Important Michigan Case Law
A statute of limitations encompasses any law placing a time limit on how long you have to pursue legal action after a person commits negligent conduct. When the statutory period comes to a close, the injured individual no longer has the right to file a lawsuit in the attempt to seek damages or other forms of punitive relief.
Although you need to prioritize your health after experiencing a personal injury, you need to keep the Michigan personal injury statute of limitations in mind. Otherwise, you may not be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Statutes of limitations also cover other forms of negligent conduct, such as fraud, libel, slander, defamation, personal property damage, and breach of contract. There are many facets that apply to a statute of limitations and keeping track of the various limitations and exceptions to any given civil action, so it is extremely difficult to keep track of and understand specifics without the help of legal counsel.
In Michigan, a few of the statutes currently in place are:
● Personal injury: Depending on the intention of a case, Michigan personal injury statute of limitations can last between two to three years, with three years being typical for most Michigan personal injury cases. You usually have until three years after the injury occurred unless you qualify for an extension.
● Malpractice: 2 years, with action against medical malpractice filed within 2 years of the occurrence or within 6 months of discovery.
● Fraud: 6 years
● Breach of Contract: 6 years
● Libel, Slander, and Defamation: 1 year
● Personal Property Damage: 3 years
In some cases, tolling occurs on a statute of limitations, typically under circumstances where:
● The defendant is in a bankruptcy filing
● Voluntary dismissal of an action filing
● The plaintiff is a minor: If a person is under the age of 18 when they were injured, they have until one year after their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim.
● The plaintiff is deemed legally “insane”: When referring to “insanity,” the law means that person experiences mental derangement. They’re unable to comprehend their rights, which affects their case. The person doesn’t need to be considered insane in court in order to receive the filing extension. If someone is considered “insane,” they have one year after their period of “insanity” ends to file.
● The defendant leaves the state: The plaintiff has more time to file in the event that the person who allegedly engaged in negligent conduct leaves the state. If they leave Michigan for more than two months, the amount of time in which they’re out of the state will not count toward the statute of limitations period. In the event that the defendant has a way in which the plaintiff can serve them while they’re out of state, the statute of limitations will not pause.
What happens if you miss your filing statute of limitations deadline?
If you don’t file your deadline before the Michigan personal injury statute of limitations expires, you won’t be able to recover compensation from the defendant. In the event that you still choose to file after the expiration, the defendant will file a motion to dismiss. Unless you were entitled to an extension, the court will dismiss the case regardless of how serious the defendant’s actions were.
Filing a claim before your statute of limitations expires
If you suffered physically, mentally, or emotionally due to another person’s negligent conduct, you need to file before the statute of limitations concludes. In Michigan, you have every right to represent yourself in court for a civil case. In the event that you decide this is right for you, visit Michigan Courts Self-Help Center to learn how to get started with your case.
Although you’re under no obligation to seek the assistance of a legal representative, an attorney can assist you with your case by helping you gather evidence, handle the paperwork, and present your case effectively. They’ll also work to help you receive the maximum amount possible from the person who engaged in negligent conduct. Preparing your case takes time, so you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you file your claim before your statute of limitations expires.
If you would like to read more in-depth about a specific Michigan law, click on these links. If you still have questions, or require a FREE consultation about an injury to yourself or a loved one, please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE or fill out the form below.
- Michigan Car Accident Law
- Michigan Dog Bite Law
- Michigan Motorcycle Law
- Michigan Social Security Disability Law
Ask Lee Free
Q: What is the first thing I need to do if I’m filing a claim for an injury sustained at someone’s home?
A: The first thing you are required to do, by law, is inform everyone involved that you will be filing a claim. This is called a summons, which includes important deadlines and the details of the claim being filed.