In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is three years, which is the same for all personal injury claims.
Similar to personal injury claims, the damages that can be compensated for in a car accident claim are economic and non-economic. The economic losses include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages and property damages such as car repair costs. The non-economic losses include pain and suffering, which refers to all physical pain, mental anguish and emotional distress suffered as a result of the accident. In addition to these two categories of damages, punitive damages may also be compensated for. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault driver if their recklessness was deemed to have caused the accident.
The first step to take when filing a car accident claim in Maryland is for the plaintiff’s attorney to file a settlement demand package, which includes a demanded amount which is meant to cover for all of the damages suffered, to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. The attorney will also file relevant pieces of evidence such as medical or car repair bills and evidence of lost wages. The insurance company will then send an initial offer for settlement. This offer is usually significantly lower than what is demanded, and the plaintiff’s attorney will begin negotiations with the insurance company. These negotiations usually last a few months before the two parties either reach an agreement or the negotiations fall through. In the case of the latter, the attorney will then file a civil lawsuit. However it is worth noting that a settlement may still be reached before the case is taken to trial, and that the case may also be settled on the day of the trial.
When determining the settlement in Maryland, the insurance company or the court will consider several factors; these include the property damage to the vehicles, severity and extent of injuries, the relation of the accident to the injuries, the credibility of each driver, if the injuries are permanent or temporary, any pre-existing injuries and the time lost from work.
The damage caps put in place by the state of Maryland for personal injury claims also apply for auto accident claims, these caps are for non-economic losses and are at $860,000 as of October 1st 2018.
In a car accident case, it is important for the plaintiff’s attorney to prove that the other party was 100% responsible for the accident, because according to the state of Maryland’s contributory negligence rules, if the victim of an accident is found to be partially at blame for the accident, they may be prohibited from collecting any damages. This is crucial because the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will always try to prove the other person’s responsibility. The other driver’s fault may be proven if they were proven to be a negligent driver, which includes texting and driving, Driving under the Influence (DUI), driving while distracted and driver exhaustion.
If you need a Maryland Car Accident Lawyer to help you with your Car Accident case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland Car Accident Attorneys can help you.