Under Michigan law, you have the right to recover compensation through a personal lawsuit when you have suffered an injury. This requires you to build a case that proves someone else is legally liable for causing your injury, either intentionally or through negligence. Moreover, you must be aware of Michigan laws that will affect your case. A personal injury lawyer like Marc J. Shefman can answer your questions about the law and your rights.
Deadlines for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Michigan
As in other states, Michigan has a “statute of limitations” that places limits how much time you have to file a suit after an injury. Michigan’s statute of limitations includes:
- Three years for personal injury
- Three years for damage to property
- Three years for wrongful death
- Six years for medical malpractice
There are some variations built into some limitations. For instance, if you do not discover you have been injured until sometime after your accident, the three-year time period may begin on the date you discovered the injury. Consult a personal injury lawyer for questions concerning your particular case.
If your injury claim concerns a case against a state agency, you have six months to file your claim and up to two years to file a lawsuit of your claim is denied. Filing a suit against a government agency can be complicated, so be sure to consult with an experienced accident lawyer for specific information.
Proving Negligence in a Michigan Lawsuit
Many personal injury lawsuits in Michigan are for compensation from persons whose negligence was believed to be responsible for the injuries suffered. In these cases, negligence and liability for the injuries must be proven beyond reasonable doubt in order to qualify for recovery of any monetary damages. Courts in Michigan primarily use the four elements of negligence and the “reasonably prudent person” principle to determine liability. The four elements of negligence are as follows:
- Duty—Did the accused have a duty of care to the plaintiff’s safety from harm?
- Breach of Duty—Did the accused’s action constitute a breach in that duty?
- Causation—Were the accused’s actions responsible for the injuries to the plaintiff?
- Damages—Do the plaintiff’s injuries qualify as damages that can be compensated?
The “reasonably prudent person” principle compares the accused party’s actions to those of an imaginary responsible person following the law. A personal injury lawyer can provide more information concerning your particular case.
Michigan’s Comparative Negligence Rule
Michigan employs a “modified comparative fault” rule in personal injury cases where the injured person is found to be partly at fault. Damage compensation is reduced under this rule if the injured person is found to share any amount of fault, and are eliminated if the injured person is found to be over 50% at fault.
No-Fault Car Insurance Laws in Michigan
Michigan employs a “no-fault” auto insurance system, meaning that in most accidents, each party’s automotive insurance coverage pays for medical bills and other specified losses, no matter who caused the accident. Michigan law prohibits you from filing a suit after a car accident except in the following severe cases:
- Serious disfigurement
- Serious impairment
Liability for Dog Bite Cases in Michigan
While dog owners in many states enjoy some level of protection concerning the actions of their dogs, a Michigan statute declares dog owners “strictly liable.” This means that, regardless of the animal’s past behavior, the owner is responsible for a personal injury caused by their dog. This includes a first-time bite or attack. Consult an accident lawyer for more information.
Marc J. Shefman – Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer
More information concerning personal injury laws in Michigan by going to Michigan Compiled Laws Section 500 (no-fault insurance) and Michigan Compiled Laws Section 600 (personal injury claims). Marc J. Shefman is a Michigan personal injury lawyer serving the Metro Detroit area including Oakland, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair, Macomb, and Wayne Counties as well as Genesee and Washtenaw Counties. Call (248) 298-3003 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation to learn more about Michigan personal injury laws and how they can affect your claim.