Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Maryland
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Maryland, you may be wondering about your legal options. Here’s the good news: You may be entitled to significant financial compensation to help cover the cost of medical expenses, missed wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related losses. However, there are certain deadlines that must be met in order to pursue compensation against the person or party who harmed you. Failure to meet them could bar your right to compensation forever.
You shouldn’t have to worry about filing deadlines when you’re trying to heal. An experienced car accident lawyer in Waldorf, MD at Trollinger Law can handle all aspects of your car accident claim for you. We’ll make sure that all necessary documents are completed correctly and submitted on time. That way, you can focus on what really matters — your health and wellbeing.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Maryland
In Maryland, you have three years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Similarly, the family members of an individual killed in a crash have three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. These are called the statutes of limitations.
Once the time limit expires on an injury claim, you may be unable to file or the court will dismiss your claim entirely. There are certain exceptions in Maryland, such as if the accident victim was a minor or mentally incompetent during the three-year window. In those instances, the clock begins to run when the minor turns 18 or the incompetent person recovers from his or her period of disability.
Maryland Car Accident Laws
Maryland car accident laws enable victims who have been harmed due to another’s recklessness to seek compensation from whoever is at fault for the accident.
Maryland is considered a fault state, which means the driver responsible for your injuries must pay for your expenses, property damage, and related losses. The amount of those damages can reach into the millions of dollars for the most catastrophic injuries. Obtaining full and fair compensation is essential. But in cases where fault is in question, you could easily lose your ability to recover any money under the state’s contributory negligence law.
Maryland is one of a handful of states that uses contributory negligence to assign fault in personal injury cases. Under the law, you will be unable to recover any compensation if you are found to be even one percent at fault for the car accident. With so much at stake, having a skilled injury attorney by your side will be essential.
Here’s why: After your crash, your injury claim will be submitted to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. An adjuster will review your claim and decide whether to pay the claim or dispute it. It’s almost certain that the insurance company will try to push some element of blame onto you. After all, they only need one little percentage point to have your claim dismissed completely.
After a car accident, your claim will be clinging to a very narrow tightrope. Let experience and dedication work for you. Let attorney Matt Trollinger in Waldorf fight so that you are not assigned an unfair portion of the fault and denied compensation altogether.
Car Accident Insurance Claims Process
It’s important to notify your car insurance company promptly after a car wreck. Check your policy carefully to avoid missing any filing deadlines. Keep in mind that you are only obligated to let them know that a crash occurred. Don’t provide any statement or accept a settlement without consulting a knowledgeable car accident lawyer first.
After you file an insurance claim, the adjuster will assess fault and decide whether or not to accept blame and offer a settlement. You should know that any settlement offer will be no higher than the limit listed on the at-fault driver’s policy. It’s also important to remember that the first offer will likely be far below what you truly deserve. Working with a lawyer who can determine the true value of your case can help you secure full and fair compensation.
You are in no way required to accept the first offer if it’s not the maximum amount possible. There’s always room for negotiation. If you believe there’s sufficient evidence to prove you should receive the maximum settlement amount, that’s what you should try to collect.
The financial award comes in the form of damages. There are two main categories:
- Economic damages are actual expenses incurred to treat your injury or repair your vehicle. These can be calculated by compiling medical bills, receipts, wage statements, and other documentation.
- Noneconomic damages are awarded for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of companionship, and other less tangible losses resulting from the wreck.
A successful car accident claim will depend on proving negligence. A skilled lawyer can conduct an investigation to collect the evidence you need to show why you deserve to be compensated fairly for your injuries.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
The moments after a car accident are chaotic. However, there are some steps you can take at the accident scene to protect your legal claim. If possible, you should:
- Check for injuries. Call 911 for emergency help.
- Contact local law enforcement. A traffic crash report can provide valuable evidence about the circumstances of the car accident. Sometimes, the report also includes the officer’s assessment of who is to blame for the car accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Include pictures of the vehicle damage, your injuries, and any other evidence that you think could be relevant.
- Exchange insurance information. Every Maryland driver is required to carry car insurance. Collect the contact information for those companies, including the policy number for the insured vehicle.
- Get the contact information for any witnesses. This can include passengers in the vehicles involved and any other outside individuals who witnessed the crash.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible. Getting prompt treatment will form the basis for any future legal claims.
- Follow the doctor’s orders. If your physician orders you to follow up with physical therapy, a chiropractor, or any healthcare services, go to every appointment. Insurance companies may hire investigators to watch you and make sure that you are truly injured.
- Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. All initial consultations at Trollinger Law are free. There’s no cost to learn your legal options, so you have nothing to lose by calling us to discuss your case.
- Many aspects of car insurance cases are time sensitive. Working with an attorney can save you the hassle of handling these issues on your own. Our legal team can assist with the timely filing of documents, collection of evidence, and represent you at all settlement negotiations. While a settlement is the most likely outcome in car accident claims, Trollinger Law won’t hesitate to take your case to trial if the insurance company won’t pay what you are owed.
When to Contact A Lawyer
You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident. That seems like a cliché answer, but it’s true. Getting an attorney by your side shows the insurance company that you won’t be taken advantage of. It may encourage adjusters to offer better payouts from the start rather than lowball claims that drag out the process further than necessary.
Many clients come to Trollinger Law after their car accident claim has already been denied. The most common reason is lack of evidence showing that the other driver was fully responsible for the crash. We know what it takes to fight back against challenges of fault. Remember, Maryland’s contributory negligence statute means that being even one percent to blame will prevent you from collecting any compensation at all. Hiring a lawyer at the outset can prevent you from accidentally saying something that could hurt your claim.
Hear What Our Clients Have to Say
Client Reviews of Trollinger Law LLC are comments from actual clients about their experiences working with Matt Trollinger, Esq. as their attorney.
“When I was in my car accident I hired him, and am so thankful that I did. He was very knowledgeable, and was willing to take the time answer all of my questions. Not only was he willing but he also had the expertise to answer every question I had, which gave me further confidence in him. His work ethic is top notch, and he was very thorough. He always stayed on top of my case.”
– Nicole, St. Mary’s County
Aggressive Legal Services for Clients in Maryland, Charles County, and D.C.
At Trollinger Law, we know what it takes to get results in auto accident cases just like yours. Our dedicated legal team is committed to fighting for injured victims to recover maximum compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered.
Attorney Matt Trollinger dedicates his entire practice to injury claims. That means that he has the deep knowledge, understanding, and skills required to build a solid car accident claim that withstands challenges from insurance companies and defense attorneys.
At our law firm, you’ll be a top priority. You will receive individualized attention and quality customer service that is tailored to meet your unique needs.
Call or contact us to schedule your free consultation today.