Top Personal Injury Attorneys in Michigan
Life is unpredictable; one minute, you could be on your way home from work, wondering what you will have for dinner, and in the next moment, CRASH, you’re critically injured in a serious auto accident, likely due to the negligence of someone else that caused your life to stop in its tracks. You have rights, including holding the negligent party accountable and getting compensated for your damages with a personal injury attorney’s help.
For over 45 years, our expert personal injury lawyers have been winning settlements for our clients who have been wrongfully injured in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, or any accident in Michigan. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, contact us online or call 844-LOBB-LAW for your free consultation today.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Michigan for a Negligence Claim?
According to Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5805, which says: “the period of limitations is three years after the time of the death or injury for all actions to recover damages for the death of a person or injury to a person or property.” This means after another person’s careless or intentional act causes you injury, and you want to ask a court for a civil remedy for your losses, you have three years to get the initial documentation (the “complaint” and other required paperwork) filed in court, and the “clock” typically starts on the date of the underlying accident or incident that caused the injuries.
Michigan’s three-year deadline applies to almost all conceivable types of personal injury lawsuits, whether the case is driven by the liability principle of “negligence” (which applies to most accidents) or intentional tort (which applies to civil assault and battery and other purposeful conduct).
What if You Miss the Filing Deadline?
Suppose more than three years have passed since the underlying accident, but you try to file your personal injury lawsuit anyway. In that case, the defendant (the person you’re trying to sue) will almost certainly file a “motion to dismiss” and point this fact out to the court. And unless a rare exception entitles you to extra time, the court will summarily dismiss your case. Once that happens, you’ve lost your right to ask a court to award you damages for your injuries, no matter how significant they might be, and no matter how obvious the defendant’s liability.
Meeting Michigan’s personal injury statute of limitations is critical if you want to take your injury case to court via a formal lawsuit. The filing deadline set by this law is also key to your position in personal injury settlement negotiations with the defendant and their insurance company. If the other side knows that the three-year deadline has passed, you’ll have lost all your negotiating leverage.
Exceptions to the Michigan Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Michigan has identified various factual scenarios that might delay the running of the statute of limitations, effectively extending the three-year filing deadline set by section 600.5805. Here are some examples of circumstances that are likely to modify the standard timeline:
- If the injured person is “insane” at the time of the underlying accident, he or she will have one year to file the lawsuit once the period of “insanity” is over. Note that “insane” in this context means “a condition of mental derangement” that prevents the sufferer from comprehending his or her rights and is “not dependent on whether or not the person has been judicially declared to be insane.” (Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5851)
- If the injured person were under the age of 18 at the time of the underlying accident, they would have one year to file the personal injury lawsuit after turning 18. (Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5851)
- If the person who allegedly caused the injury (the defendant) leaves the state of Michigan at some point after the underlying accident, and before the lawsuit can be filed, and is gone for more than two months, the period of absence likely won’t be counted as part of the two years, as long as there is no way for the plaintiff to “serve” the defendant with the lawsuit during the absence (Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5853).
If you have questions about how the Michigan statute of limitations applies to your personal injury case, especially if the deadline is fast approaching or has already passed, now is the time to discuss your situation with an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney.
Importance of Legal Deadlines
Although each case may have a different limitation, these deadlines encourage the filing of lawsuits promptly. Since a statute of limitation is essentially a legal deadline, it is vital to know these deadlines to ensure you act quickly enough to move forward with your case. Filing a lawsuit sooner as opposed to later allows witnesses to retain critical information and better preserves evidence. It also provides some certainty and predictability to those involved concerning moving forward with their lives.
The following are a few essential statutes of limitations victims of personal injuries should know:
Automobile accident statute of limitations– Lawsuits against the at-fault driver responsible for your crash, in general, must be filed within three years.
Dog bite statute of limitations – Plaintiffs must file within three years from the date of injury.
Wrongful death statute of limitations – because Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act does not include a statute of limitations, the statute of limitations for the underlying cause of action (negligence) applies. In the case of wrongful death actions based on general negligence, the statute of limitations is three years.
In addition to Michigan’s statutes of limitations, certain areas also have “notice requirements.” Notice requirements are separate from the specific statute of limitations. For example, Michigan has a mandatory “one-year-back” rule which applies to unpaid medical expenses by a no-fault insurance company.
Personal Injury Facts
- The CDC reports that in 2019, unintentional injury deaths were the third leading cause of death in the United States. Automobile accident deaths and slip and fall deaths are the top two leading causes of unintentional deaths and are among the top triggers of personal injury claims.
- While a personal injury case may settle early, successful cases do take time. Unfortunately, it may not be ideal to wait a long time for someone in pain who has hospital bills to pay. But this type of lawsuit requires careful planning and must gather documentation of the injury and any costs to have a successful case.
- Each personal injury case is different and unique. Although certain types of cases can fit into specific categories, no one case is the same. An attorney should be prepared to approach the case, knowing that it could have an unexpected outcome. The outcome of a personal injury claim depends on many factors, each being different for every individual lawsuit.
Since each personal injury case is unique, it’s crucial to consult with our expert attorneys to determine which approach is best. It’s important to be patient and mindful during these cases to ensure the best outcome.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury accident, we handle the following personal injury claims in Michigan:
- Car accidents– Those involved in a car accident due to another’s negligence can be left with severe injuries. Car accident claims can be complicated and involve numerous parties. Recent changes to the Michigan No-fault laws require a No-Fault lawyer with extensive experience and a thorough knowledge of Michigan’s car crash-related laws. Our expert car accident lawyers can help protect your no-fault rights and help you get the money you deserve.
- Truck accidents– When a smaller passenger vehicle is hit by a large commercial truck, the resulting injuries are likely to be severe or possibly fatal. Those who survive a truck accident may require lengthy recovery periods and be forced to undergo numerous medical and surgical procedures. Assigning liability in a truck accident can also be complicated. Our highly experienced Michigan truck accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources to represent your case.
- Motorcycle accidents– When a motorcyclist is involved in a collision, they don’t benefit from being surrounded by a steel frame, airbags, or other automobile safety features. Even worse, insurance companies often stereotype bikers as being reckless for merely being bikers. If you or a loved one has suffered substantial personal injury after being involved in a motorcycle crash, contact our experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorneys.
- Pedestrian accidents– When an unprotected pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, they are likely to receive catastrophic injuries. It can be challenging to obtain the compensation needed to recover from such injuries on your own. Consult with our attorneys to discuss your case. We fight aggressively to help victims of pedestrian accidents receive the compensation they are entitled to receive.
- Bicycle accidents– Like pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents can leave the victim severely injured and unable to work and make a living. Our compassionate personal injury attorneys will help bicycle accident victims get back on their feet (or their wheels!) and move forward in their life.
- Premises liability claim– occurs when a person has an accident on a property due to an unsafe or hazardous condition. The owner or manager of a property has a responsibility to either correct the dangerous condition or, at the very least, place a sign which warns of the current state. Suppose there is no warning of a hazardous condition and an accident with injuries occurs. In that case, it is crucial to speak to one of our experienced injury lawyers regarding your case.
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents– A slip and fall accident can result in soft tissue injuries or more severe injuries to bones, the spinal cord, or the brain. Our attorneys have the expertise to thoroughly investigate your slip and fall accident, helping you obtain the justice you deserve.
- Dog bites– Statistics show that 1 of every 5 dog bite injuries require medical attention; 1 of every 13 requires emergency care. Victims of dog bites are often small children and can be left with severe facial lacerations, which can cause permanent disfigurement. Dog bites can happen for many reasons; however, you should take your case seriously no matter the basis for a dog bite. If a dog has bitten you or someone you love, contact our experienced dog bite attorneys to discuss your case.
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We understand that recovering from a severe injury after an accident can be difficult, stressful, and frustrating. That is why we are here to help you. Let us take the burden from your shoulders while you recover. The Lobb Law Firm legal team genuinely cares about each client, and we will treat you like family, working hard to ensure a better future for you and your loved ones.
Let us fight for you. We are available 24/7. No fee until we win your case. Contact us online or call 844-LOBB-LAW to speak with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation about your case.