local government, for example, there are early notice requirements that mean you essentially need to take action within a year of the incident.

While a three-year statute of limitations is generally applied to personal injury claims, it can be advantageous to initiate a claim swiftly following an accident or injury so that you don’t miss out compensation. With help from experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers, you may even receive compensation more quickly than you think!