Each year there are hundreds of traffic accidents in the state of Maryland. Many of these accidents involve injury and damages. Drivers, passengers and pedestrians can all become injured during a car accident. Vehicle accidents and settlements require carefully following an established process. In Maryland, circumstances can change for a person if they are found even partially at fault for an accident.
Time Limitations in Maryland
Each state has laws that define the amount of time an individual has to file a lawsuit for damage and injury resulting from a car accident. These laws are often referred to as the “statutes of limitations”. The time limit is determined by the type of case. In Maryland, a person has three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. A property damage lawsuit also has a three-year limitation.
These time limitations only impact lawsuits filed after a car accident. It does not impact the time someone has for filing an insurance claim. It’s important for a person to know the statute of limitations for their case. An insurance company claims adjuster will not have any reason to negotiate with a person who has no standing in the court system. It’s also important to know that traffic accident lawsuits involving government entities follow a different set of rules. In most cases, a vehicle accident involving the government will have an abbreviated statute of limitations. The person filing such a lawsuit needs to be very careful and move quickly when filing their claim.
Each state has their own system for handling situations where there is more than one party is at fault for a traffic accident. These are called “comparative fault rules”. Maryland is one of a small number of states that follow a doctrine known as “contributory negligence”. Contributory negligence is a system that is designed to prevent a person from receiving any type of recovery if they are determined to be at fault for the traffic accident.
This applies in any situation where a person’s carelessness is determined to be what caused the accident. Any amount of carelessness falls under contributory negligence in Maryland. When a traffic accident case goes to court, the judges and juries will follow this law when making decisions. This will most likely result in an insurance claims adjuster offering a payout based on what they anticipate will happen during a court procedure.
In short, contributory negligence designates that a person’s ability to negotiate with an insurance claims adjustor or plead their case to a judge or jury is limited.
Maryland Car Insurance
In Maryland, unless a person has waived their rights when buying car insurance, they can purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP). When a person is in an accident, they can make a PIP claim with their insurance company. With PIP, they do not have to prove who caused the accident. PIP is designed to provide an injured driver benefits much quicker than a liability claim against the driver at fault.
In some cases, legal counsel will advise a person to not present an injury claim until they are completely recovered from injuries. However, an individual is able to submit a PIP claim immediately. They can continue to submit bills for medical expenses and lost income until they have received the maximum amount from policy benefits.
Damage And Injury Claims
Damage and injury claims are often referred to as personal injury claims (PI). This is a person’s claim to be compensated for any injuries or damage they experienced because of another driver’s carelessness. Under Maryland car accident law, damages can include economic and noneconomic losses.
Economic losses could involve medical bills, loss of income or any type of economic loss resulting from the car accident. Noneconomic losses include mental anguish, physical pain, inconvenience, damage to marital relationships, disfigurement and more.
In Maryland, it’s important to be able to prove the other driver’s negligence is what caused a person’s injuries and damages.
Have You Been Involved In A Car Accident In Virginia, Maryland or Washington D.C.?
If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virgnia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to schedule your free case consultation.