Maryland state laws specify that there is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. However, the “Discovery of Harm Rule” sets aside the three-year period to file a claim. This then allows the individual to begin their three-year countdown from that date that they actually discovered, or should have reasonably known about, their injury.
This rule is highly beneficial to individuals who have been injured by medical malpractice when the extent of their injuries does not fully become known until a significant amount of time later. Because injuries are often not discovered right away, and sometimes not even until after the victim of negligence has passed away, this legal provision is advantageous for those who need to file a legal action in regard to the malpractice but have not met the three-year limitation.
If you have questions regarding the “Discovery of Harm Rule” and survival actions, contact our law offices by calling (410) 484-0400 and scheduling an appointment to speak with a member of our legal team who will be happy to assist you by answering any questions that you may have.
How Can the “Discovery of Harm Rule” Help Me With a Survival Action Claim?
In Maryland, survival actions may be brought by the deceased victim’s estate when making a claim for medical malpractice when the cause of harm was not immediately known. This provision allows for more time to be granted in order to prepare a wrongful death claim.
Essentially, the decedent’s family members are filing a lawsuit alleging that harm or injury was sustained by their loved one before they died. Again, this is helpful as it basically resets the clock on the three-year statute of limitations that are placed on personal injury and wrongful death claims in Maryland.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in Survival Claims?
One of the most critical issues to keep in mind when it comes to survival claims is that any damages recovered are supposed to be for the pain and suffering that the decedent experienced before they died. For instance, if their death was instantaneous, a majority of survival actions will not be recoverable per the limitations stipulated within the law.
However, the law will permit the estate of the decedent to recover the following damages:
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages that the deceased suffered between the time of their injury and time of death
- Medical expenses that were incurred by the decedent between the time of their injury and the time of death
- Non-economic damages are those sustained by the decedent between the time of their injury and their time of death. These can include pain and suffering, physical impairment, and mental anguish.
- Punitive damages, if allowed based on the circumstances that surround the case
Why Should I Hire an Attorney to Help Me With a Survival Claim?
The laws surrounding the Discovery of the Harm Rule and survival actions can be extremely complicated. If the medical malpractice claim involves a government entity, the statute of limitations, even with the Discovery of Harm Rule, provides a shorter window of time in which you are permitted to file a survival action claim.
Even if you are eligible to file a survival action invoking the Discovery of Harm Rule, it is best not to wait too long to do so. The judicial system can be terribly slow, and it may take a significant amount of time for a lawsuit to make its way through the court system.
If you believe that your loved one who has passed away was injured and subsequently died from the injuries that they sustained from medical malpractice, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Contact our legal offices by calling us at (410) 484-0400 and ask to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team who can explain your legal rights and options.