The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Maryland is generally three years. If you’re injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, this means you have three years from the date of your injury (or date of accrual) to file a lawsuit for your damages. If you file a suit after the three-year deadline has passed, your case will probably be dismissed, and you will collect no compensation. Statute of limitations for truck accidents

Filing an Insurance Claim in Maryland

It's important to remember that filing a lawsuit is not your first step after a truck accident. In fact, it’s the last resort in most truck accident cases. Your first step is to file a claim against the insurer of the at-fault driver for your medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, you might then have to file a personal injury claim to collect reasonable compensation. To determine a reasonable settlement amount, however, you must have some idea of what your total medical expenses will be, and you probably won’t know this until you recover.

How an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

  • Work with your doctors to determine your long-term medical expenses
  • Put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering to evaluate your case accurately
  • Make a reasonable demand for compensation from all liable parties
  • Negotiate with the insurer(s) to get a fair settlement
  • File a lawsuit(s) if negotiation is not successful

The steps in the insurance claim process might take some time, especially in a truck accident case because your injuries could be severe, your recovery time could be long, and there could be multiple parties liable for your damages, including the truck driver, trucking company, truck maintenance personnel, or cargo loaders. There might also be a product liability claim if your crash was caused by defective equipment on the truck that hit you.

Because this process could drag on for more than a year, you want to start it as early as possible, so you still have time to file a lawsuit, if necessary, before the statute of limitations runs out. An experienced attorney can expedite this process and get it done more quickly than you could on your own, especially when you’re recovering from injuries. Starting the claims process right away also allows your lawyer to gather evidence such as data from the truck’s “black box” recorder while it’s still available and interview any witnesses to the crash while their memories are still fresh.

Exceptions to the Three-Year Statute of Limitations

There are circumstances under which the statute of limitations might “toll” or pause. If you’re a minor when you’re injured in a truck crash, the statute will toll until you turn 18. If you’re temporarily mentally incapacitated due to the accident, the statute could toll until you’re deemed competent again. If, for some reason, you’re not aware of your injuries immediately after the truck accident, the statute could toll until you’re diagnosed or somehow become aware that you’ve been hurt in the crash. In such cases, it’s vital to have an attorney on your side to handle your case while you’re unable to act on your own behalf.

Help Your Attorney to Help You

If you’re physically able to do so, there are steps you should take immediately after your accident to protect your health and your settlement or personal injury lawsuit.

How You Can Help Your Case

  • Stay at the scene and move to a safe area. 
  • Call 911 to report your accident.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the at-fault driver, but do not discuss the accident or argue about it.
  • Get contact information from any witnesses to the crash.
  • Note the presence of any nearby security cameras that might have footage of the wreck.
  • Take photos of all vehicles involved in the crash, as well as skid marks and other evidence at the scene.
  • When police arrive, give the basic information they require to make an official report, but don’t elaborate or volunteer further information.
  • Don’t admit any fault for the wreck or apologize to anyone.
  • Notify your insurance company of the accident.
  • Consult a truck accident attorney.

Taking these steps will strengthen your case and give your lawyer the best chance to start the claims process in a timely manner and help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident in Maryland?

An experienced truck accident attorney can handle the details of your personal injury case correctly and make sure you meet all deadlines and procedural requirements to seek fair compensation. Contact us online, start a chat, or call us at 301-790-3600 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.