If you were injured in a car accident in Dundalk, Maryland, you have a limited time to file a claim to seek compensation for your accident-related injuries and losses. It is critical that you know the time limit that applies to your case so you don’t accidentally forfeit your right to recover compensation for your injuries. 

Here is what you need to know about the time limits to file a car accident claim in Maryland.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations are laws that dictate when specific legal actions must be taken. There are various statutes of limitations. For example, some states have laws that require prosecutors to file criminal charges within a certain amount of time from the crime being committed. There are also statutes of limitations for filing personal injury claims. 

Statutes of limitations encourage parties to bring claims when cases are fresh. Over time, evidence can be lost or destroyed, and witnesses’ memories can fade. Statutes of limitations ensure that cases are brought when reliable evidence is available.

If you don’t bring your claim within the statute of limitations that applies to your case, you can lose the opportunity to seek compensation through the courts. This is why it is so critical to work with an experienced Dundalk car accident lawyer who can advise you of the applicable statute of limitations and take action before it is too late. 

How Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim in Maryland?

When people wonder about the deadline to file a claim after a car accident, they often wonder about two separate matters: the deadline to file an insurance claim and the deadline to sue. 

Here is more information about each of these possibilities:

How Long Do You Have To File an Insurance Claim? 

Maryland is an at-fault state for car insurance claims. Therefore, most claims are filed against the at-fault party’s liability insurance provider. Insurance companies will often try to deny or devalue your claim if you wait too long to file your claim. A car accident lawyer can help build your claim so that you have a solid case without jeopardizing your ability to recover compensation. 

If you file an insurance claim with your own insurance company, such as through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you are subject to the terms of your insurance policy. State law also requires that you file a PIP claim within one year of the accident. There may also be time limits for filing a claim against the other driver; get legal advice as soon as you can following an accident.

You might also be wondering about how long the insurance claims process may take. How long can car insurance claims stay open? This depends on a lot of factors. The typical car accident settlement process involves the following steps:

  • Reporting of the accident
  • Assignment of a claims adjuster
  • Vehicle inspection
  • Investigation
  • Review of insurance policy
  • Demand letter
  • Negotiations

The claim can remain open until you have gone through all the steps. Insurance companies are required to conduct a reasonable investigation and avoid unnecessary delays. However, some intentionally take longer as a way to frustrate claimants into giving up on their claim or accepting a low settlement. 

How Long After An Accident Can You Sue?

The next question many people have is how long they have to sue. While most car accident claims are resolved through an insurance claim, if the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, the next option is to sue. This lawsuit must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. 

The statute of limitations in Maryland car accident cases is three years. This means that if you don’t file a lawsuit within three years of the accident date, you can lose your right to recover compensation. If the accident resulted in a loved one’s wrongful death, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of their death.

Have Questions? Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Review

If you were injured in a car accident, you have enough to deal with without having to worry about the legal process of seeking financial recovery. WGK Personal Injury Lawyers can handle your claim while you focus on healing.

For more information contact the Dundalk car accident law firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation.

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers
14 W Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
(410) 220-2179

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers – Dundalk Office
7329 Holabird Ave Suite 3, Dundalk, MD 21222
By appointment only
(410) 970-3080