For those who are eligible to seek compensation after a Maryland car crash, the statute of limitations is a critical date to remember. However, there is often a lot of confusion about this legal deadline for filing a car crash claim, including what it is, and when and how it applies.
At Goldberg Finnegan, we are always ready to answer your legal questions after a car crash caused by another’s negligence. Call our law offices today to learn more and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
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What is Maryland’s Statute of Limitations for a Car Crash Claim?
The statute of limitations – or deadline – for filing a car crash claim in Maryland is three years from when your motor vehicle accident occurred. The clock begins ticking that same day. If you do not file your claim against the at-fault driver within that three-year period, your claim will be dismissed. You will not be able to seek compensation for the damages you sustained.
If you miss the statute of limitations and attempt to file a claim, it will be dismissed by the courts. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney as soon after your car crash as possible. Having a qualified attorney handle your claim from the beginning helps to ensure no deadlines are missed and that your legal interests are protected.
Are There Exceptions That May Impact the Filing Deadline?
There are a few exceptions to Maryland’s statute of limitations that could impact your filing deadline, including:
- Minor child is the injured party: The statute of limitations for minor children is tolled (paused) until their 18th birthday, and the deadline is then three years from that date, when they reach 21.
- The victim has catastrophic injuries: Some accident victims suffer either physical or mental incapacitation in a collision, making them unable to file a claim. Their statute of limitations may be tolled until they are mentally and physically able to pursue a claim.
- Delayed discovery of an injury: Rarely, some injuries may reveal no serious symptoms until weeks later, such as with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). If it can be proven that the TBI occurred in the car crash, the statute of limitations would be based on the date that injury was discovered. However, if the injured victim did not seek medical attention immediately after the crash, it could be difficult to prove. The other side will argue that the injury could have happened elsewhere.
Facts and Misconceptions
Accident victims and policyholders in general may have a lot of misconceptions about what the statute of limitations means in a car crash claim.
Here is clarification on some of the most common misunderstood facts about the statute of limitations:
The Statute of Limitations is the Total Time Limit for Your Claim
This is probably the biggest misconception about the statute of limitations in a car crash claim. However, it is an inaccurate statement. The statute of limitations has no bearing on how long it can take your car accident injury claim to conclude. The end date a car crash case may conclude is unique and varies from case to case. There are many contributing factors that impact the end date of a claim, such as how long it takes a victim to reach his or her maximum recovery point.
Multiple Statutes of Limitations May Apply to a Claim
You will not have multiple statute of limitations if you file a car crash claim. However, many accident victims may confuse the deadline for notifying their insurance company with the statute of limitations for filing a claim. These are two different deadlines.
The timeline for notifying insurers about an accident varies by company. You can get this deadline by reviewing the terms of your policy or calling your insurer directly. It is easier to get this information ahead of time, rather than waiting until you have an accident.
Call Our Law Firm for Help with Your Car Crash Claim
At Goldberg Finnegan, we have extensive knowledge about Maryland laws, and we have been handling car crash claims for decades. Our qualified auto accident lawyers in Silver Spring can help determine if you have a valid claim and what statute of limitations may apply to your situation.
Schedule your free legal consultation today to get started. We have recovered more than $130 million for our clients, and we are prepared to work hard to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. There are no upfront costs or fees when you hire our services. We do not get paid unless you do.