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Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuits

by Layla Bryant

Personal injury lawsuits can be an excellent tool in your fight to secure the compensation that you deserve. Unfortunately, there are a lot of laws out there on this specific subject, and some of them will help you and some of them will hurt you. If you are planning on filing this type of lawsuit, then it's crucial that you are familiar with these laws, since they can determine whether your case succeeds or fails. Here are some specific laws that you should read up on if you are planning on filing in Maryland:

The Statute of Limitations

Arguably one of the most important laws to be aware of when it comes to filing a lawsuit is the statute of limitations, which dictates how long you have to file. If you file after this deadline is passed, your lawsuit might be thrown out before it is considered.

When in Maryland, you have 3 years to file, but this period can be extended in exceptional circumstances. For example, if a minor wants to file, the timer usually starts when they legally become an adult.

Damage Caps

When filing, you are probably pretty concerned with the amount of compensation that you will be awarded. After all, you need to cover your medical costs, your lost wages, and potentially even your pain and suffering. However, many states will place caps on those damages, restricting you from asking for too much money.

Maryland takes a rather unique stance on such damage caps, with a cap that changes every year to reflect inflation. These caps apply to non-economic damages, which refers to pain and suffering or loss of companionship. In general, if a damage doesn't directly translate into a specific dollar amount, it falls into the non-economic category.

It should be noted that your economic damages are not limited, including your medical bills and lost wages. Very few states cap those values, so you are protected as far as your financial costs are concerned.

Contributory Negligence

You should also be aware of a very strict policy, which is known as contributory negligence. Many states have very different opinions on how responsibility should be calculated when it comes to a personal injury lawsuit. Some states say that damages should be reduced proportionally to how responsible the plaintiff was for the accident. Others say that the plaintiff should get no money if they were more than 50% responsible. The most extreme states say that an individual should not be allowed to collect any damages whatsoever if they had any responsibility for their injury.

Unfortunately for the plaintiff, Maryland falls firmly into that third category, banning all compensation if the defense can prove that the plaintiff was partly to blame for their injury. 

Consult an accident attorney, such as at Littman & Babiarz Law Office, to assure you fully understand all of the steps and limitations.