Deadlines: How Long You Have To Sue After An Injury In Michigan
If you are injured in Michigan and want to sue, it’s important to understand the deadlines involved. Your claim is governed by statutes of limitations in Michigan – which is a set timeframe within which you can still file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline to sue, your case would be lost forever. Typically, this statue of limitations “clock” begins running on the date which you were injured. In some cases, such as not discovering your injury until some time after the accident, the “clock” does not begin to run until the discovery date of the injury. In Michigan, the typical amount of time you get with these statutes of limitations is three years.
Although this may seem pretty straightforward, there are always exceptions, which can make things rather complex. For example, if your injury claim is against a state government agency, you get six months to file a formal claim. If this formal claim is denied, or ignored, you then get two years to file suit. In the case of a defective highway or public building, you get 120 days (which is only about four months) to file a formal claim. As one can see, this can significantly complicate things. That’s why it’s important to retain an attorney as soon as possible after you’re injured.
We outline some different types of cases and their statutes of limitations below.
Car Accident Injuries
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you will have three years from the date of the accident to recover damages related to your injury, pain, and suffering. If someone is killed in an accident, family members may file wrongful death lawsuit. However, when it comes to personal injury protection (PIP) claims, the statute of limitations is different. No-Fault benefits may not be requested if more than a year has passed since the date of the accident unless the insurer has previously paid PIP benefits to you for the injury, or was provided a written notice of the injury within that year time frame. However, it is best to consult with an attorney if you have this type of case.
Personal Injury Occuring On A Rental Property
If you are injured due to a landlord’s negligence resulting from not keeping their property in a state of reasonable repair, you have three years from the date of your injury to sue the landlord. In this case, you must prove that the landlord did not maintain safe living conditions, and you suffered an injury due to their negligence. Common examples of disrepair in these cases include defective stairs, handrails, decks, failure to remove ice/snow from walkways or stairs, ceiling collapse, etc.
Similar to the above incidence, if you suffer an injury from a slip-and-fall accident you have three years from the date of loss to hold a property owner responsible and file a lawsuit. You have to prove that your accident was the result of the owner’s negligence. The other side may argue that you are responsible for your fall (for example, stating the condition of the property should have been obvious), in which case Michigan’s comparative fault rules may determine the amount of compensation you may receive. We explain comparative negligence later in this article.
If you are injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may have a medical malpractice claim. You must file suit within two years of the medical professional’s action or inaction that gave rise to the claim. This can also become complex: if the harm is discovered more than two years after the date of the harm, the lawsuit must be filed within six months of discovery or when it reasonably should have been discovered. When handling such a case, it’s important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to get the help you need.
Comparative Negligence: What It Means For Your Case
When you file a lawsuit against a company or person to hold them responsible for your injuries, they may try to claim that you are completely to blame for your accident, or partially responsible for your accident. This may make it difficult for you to recover damages from the other at-fault party, or possibly none at all. In Michigan, when someone is injured in an accident and is found to be partly at fault, a modified comparative fault rule is used to resolve the case. Under this modified comparative fault rule, if you are partially responsible for the accident, damages may be reduced. If you are 50% or more at fault, damages are eliminated altogether.
What Do I Do if I’ve Been Injured?
The best thing to do after you’ve been injured is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. This will alleviate some of the stress around statutes of limitations, giving you ample time to discuss your claim with an attorney and file a lawsuit. It’s also important to refrain from speaking with any of the representatives for the interests of the person or party responsible for your accident/injury when considering filing a lawsuit. If you have questions regarding a potential injury-related lawsuit, we may be able to assist you – give us a call.
Have you or someone you know been injured due to negligence?