Limitations on Maryland Car Accident Claims
Even when you practice safety precautions behind the wheel and drive defensively, statistics on car accidents reveal that other motorists are not quite so careful. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MD DOT), there are more than 115,500 total motor vehicle crashes across the state every year. Around 42,100 of these collisions occur in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, and about 25 percent of them cause at least one fatality or injured victim.
If you were affected by a car accident, it is a relief to know that you have options under Maryland law. Injured victims can recover compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and many other losses. Survivors who lost a loved one also have rights through a wrongful death claim. However, the laws do impose some limitations on your claim that you should understand. Your Owings Mills car accident lawyer will explain these concepts in more detail, but a summary is useful.
Statute of Limitations: One law that could impact your right to seek compensation is the statute of limitations in Maryland, which is three years for auto collision cases. You must file a lawsuit in court within three years after the crash, or your claim is forever barred. There are some exceptions, and one that often arises in car accident cases is the deadline for children to sue. For minors, the statute of limitations is tolled and does not begin to run, until the victim reaches the age of 18 years old.
Contributory Negligence in Maryland: All US states have a rule that focuses on the victim’s conduct in an accident, and these laws have different effects on compensation. Just a few states follow the rule of pure contributory negligence, and Maryland is one of them. If your negligent actions played a role in causing the traffic collision, you are barred from recovering any compensation. Many other states have laws that reduce the victim’s damages, based upon a percentage of fault. Maryland’s contributory negligence law is harsh, but it is possible to overcome it with the proper strategy.
Statutory Cap on Certain Damages: There are two types of compensation available in a car accident claim, and economic damages are your tangible, out-of-pocket losses. Noneconomic damages are those that affect quality of life, so they are personal and subjective. In Maryland, there is a limit on noneconomic damages, also called pain and suffering:
- Until September 30, 2023, the cap is $920,000.
- On October 1, 2023, the statutory cap on noneconomic damages increased to $935,000.
- For wrongful death claims, the limit is $1.38 million, going to $1,402,500 on October 1.
Our Maryland Car Accident Attorneys Will Tackle Challenges
These limitations on your auto crash claim are important to know, so it is important to have legal counsel who will maximize your compensation. For more information, please contact Furman | Honick Law to set up a free case review at our offices in Owings Mills or Baltimore, MD. You can call 410-844-6000 or visit our website to speak with an experienced Maryland car accident lawyer.