Personal injury is a broad area of law, with different situations requiring the implementation of very different sets of laws. Therefore, if you ever need to file a lawsuit, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney in Baltimore who understands the laws applicable to your particular case. Here is a small guide to help you understand the basics of personal injury laws.
Maryland State Limitations Act
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is three years from the date the cause of action arose. So, if you have an accident in Baltimore, the clock starts ticking from the date of the accident. But if a person dies after the accident, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of death and not from the date of the accident. If you do not file a lawsuit before that time, your case will be dismissed.
If any government entity or employee is a defendant in your personal injury case, you will need to provide notice of claim to the entity within one year of the injury. This notice period is reduced to six months for claims against local government entities such as the City of Baltimore. If you fail to submit a notice within the specified time, you will not be allowed to submit an application A lawsuit against the government.
In medical malpractice cases, victims have a slightly longer statute of limitations if the injury is not discovered right away. You can file a lawsuit within three years from the date the injury was discovered. However, in all cases, it may not be delayed for more than five years from the date of the injury.
Maryland Personal Injury Damage Caps
Maryland law does not apply any cap on Economic damages In cases of personal injury. This means that you can recover the full amount for your medical care, income losses, property damage, and every other economic loss caused by the defendants’ negligence.
But state law has set maximum limits for non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical disability, etc. Baltimore personal injury attorneys can help you determine how much you’re entitled to claim as non-economic damages, but here are the caps that will apply to your final claim amount in 2023.
- Non-medical personal injuries. The limit for personal injury cases other than a medical malpractice lawsuit is $920,000. This value increases each year by $15,000 and will be $935,000 as of October 1, 2023.
- Non-medical error Manslaughter. The current maximum for wrongful death by negligence other than medical malpractice is $1.38 million. It also increases every year and will be $1.40 million as of October 1, 2023.
- Medical errors and personal injuries. The current maximum non-economic damages in these cases is $875,000. The value increases slightly at the beginning of each year.
- Medical error, manslaughter. The maximum non-economic damages for medical malpractice causing wrongful death in 2023 is $1,093,750. This value increases slightly every year.
Dog bite claims
If your dog hurts someone or damages property in Maryland, it is your responsibility to pay for the damage. The law assumes that you should have known that your dog was dangerous and capable of causing harm.
However, you will not be liable under Dog bite law If the person injured or who has suffered property damage is:
- committing or attempting to trespass on your property or any other criminal offence;
- commit or attempt to commit a criminal offense against you or
- Harass, torture, abuse, or provoke your dog.
Detecting fault and defining negligence
Maryland is a state at fault. That is, if you can prove that you were harmed by someone’s negligence, they are obligated to compensate you. To prove negligence, the following must be shown:
- The defendant owes a duty of care to you.
- The defendant breached the aforementioned duty by acting in a certain way.
- This action resulted in your injury.
- You were harmed as a result of the defendant’s action.
Besides proving the negligence of the other party, you will also need to ensure that your negligence did not contribute to the accident. This is because Maryland applies the rule of joint negligence to determine the amount of compensation.
According to this principle, if you are even 1% responsible for causing the action that led to the injury, you will not be eligible for any compensation.
How can a lawyer help you?
Consulting an attorney is generally a good idea if you sustain a personal injury in Maryland. Your lawyer can explain to you the laws that apply to your case and determine the amount of the claim you are entitled to.
When you find a good personal injury attorney in Baltimore, your chances of getting a positive outcome easily multiply. Your attorney handles all the legal work from filing the case, serving the necessary notices, identifying all the accused, to gathering evidence and preparing a strong case.
They also negotiate with the insurance company and ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation. But if no settlement is reached, they represent you at trial and fight for what you deserve.