In Maryland, there are certain things you must do to file a personal injury lawsuit, such as meet the state-imposed deadline and file in the correct courthouse. The better you understand the filing process, the more quickly and smoothly you can navigate it. We can answer other questions you might have about your personal injury case in our FAQs, as well.
Identify the At-Fault Party
If you file a lawsuit against the wrong party, they could file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. If this happens after it is too late to sue the correct party, you could be left without any legal remedy to get compensation for your losses.
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Determine the Correct Grounds for the Lawsuit
Most personal injury lawsuits in our state have their basis in the legal theory of negligence. The plaintiff (injured person who files the lawsuit) says that the defendant (person being sued) caused harm to them through a careless act.
In some situations, however, the defendant committed an intentional act, like assault. Other types of personal injury cases include wrongful death, medical malpractice, defective products, dangerous medical devices, and premises liability. Different types of lawsuits could have different procedural rules and substantive laws.
File the Lawsuit in the Correct Courthouse
You will need to figure out where you should file the lawsuit. Maryland law will control this issue. Filing your personal injury lawsuit in the wrong courthouse could result in the dismissal of your case.
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Do Not Miss the Filing Deadline for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
You must file your lawsuit against the right defendant in the correct courthouse and under the correct legal theory before the filing deadline expires. Maryland law will forever bar you from seeking compensation from the at-fault party or their liability insurance company if you miss the statute of limitations.
You must file personal injury lawsuits in our state within three years under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101. If your close relative died from injuries received because of someone else’s wrongful act, whether negligent or intentional, Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904 gives the family only three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
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Make Sure the Defendant Gets Served Properly in Your Personal Injury Case
Maryland’s procedural rules specify how you have to serve someone with court papers after you file a lawsuit against them. If you do not properly serve the defendant, your case could get dismissed. You will need to follow the precise requirements of Maryland law when serving a defendant, as well.
Types of Recoverable Compensation in a Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every personal injury lawsuit is different, so we cannot say how much compensation you could pursue in your case without talking to you and investigating your situation.
We can, however, provide an overview of the common categories of damages people go after in personal injury lawsuits.
- Medical expenses: Typically, people include the bills for the medical treatment of their wounds. These expenses can start with the ambulance and emergency room and continue through the hospital stay, doctor visits, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
- Lost income: After a severe injury, people usually need time to recuperate from their wounds and medical interventions like surgery. If you did not receive your regular paychecks during that time, you can add lost wages to your lawsuit’s prayer for relief.
- Reduced earning capacity: If you still have ongoing problems from your injuries after completing the prescribed medical treatments, and those impairments limit your ability to earn a living, your case could include the category of future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: This category of money damages is for the physical discomfort and emotional distress of the accident and your injuries. This compensation is in addition to the defendant paying your medical expenses.
- Other types of losses: If you have extensive scars or amputation from the accident, you could seek compensation for disfigurement. Some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or chronic depression and anxiety after a crash. If your wounds take away the ability to perform certain activities you used to enjoy, you might have a loss of enjoyment of life.
Of course, you must first establish that the defendant is liable for the accident that harmed you before you can recover compensation from them.
Comply with the Procedural Rules of Personal Injury Litigation in Maryland
There are many additional procedural rules that you must follow in your personal injury case. Maryland courts will hold you to the same rules as an attorney, and they can dismiss your case or refuse to admit your evidence at trial if you do not follow the rules of civil procedure and the rules of evidence.
Proving the Defendant’s Liability
You will need to submit credible evidence that supports your allegations that the defendant caused your injuries through negligence or some other wrongful act. Specifically, you will have to convince the judge and jury that the defendant had a legal duty that they breached, and the breach caused an accident that resulted in physical injuries to you.
You Can Still Negotiate a Settlement After Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maryland
Just because you filed a lawsuit for your personal injury claim, that does not mean that you cannot agree to a settlement of your case. In fact, very few personal injury cases actually go to trial. You can continue negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company throughout the lawsuit.
Your case could settle during any of the pretrial stages or “on the courthouse steps” just before the trial starts.
Getting Help on Your Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuit
We understand that this information can be overwhelming. You should not have to go to law school just because someone else’s carelessness caused you to be injured. Luckily, you do not have to become your own lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer from Jenner Law could handle your case so that you can focus on your health and well-being. We are happy to offer a free initial consultation with no obligation. Simply reach out to us today to get started.