If my girlfriend was driving a car and someone else hit her from behind in their vehicle, can I sue the person that hit us and my girlfriend’s insurance company?

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If my girlfriend was driving a car and someone else hit her from behind in their vehicle, can I sue the person that hit us and my girlfriend’s insurance company?

What are the statue of limitationsfor this? Can this be done? All occurences happened 2 years ago.

Asked on March 4, 2013 under Accident Law, Maryland

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your girlfriend was the registered owner of the vehicle she was driving, she would file a property damage claim with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.  If the property damage claim is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, your girlfriend would file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.

If you or your girlfriend were injured in the accident, the injured individual(s) would file separate claims for personal injury with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.  You would not sue your girlfriend's insurance carrier.  After completing medical treatment and being released by the doctor or being declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain the medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss. Since two years have elapsed since the accident, medical treatment should have been completed sometime ago. Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the nature and extent of the injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If both you and your girlfriend were injured, you each have separate personal injury claims.  If dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  If an individual's personal injury claim is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or the individual will lose his/her rights forever in the matter.

Maryland has a three year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for personal injury in an auto accident case.  Maryland also has a three year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in an auto accident property damage case.  This means a lawsuit filed in the case must be filed prior to the three year anniversary of the date of the auto accident.

Only one lawsuit would be filed for negligence seeking compensation for both property damage and personal injury.


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