Can you file a negligence claim after you have been injured? The short answer is yes, but first it is important to understand a few important details about how the process works.
Personal Injury and Negligence Claims Have Statutes of Limitations
For many personal injury cases in Maryland and surrounding areas, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of injury, or 3 years from the date on which you knew or should have known about your injuries.
Simply put, if you have an injury caused by the negligence of an individual or business, you typically must file a court case to claim damages within three years from the time the injury happened.
What Happens If You File A Negligence Claim After Three Years?
For almost all negligence cases that are filed after three years from the date of injury, the court will not allow the case to be heard. However, there are some situations in which a victim may file a claim outside the typical three-year statute of limitations. Those include:
- When the victim did not know he/she was injured. In some situations, the victim may not immediately know she was injured, and the court MAY allow the case to be heard. In these instances, courts look to when the individual should have known about the injury, and courts MAY permit a case to be brought after three – years from the date of loss.
- When the injured party is a minor. The court may make an exception to the statutes of limitations until the minor becomes an adult. It is rare, but that exception has occurred.
If you have questions about the statute of limitations for a personal injury or negligence claim, you should discuss the details of your case with a personal injury lawyer.
There Are Gray Areas
Maryland Courts understand there are issues that may make filing a personal injury lawsuit impossible within the three-year statute. An example would be a medical malpractice case where the person is injured but not aware of the injury until after the statute of limitations has expired.
In Maryland medical malpractice cases – you have five years to file a negligence case claim, or three years after the date you knew you were injured, whichever comes first.
With all types of personal injury or negligence cases, you should discuss your case immediately with a personal injury attorney. The process allows you to understand all of your rights and any timelines that are important to your case. Do not wait to reach out to an experienced law firm, like The Jaklitsch Law Group, after an accident or injury.