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Examining the Statute of Limitations in Michigan Personal Injury Cases

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accidentAt Davis Law Center, our seasoned Michigan injury attorneys are committed to helping individuals who have suffered injuries due to accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. Personal injury refers to an area of law in which an injury to the body, mind, or emotions is caused by another person’s negligence. Some examples of personal injury cases include, but are not limited to, car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, products liability, construction accidents, and medical malpractice.

Accident victims have a limited time frame to file their personal injury claims in Michigan, known as the statute of limitations. Put another way, the statute of limitations sets a time limit after an injury or property damage occurs in which a civil claim must be filed. Failure to file within this time frame could mean losing your right to be heard by a Michigan court altogether. The statutes are designed to encourage people to file their lawsuits in a reasonably timely manner so that evidence is not lost and memories do not become stale.

Typically, the statute of limitations begins to run when the “cause of action arises.” This simply means that the clock starts ticking when the accident happens or injury occurs. Under Michigan law, there are different time limits for different types of cases:

  • Personal injury negligence claims, i.e. Car & Truck Accidents, slip and falls, must be filed within three years from the date of the accident;
  • Michigan Automobile No-Fault Claims generally must be filed within one year of the date of the accident or if notice has been given to the insurer or payment made, within one year of the most recent allowable expense;
  • Medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years of the date of the negligence;
  • Wrongful Death Claims will depend on the underlying theory of liability.

It is important to note that the time frames listed above are the general rule and many times there may be exceptions that apply. There are times when an individual is unable to initially discover that they have been injured. It would be unfair to expect that person to file a lawsuit within the time frame when he or she has not even realized the extent of the injury. As such, in limited cases, the Michigan statute of limitations may begin to run from the time the injured party discovers or should have discovered the injury.

In addition to late discovery, it may be possible to delay the statute of limitations for a certain period of time in certain situations. This is referred to as “tolling” the statute of limitations and it typically takes place when the plaintiff is “disabled,” meaning a person is mentally incompetent or the plaintiff was a minor at the time the injury occurred. The statute of limitations begins to run as soon as the disability ends.

The deadlines for filing lawsuits may seem straightforward but can quickly become complicated. At Davis Law Center, our reputable and hard-working Michigan personal injury lawyers are committed to resolving your case in a timely manner. You can rest assured that we will scrutinize the facts of your case and help you get the compensation you deserve for your harm. To speak to a skilled lawyer about your legal concerns, please feel free to call us at 248-865-7740 or contact us online.

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