Dog bites can lead to severe injuries, both physically and emotionally. If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite incident in Maryland, it is important to understand your legal rights and the time limits associated with filing a lawsuit. Alpert Schreyer, LLC is dedicated to helping victims of dog bite injuries navigate the complex legal process. In this article, we will discuss the time limitations and requirements for filing a dog bite lawsuit in Maryland.
Statute of Limitations in Maryland:
In Maryland, like in other states, there is a statute of limitations that determines the time frame within which you must file a lawsuit after a dog bite incident. The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in Maryland is generally three years from the date of the injury. This means you have three years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries, or else you may lose your right to pursue legal action.
Importance of Timely Action:
It is crucial to understand the significance of taking timely action after a dog bite incident. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit can weaken your case, as evidence may disappear, witnesses’ memories may fade, and it becomes more challenging to establish a clear chain of events. Additionally, the sooner you initiate legal proceedings, the sooner you may receive the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations:
While the general rule is that you have three years to file a dog bite lawsuit, there are exceptions that can alter this timeframe. It is always recommended to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your specific circumstances and guide you through the legal process.
If the dog bite victim is a minor:
If the victim of the dog bite is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended. Minors generally have three years from the date they turn 18 to file a lawsuit. However, it is important to remember that waiting until the last minute is not advisable. It is best to consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure all necessary steps are taken within the required time frame.
Government entity as the dog owner:
When the dog that caused the injury belongs to a government entity, such as a police department or a city, county, or state agency, the process and timeline for filing a lawsuit can be different. Special rules and procedures may apply, and there may be shorter time limits to file a claim. It is crucial to consult an attorney who has experience dealing with dog bite cases involving government entities.
Requirements for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Maryland:
In addition to understanding the time limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit in Maryland, it is important to be aware of the requirements and considerations involved in pursuing legal action. Here are some key factors to consider:
Proof of Liability: To have a strong case, you must establish that the dog owner or responsible party was negligent or violated Maryland’s dog bite laws. Maryland follows a strict liability standard, which means that dog owners are generally held responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether the owner knew the dog had aggressive tendencies or previous bite history. However, proving negligence or a violation of dog bite laws can still strengthen your case.
Documentation and Evidence: Gathering evidence is vital to support your claim. This may include photographs of your injuries, the location where the incident occurred, any visible signs of negligence (such as broken fences or lack of appropriate warning signs), and any relevant medical records or bills related to your injuries. Witness statements can also be valuable in establishing liability. It is crucial to collect this evidence as soon as possible after the incident, while the details are fresh.
Seeking Medical Attention: Seeking immediate medical attention after a dog bite is essential for your health and wellbeing. Promptly documenting your injuries and obtaining medical records will not only ensure your well-being but also provide crucial evidence for your case. Insurance companies and courts will often consider the severity and extent of your injuries when determining compensation.
Consultation with an Attorney: Dog bite cases can be complex, and navigating the legal process on your own can be challenging. Seeking legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite cases is highly recommended. They can guide you through the legal process, help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
Out-of-Court Settlement vs. Lawsuit: In many cases, dog bite claims are resolved through negotiation and settlement with the dog owner’s insurance company. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, filing a lawsuit may be necessary. Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite incident in Maryland, it is essential to seek legal representation promptly. At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, our experienced personal injury attorneys are committed to helping dog bite victims pursue justice and obtain fair compensation for their injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case. Remember, time is of the essence, so don’t delay in seeking legal assistance.
Knowing the time limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit in Maryland is crucial for ensuring your rights are protected. Understanding the statute of limitations and any exceptions that may apply is essential to take timely action and increase the chances of a successful claim. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, don’t hesitate to consult the experienced attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC. We are here to guide you through the legal process, fight for your rights, and help you receive the compensation you deserve.