Special Requirements for Maryland Tort Claims Against Government Bodies
If you are injured in a fall on state-owned property or through the actions of a government worker, you must follow specific rules in order to bring a tort claim for the damages you have suffered. The most urgent special requirement is the one-year notice provision under the Maryland Tort Claims Act. Within one year from the incident, a plaintiff must submit a detailed summary of their claim to the Maryland State Treasurer. Missing this deadline can bar your chance at a recovery no matter how strong your case is.
In 2015, the state increased limits on damages that plaintiffs could recover against government entities for incidents occurring on or after October 1, 2015. Tort damages for a single event are now capped at $400,000 per claimant. For losses occurring before that date, the limit remains $200,000 per claimant. If a matter involves more than one claimant, the total award is now capped at $800,000, an increase from the $500,000 limit for claims arising before the change. Of course, these limits might be far below the compensation awarded in similar cases against private people and entities, but the Maryland Court of Appeals has upheld the legality of reasonable statutory damage caps.
Once you have submitted your summary of the claim to the Maryland State Treasurer, they have six months to review and respond to the matter. During this period you are not permitted to sue the state. If the claim is denied or no response is forthcoming after six months, you are permitted to file a lawsuit.
If you have been hurt due to the negligence of a state or local government employee, the personal injury attorneys at at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. in La Plata can help you with the special procedures mandated by the Maryland Tort Claims Act.