A number of state laws could affect any insurance settlement or lawsuit that arises after a car accident in Maryland. This page provides a guide to all of the Maryland-specific resources available on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, including discussion of car accident laws and auto insurance requirements in the state. We’ll also provide tips on when it may be time to contact a Maryland lawyer for help with your car accident claim.
If you decide to file a third party car insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver after a car accident in Maryland, there are a few state laws you need to be aware of, starting with the time limit for getting a car accident lawsuit started in civil court (called a statute of limitations).
Maryland’s personal injury statute of limitations gives an injured person three years after the occurrence of an injury (the date of the car accident, for example) to get the lawsuit started -- that means filing the initial complaint and summons in civil court.
The three-year deadline is the same whether you are filing a lawsuit for injury, for vehicle damage, or both. You can find Maryland’s personal injury statute of limitations codified at Maryland Courts & Jud. Proc. Code section 5-101.
If you don’t get your complaint filed before the three-year deadline passes, the court will refuse to hear your case altogether. Why does this deadline matter even if you think your case is going to settle? You always want to leave open the option of filing a lawsuit, for leverage in settlement negotiations.
Get details on other Maryland laws that could impact your car accident settlement or lawsuit in our article Car Accident Laws in Maryland.
If you’re filing a lawsuit or seeking a settlement for injury or vehicle damage after a car accident in Maryland, car insurance coverage is sure to play a big role. Here is a quick snapshot of some key Maryland car insurance laws.
Maryland drivers are required to carry at least the following amounts of insurance on any vehicle they own and operate: $30,000 for the injury or death of a single person (yourself, passenger, another driver, pedestrian, etc.), $60,000 total for the injury or death of multiple people in a single accident, and $15,000 for property (i.e. vehicle) damage.
Maryland also requires car insurance policyholders to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) protection.
For more details on car insurance in Maryland, check out our companion article Maryland Car Insurance Rules.
You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for every claim you decide to make after a car accident. Let’s say the other driver’s insurance carrier isn’t disputing that its insured was at fault for the crash, and you didn’t suffer significant injuries. It’s probably fine to handle that kind of settlement yourself, as long as you’re comfortable with the process.
But what if the other driver’s insurer is saying that you caused the car accident, or you suffered serious injuries? In those situations, things can get complicated (not to mention contentious) very quickly, and it may be time to discuss your situation with a local car accident lawyer in Maryland. Remember that most lawyers will take a car accident case on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay unless you receive a successful settlement or court award.
A good attorney knows how to handle the back-and-forth of settlement negotiations with car insurance adjusters, and will make sure your rights are protected at every stage in the claim process, including filing a lawsuit in the Maryland civil court system if that is the right move.