Maryland Personal Injury Settlements: Myths vs. Reality

By Peter DePaolis

Thanks to television courtroom dramas, many people have a skewed perception of how personal injury case work in real life. Usually, there is very little drama. People do not yell and scream at each other in law firm conference rooms or throw chairs at each other during depositions. 

A Maryland personal injury attorney can handle your personal injury claim and go after the compensation you deserve from the negligent person who caused your injuries. Let’s talk about Maryland Personal Injury Settlements: Myths vs. Reality.

Myth Number 1: The Statute of Limitations Does Not Matter if You Prefer to Settle Your Case Rather Than Filing a Lawsuit

This is one of the most dangerous misconceptions about personal injury settlements. Many people do not want to deal with the stress of litigation. They really just want to file a claim and get paid a fair settlement.

Maryland sets a deadline for filing lawsuits seeking compensation for personal injuries. If you miss the deadline, you will lose all rights to go after money damages from the at-fault party for your wounds and other losses. Sometimes, people mistakenly think that this deadline, called the statute of limitations, only matters if they plan to file a lawsuit. 

In reality, if the deadline passes while you are still negotiating with the insurance company and have not filed a lawsuit to protect your right to compensation, the claims adjuster will “ghost” on you. Neither the defendant nor their liability insurance carrier has any legal duty toward you once the deadline passes.  

Myth Number 2: You Have to Go to Trial to Get a Large Settlement

You do not have to go to trial to get a large settlement. Many cases have settled for millions of dollars out of court.

Myth Number 3: You Have to Work with a Lawyer to Get a Settlement

Maryland law does not force you to work with an attorney on your personal injury claim. It can, however, be a wise decision to get a lawyer on board from the very beginning. When you work with a lawyer, you get to focus on getting better and healing from your wounds because your attorney is handling the legal matters. Also, a lawyer can help you avoid some of the pitfalls, like the statute of limitations, that could destroy your case.

Myth Number 4: You Cannot Settle You Claim After You File a Lawsuit

A client might hesitate to file a lawsuit, thinking that doing so means that they pass the point of no return on settling their case. Filing a lawsuit does not mean that you will have to go to trial. In fact, the vast majority of lawsuits, including personal injury cases, settle out of court. Most settle during the pre-trial phase when the plaintiff and defendant gather their evidence and determine the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. 

Still, some cases settle in the middle of trial. Your lawyer might want to file a personal injury lawsuit to avoid problems like the statute of limitations, or because your lawyer knows the insurance company will not take your claims seriously until you file suit. Regardless of the motivation for the filing, negotiations can and likely will continue. You will want to talk to a Maryland personal injury attorney about your personal injury claim before the filing deadline passes. Get in touch with our office today for help with your case. We do not charge for the initial consultation, and there is no obligation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.