As of March 2023, there have already been 92 fatal car accidents in the State of Maryland just this year. Those car accidents have claimed 102 lives:
- 58 drivers;
- 19 passengers;
- 22 pedestrians;
- 2 bicyclists; and
- 1 fatality not yet determined.
This is according to data reported to the Maryland State Police and summarized by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office. At this rate, Maryland car accident fatalities in 2023 will match the total number of car crash fatalities recorded in the State for each of the past five reporting years:
- 2021: 524
- 2020: 546
- 2019: 496
- 2018: 485
- 2017: 518
Of the total number of car crash fatalities that occur in the entire State each year, on average, 2.5% of the fatal crashes occur in Carroll County.
Crash data statistics for Carroll County, compiled by the Maryland Department of Transportation and summarized in the chart below, reveal that there are nearly 2,000 car accidents every year in Carroll County. About 73% of those accidents result in property damage; 26% result in injuries; and 1% of the accidents include at least one fatality.
As soon as these accidents occurred in Carroll County, every person involved who was killed, injured, or suffered property damage had a limited amount of time to file a claim to be compensated for their losses. This is because of a rule of law called the “Statute of Limitations,” which applies in every state.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is simply a deadline for filing a legal claim. Every state sets a time limit on how long you can wait after a car accident before you must file a claim in court if you want to be compensated for your injuries. If you do not file your claim within this limited period of time, you may be barred from ever being able to sue the driver who caused your accident.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Maryland?
The deadline for filing a car accident claim in Maryland is three years. This means that you have three years from the date of your accident to file a document in court claiming financial compensation for your losses. Once you file your claim on time (before the three-year statute of limitations runs out), you may take time to negotiate a settlement with the other party or prepare for trial if you cannot reach a settlement. Negotiating and litigating a car accident case is not easy, however. As soon as possible after your car accident, you should hire an experienced car accident attorney to handle your case and make sure you file your claim on time.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to File My Car Accident Claim on Time?
You may think that three years is plenty of time to resolve a car accident claim. But it is not always easy. Handling a car accident claim in Maryland can be a long and difficult process. Not only may you be trying to recover from your injuries, but you have to:
- Obtain police reports;
- Locate and interview witnesses;
- Obtain and evaluate medical records; and
- Collect all the relevant evidence to prove:
- Who caused the accident;
- What injuries you suffered;
- What expenses you incurred;
- What property damage you sustained;
- What financial losses you anticipate experiencing in the future; and
- The proper value of all your damages.
Once you have established all your evidence, you still have to:
- Negotiate with difficult insurance companies; and
- Settle your case; or
- Prepare for a trial in court.
All of this should be done before you file your claim in court. And all of this takes time—weeks, months, or possibly years—even for lawyers who are trained to handle car accident cases. If you try to handle your car accident case yourself, you could easily miss your deadline for filing your claim and lose your one opportunity to obtain compensation from the party responsible for your losses.
Don’t Let the “Statute of Limitations” Limit Your Right to Full Compensation
If you were injured in a car accident in Carroll County, Maryland, or anywhere in the State, your time clock for filing a car accident claim has already begun ticking. If you delay, your time may quickly run out.
Don’t let that happen.
The personal injury lawyers at Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP, have years of training and experience handling car accident cases. We know how complex proving fault in a car accident can be. We understand how difficult it is to collect evidence that supports your case. We recognize how long it can take to obtain medical records. And we are well aware of how frustrating it can be to negotiate with insurance companies. We understand what you are up against. That is why we want to help.
If you were involved in a car accident within the last three years, you may still have time to file a claim for damages. Call the attorneys at Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP. We will act immediately to assess your case and make sure your claim is filed within the statute of limitations. Call us today, while you still have time.