Can I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit At Any Time In The State Of Maryland?In each state, there are deadlines to file almost every lawsuit. If these deadlines pass, you will be "barred" (that is prohibited) from filing your case and, in the case of personal injury, barred from recovering damages.
These deadlines are known as "statutes of limitations". These limitation periods differ depending on the personal injury involved. In Maryland, most injury lawsuits based upon negligent conduct is 3 years; for most intentional torts (e.g. libel, slander, fraud), it is 1 year.
Maryland law allows 5 years for medical malpractice actions to be filed, or 3 years from the date of the discovery of the injury (as medical personal injuries are sometimes not known until later years). This 3 year period is known as the "discovery rule". For example, in the case where a doctor leaves an object in a person's body during an operation, that person has the lesser of 3 years from the date of discovery, or 5 years after the surgery, to file a lawsuit.
To avoid the harsh result of a statute of limitations you (or your personal injury lawyer) can argue that the statute of limitations has been "tolled." This means that something has stopped the statute from running for a period of time. For example, a statute of limitations may be tolled because the victim of the injury was a minor at the time that the injury occurred. In Maryland, with the exception of medical malpractice, a minor must file suit within 3 years of their 18th birthday or within the time set in the particular statute of limitations, whichever comes first. For medical malpractice cases involving minors under 11 years of age, the statute of limitations begins to run on the minor's 11th birthday. For injuries to the reproductive system of a minor under the age of 16, or for injury caused by a foreign object negligently left inside the minor's body, the statute of limitations begins to run on the minor's 16th birthday.
If you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you must keep in mind the time period in which you have to sue. If the applicable statute of limitations is coming up and you have not decided, it would be advisable to consult with an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer.
For more information on Maryland personal injury accidents, click on the following articles: