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Maryland personal injury law offers causes of action that allow plaintiffs to receive compensation for injuries caused by the intentional conduct or negligence of another. However, these options are not around forever. There are time limits called a statute of limitations that limit when you can bring an action and recover damages. You need to be aware of these laws so you can act quickly to address your rights.
DuBoff & Associates handles every case with the statute of limitations in mind so all steps are completed on time. Hiring an attorney is the best way to avoid losing a case due to missing this vital deadline.
Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the date of injury. For example, if another driver sideswipes your vehicle on July 7, 2017, you have until July 7, 2020 to file a lawsuit. This also applies to other types of personal injury cases including premises liability (slip and fall), product defects, and dog bites. The day of the slip and fall, dog bite or discovery of a product defect is the first day the statute of limitations begins to accrue.
If you sustain injuries arising from an intentional assault, your statute of limitations drops to one year. This is due to the fact that this very personal crime often shows its impacts immediately. Most people do not wait long to pursue damages in these instances, especially if they feel they did nothing to provoke it or if criminal charges arise against the other party. So, if instead of an accident, you are attacked in a bar fight on July 7, 2017, you will have until July 7, 2018 to file a legal action.
Other matters are more complex. Medical malpractice has two statutes of limitations. You must either file a lawsuit within three years of discovering the injury or five years from the date of injury, whichever is earlier. Basically, you have two years to realize that medical treatment caused physical damage and three years after that to act in civil court.
Another complex area includes injuries arising from child sex abuse. An April 2017 law extended the statute of limitations to 20 years after the victim reaches the age of majority, unless the perpetrator is successfully convicted. If that occurs, the statute of limitations decreases to three years after the date of conviction. This includes actions against any third parties who may have been negligent in allowing the abuse to occur.
Statutes of limitations exist for every cause of action from trespass to breach of contract. Maryland negligence law contains statutes of limitations to promote fairness. It does not serve justice if a defendant has a claim hanging over their head indefinitely, so there is a deadline for when a plaintiff can bring damages. Prescribed limits allow a plaintiff time to fully assess damages and make a decision on how to proceed while also allowing a defendant to be relieved of responsibility if a plaintiff decides not to act.
Think of a statute of limitations as a strict timeframe to decide how you wish to address damages. The clock starts ticking on the date of your injury and counts down from there. Failure to act in a timely manner waives your rights to compensation. If you think you may have a personal injury claim, the first thing to realize is you do not have forever to act on it.
While this may appear to give you plenty of time, three years concludes quickly. During that time, you are likely completing medical treatment and attempting to return to your normal routines. If you are struggling at work or facing family difficulty as a result of injuries, it is easy to become distracted and fail to act on time. The more serious your injuries, the more difficult it is to follow up on what you deserve.
That is why it is important to see an attorney after suffering a personal injury. You may decide to not pursue a claim but it will at least be an informed decision, not one made from neglect or haste. DuBoff & Associates works throughout Washington D.C. and all of Maryland, including Washington, Howard, Calvert, Charles, and Kent counties, to support the rights of personal injury victims. Contact us online or call (301) 495-3131 to schedule a consultation.
A vast majority of personal injury cases settle before trial. If evidence strongly indicates one party was negligent and a plaintiff suffered wage loss, pain and suffering, and high medical expenses as a result, there is no reason an insurance company wants to risk losing at trial.
However, not all cases are cut and dry. It may take more time to settle your case if it has unique elements or disputed questions of fact. At DuBoff & Associates, we never make promises as to when a case will conclude until we fully evaluate your situation. Here is what goes into settling a matter.
The human spine is an intricate network of small bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other. Each vertebra has two joints on the posterior side that connects the vertebrae together forming a column. The spine extends from the base of the skull and through the neck (the cervical spine), between the shoulder blades (the thoracic spine), and though the lower back, ending at the tailbone (the lumbar spine). While the spine acts at the central support for the body, it also houses the spinal column which is part of the central nervous system. All neural activity and impulses spend time in this area, whether transmitted or received. When there is trauma to this area, such as with degenerative disc disease, it can cause a great deal of problems.
Claims against large corporate entities arise for many reasons, but mainly because underpaid and overworked staff tend to be apathetic about maintaining safe conditions. Lawsuits range from slip and fall cases to product liability. There are many opportunities to get hurt in these stores but that does not mean you should avoid pursuing compensation.
The most common cases Walmart and Home Depot involve premises liability. These are frequently referred to as “slip and fall” claims since most of them involve a customer falling after walking over a wet floor or tripping over damaged terrain. Falls are especially devastating with older customers and damages can be high.
Premises liability also applies in cases involving unsecured merchandise. Home Depot with its high shelves and frequent unsettling is especially vulnerable. Customers may suffer an impact from a falling item. Head injuries and soft tissue pain are the usual results.
While considerably less common, distributors can be held liable for defective products that cause injury. This often arises because they fail to respond to a recall or maintain a product in stock despite complaints. These cases do not occur often because most retailers, including Home Depot and Walmart, do not want to deal with the bad press associated with dangerous products.
Both Home Depot and Walmart lost claims arising from product liability. While these results are not typical, they show how courts assess these claims. The most notable cases against these entities include:
Even with these successful verdicts, it is difficult to prove liability against big box stores. Store management and employees may receive the benefit of the doubt, especially if no one alerted them to the dangerous condition.
Theories of liability involve showing that store owners were negligent in any of the following ways:
If you are injured because a Walmart or Home Depot location was negligent, you need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney at DuBoff & Associates. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
It is no secret that driving a vehicle comes with some inherent risks and dangers, but unfortunately, many people panic and become unsure of what to do following an accident. It is crucial to find an experienced car accident attorney when you’re struck by another vehicle, but you can’t complete this step until you know what to expect immediately following an accident.
One type of collision, side-impact car accidents, tends to cause more severe property damage and injuries than any other type of crash. Generally speaking, side-impact car accidents are deadliest because there is little to no protection in the areas where vehicles are struck in these collisions. Additionally, these types of accidents are typically the result of a serious traffic violation on behalf of at least one of the vehicles. While rear-end collisions may occur in heavy traffic due to a momentary lapse of attention, it requires a significant amount of negligence to cause a side-impact collision.