Maryland Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a legal term that is used to describe a particular code section that sets a time limit in which a civil claim must be initiated. The statute of limitations must always be considered when bringing a personal injury claim, and anyone who is seeking to bring a claim should make sure to consult with a personal injury attorney who can guide them and ensure they act in a timely manner.
Calculating the Statute of Limitations
Typically, the statute of limitations for a claim begins when the incident occurred. For example, when a civil claim stems from a motor vehicle accident, the statute of limitations begins on the day the accident occurred, but there are some exceptions to this.
Discovery of Harm Rule
The discovery of harm rule is an exception to the strict tabulation of the statute of limitations. The discovery of harm rule describes the situation where a person does not discover malpractice or negligence by another until sometime later. Therefore, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the harm is in fact discovered.
The most common example of this rule involves medical malpractice where the malpractice may occur but not be discovered until some time significantly later. In this instance, a person may demonstrate that they were unaware that the malpractice occurred until it was discovered at a later date. This is typically referred to as the discovery rule involving a statute of limitations.
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Maryland is three years and all cases must be fully resolved within the three-year period.
Claim Adjusters and the Statute of Limitations
The best way for an injured person to ensure that a claims adjuster does not ruin their opportunity to collect in a personal injury case is to retain an attorney.
An attorney will work on behalf of their client in order to help them retain as favorable a recovery as possible. Claims adjusters may seem cooperative and willing to help an injured person. However, it is important to remember that their interest does not lie with the injured person. Their interest is with their employer, the insurance company.
Therefore, a claims adjuster may be willing to negotiate with the injured person up until the time of the statute of limitations but once the statute of limitations expires, the claims adjuster will no longer negotiate with the injured person and will simply close their claim file.
Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney in Maryland
Anyone who has been injured due to the negligence of another should contact a Maryland personal injury attorney. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help the person understand how the claim process works and also understand any applicable statute of limitations that may apply to his or her claim. It is important to be aware of when the statute of limitations begins, and how long it extends for, so that the injured party does not miss their chance to make a claim. Promptly consulting with an attorney can ensure that this does not happen.