You may have heard that in criminal law, there are time periods within which a prosecutor might bring charges against a defendant for any particular crime. These time periods are known as statutes of limitations. The same principle applies to personal injury cases. Since there is a deadline to file a personal injury claim, it’s best to go to a personal injury law firm located in Baltimore as soon as possible after the incident occurred. Doing so will preserve your legal right to have a personal injury attorney help you seek justice.
Defining the Statute of Limitations
In many states, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is set at two years. However, Maryland allows most civil tort cases to be filed no later than three years from the start of the time period. In some cases, the deadline is shortened to one year. This applies to allegations of intentional personal injury, such as assault, rather than damages caused by negligence. If you do not act within this time period, you may forfeit your right to have a personal injury attorney file a claim on your behalf.
Establishing the Start of the Time Period
One step your personal injury lawyer will take is to determine when the statute of limitations for your case should have begun. In most cases, the statute of limitations logically begins from the date of the incident. For example, if you were struck by a car on January 1, 2016, the statute of limitations would begin on that date and run for three years before expiring. However, plaintiffs in personal injury cases do not always identify their losses on the same day during which they occurred. For instance, you may have slipped and fallen on someone else’s property. You may have thought you were fine initially, but then later you developed symptoms of a concussion. It is possible that the statute of limitations would begin on the date that you could reasonably expect to know that your symptoms were caused by the incident. However, it’s always best to consult an attorney at law sooner, rather than later, given that personal injury cases can take time to build.