Maryland Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Maryland is three (3) years (Ref: Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101). 


What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within three years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within three years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration or trial. 


Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the Maryland Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to an Maryland personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Maryland

There are some variations & exceptions to the 3 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Maryland. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 


  • If the injured person is under a legal disability at the time of the underlying accident (he or she is under the age of 18 or has been declared mentally incompetent), the three-year clock doesn't start running until the period of disability ends (meaning the injured person turns 18 or is declared competent). Note that the injured person's imprisonment or absence from the state won't count as a legal disability in Maryland. 
  • Another opportunity to extend the deadline may exist if the defendant (the person responsible for the underlying accident) takes steps to fraudulently conceal his or her liability from the injured person. In this situation, the three-year statute of limitations "clock" won't start running until the injured person discovers, "or by the exercise of ordinary diligence should have discovered" the fraud.

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Maryland statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since it would immediately be dismissed). 

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