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Maryland Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Claims

Maryland Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Claims

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the date of the injury. This means that a person has three years from the date of the accident or injury to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages for their injuries. For example, if a person is involved in a car accident and suffers injuries, as a result, they have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. 

However, different types of suits have different statutes of limitations; below, we cover each type of suit you may be involved in and the statute of limitations associated with it. 

Statute of Limitations For Medical Malpractice in Maryland 

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Maryland is five years from the date of injury,  but there are some exceptions. If the injury was not discovered immediately and the person could not have reasonably known, the statute of limitations may be extended. In such cases, the person has three years from the date of discovery of the injury to file a lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death In Maryland

The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Maryland is three years from the date of death. This means that the surviving family members of a person who died as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing have three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations for Criminal Cases in Maryland 

The statute of limitations for criminal cases in Maryland varies depending on the severity of the crime. For most felonies, the statute of limitations is three years. However, for more serious crimes, such as murder, there is no statute of limitations. This means that a person can be charged with murder at any time, regardless of how long ago the crime was committed.

Table Of Common Offenses and The Statute of Limitations Associated in Maryland 

Type of Claim, and Time LimitStatutory Code
Civil Claim – 3 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101
Assault, libel, slander – 1 yearCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-105
Fraud – 3 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101
Battery – 3 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101Ford v. Douglas, 144 Md. App. 620, 623, 799 A.2d 448, 450 (2002)
Judgments – 12 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-102
Written Contracts Under Seal – 12 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-102
Recover Land Trespassed Upon – 20 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-103
Wrongful Death – 3 years from date of deathCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-108
Personal Injury – 3 years from date of injuryCourts and Judicial Proceedings. § 5-108
Written Contract – 3 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101
Oral contract – 3 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101
Medical Malpractice (age 11+) – lesser of 5 years from date of injury or 3 years from date of discoveryCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-109
Trespass – 3 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101
Collection of Rent – 3 yearsCourts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101
Default under a lease contract – 4 yearsCommercial Law, § 2A–506

Credit: The Peoples Law Library of Maryland 

Conclusion

It’s important to note that the statute of limitations may be extended in certain circumstances. For example, if the person responsible for the injury or wrongdoing leaves the state, the statute of limitations may be paused until they return. Similarly, if the victim of the injury or wrongdoing is a minor, the statute of limitations may be paused until they reach the age of majority (18 years old in Maryland). Meaning they have until three years after turning 18 to file suit.

There are also certain defenses that may be raised to the statute of limitations. For example, a person may argue that they were unable to file a lawsuit or criminal charge due to mental incapacity, such as if they were suffering from a severe mental illness. In such cases, the statute of limitations may be extended.

It’s important to keep in mind that the statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible if you believe you have a valid legal claim. If you’re unsure about the statute of limitations for your case, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.

In summary, the statute of limitations in Maryland is a legal principle that limits the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit or criminal charge. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case and can be extended in certain circumstances. Understanding the statute of limitations is important because if a person waits too long to file a lawsuit or criminal charge, they may be barred from pursuing their case in court.