Just South of the Mason-Dixon Line lies Maryland, home of America's Navy, the first cathedral in the United States, and Babe Ruth. If you or a loved one was injured in the Old Line State, the state's strict contributory negligence law could leave you without recourse. Whether you were left without companionship, caused distress, or simply left in agony, we have compiled the information below to help you determine whether you may be entitled to recover pain and suffering damages in Maryland.
The chart and accompanying explanations below offer more details on pain and suffering damages in Maryland.
Statute of Limitations
• 3 years for most civil claims (Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101)
• 1 year for assault, libel, or slander (Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-105)
• 5 years from injury or 3 years from discovery for medical malpractice (Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-109)
• 10-20 years from the date first available for use for construction defect liability (Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-108)
• No pain and suffering in Worker's Comp Claims (Maryland Worker's Comp Info)
• $500,000 + (number of years since 1994 X $15,000) limit on non-economic damages (Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 11-108)
• Not using a seatbelt or children's carseat is not contributory negligence (Md. Code Ann Transp. § 22-412)
• Contributory Negligence (Board of County Comm’r of Garrett County v. Bell Atlantic, 695 A.2d 171 (Md. 1997))
Pain and Suffering Damages
The legal system calls them economic losses, monetary damages, or pecuniary losses. You call them "that stack of bills in the corner that is going to max out my credit card." But what about your emotional distress over the loss of your loved one? Or your mental anguish over the loss of your hand? Even the loss of companionship you suffer after the death of a loved one is potentially compensable as pain and suffering damages.
Pain and suffering damages are available if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, or another incident. Like most states, pain and suffering damages are not available in workers' compensation cases. In wrongful death claims and claims against drug dealers, Maryland law specifically allows for damages to be awarded for non-pecuniary losses, including:
Maryland not only has time limits—also known as statutes of limitations—on how long you can wait to file a claim, the limits are based both on the date of injury and on the date or discovery, whichever is shorter. For instance, if your injury was the result of a medical professional's mistake, you have 5 years from the injury or 3 years from the date you discover the injury. Additionally, the time limits change if you are under 11 or you are under 16 and the injury you suffered was to your reproductive system or was caused by a foreign object negligently left in your body.
If you were injured by defective construction, the time you have to file a claim is between ten and twenty years depending on who your claim is against.
Maryland capped non-economic damages at $500,000 at of October, 1994, but the limit increases by $15,000 ever year on October 1. As of October, 2016, the limit was rs since 1994 X $15,000) limit on non-economic damages $830,000. If there is more than one person suing for wrongful death for the same person, then the total non-economic damage award is limited to 150% of the standard limit. As of October, 2016, that limit was $1,245,000.
Contributory Negligence and Other Bars to Recovery
Maryland is one of the few states which continues to use the antiquated contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, an injured party who is even 1% at fault or her own injuries is barred from recovering any damages. However, by law it is not contributorily negligent to fail to comply with the seatbelt and carseat safety laws.
Get a Claim Review from a Maryland Injury Attorney
Maryland certainly does not make it easy on injury victims. Between the annual changes to the caps for pain and suffering damages and the harsh contributory negligence rule, recovering damages for your injuries can feel like a herculean task. Rather than sorting through complicated caps and limits, speak to a skilled Maryland attorney today for an evaluation of your claim.
Contact a qualified attorney.