By: Matthew Tievsky
In Maryland, like other jurisdictions, there is a time limit for bringing
a lawsuit. This is called a "statute of limitations." The length
of the limit depends upon what kind of claim you are making in your case.
But in Maryland, there is a general time limit for any act of negligence,
including car accidents caused by negligence.
That time limit is three (3) years. (By way of comparison, in the District of Columbia, the time limit for
an auto accident lawsuit is also three (3) years, and in Virginia the
limit is two (2) years).
There are special cases in which you may be subject to different time limits.
Notably, if the injured party is a minor,
i.e., a person under 18, Maryland provides that the the minor can file a lawsuit
up until three (3) years from the minor's 18th birthday. On the other hand, if you are suing a government employee for
causing a car accident while he/she was driving on the job, although you
still have three (3) years to file a lawsuit, you need to
notify the government of your intent to file a lawsuit even earlier than that. If the driver's
employer is the State of Maryland, you need to notify the State within
one year of the collision. If the driver's employee is a county (or
the city of Baltimore), then you need to notify that local government
within six (6) months of the collision. If you fail to timely notify the
government within these timeframes your lawsuit likely will be dismissed.
(There are some exceptions, which I will not go into right now).
The statute of limitations that apply to auto accident lawsuits are not
negotiable will almost always be strictly enforced. This is why it's
important to promptly retain an attorney if there is any chance you may
bring a lawsuit following your car accident.
If you have questions about the timing of filing an auto accident lawsuit,
you should contact the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman,
Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.