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Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations is a standard period of in which a lawsuit can be filed. In the state of Maryland there is a period of three years from the incident in which you can file a lawsuit. If you have questions about your suit or its timing of filing, contact an attorney for advice. Read the Law: MD Code Courts & Jud. Proc. 5-101
Once you have found out how the “statute of limitations” applies to your case, you need to decide when your right to make the claim for damages in court will expire. In most cases, the statute of limitations time period starts running on the date you were “harmed”. It is like the “sell by” expiration date on a quart of milk. You cannot “sell” your claim to the court after the time period has expired.
For example - You are harmed on August 1, 2006. You consult an attorney and find out that the statute of limitations for your case is 3 years. You will have until August 1, 2009 to file a claim in court. If you file on August 21st and the other side claims that the statute of limitations has “run”, the case is likely to be dismissed. The time frame for you to file your claim has expired.
The date you were “harmed” refers to:
- the date your property was harmed;
- the date that the contract or agreement was broken; or
- the date you were injured.
However, there is an exception to this rule if you did not know that you were harmed. In this case, you are usually allowed extra time to file in court. This extra time is calculated by deciding on which date the statute of limitations period should start. You may have three possibilities. If you think that this might apply to your case, consult with an attorney to decide on the right date.
|Statute of Limitations Start Date: Which one applies to my case?|
|Earliest Possible Date <
||> Last Possible Date|
|The date that you or your property were harmed.||The date the judge says that you should have discovered that you had been harmed (even if you did not know about it).||The date that you discovered that the harm had occurred|
Is this legal advice?
This site offers legal information, not legal advice. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney. The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site. In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”