The statute of limitations for car accidents in Michigan is three years, according to Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805. The clock on your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit starts at the time of the crash or your loved one’s passing. You have one year to sue for No-Fault insurance benefits under Michigan Compiled Laws § 500.3145.
If you don’t pursue action within these time limits, the court will likely refuse your case, even if you have a strong argument proving your right to damages. Waiting too long can eliminate your chances of securing an insurance settlement. Read on to learn more about car accident cases and how you can seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Minors are treated more generously. The statute of limitations for a minor that suffers a personal injury is three years or one year after their eighteenth birthday, whichever is longer. MCL 600.5851. The statute of limitations for a minor’s wrongful death is three years.
Michigan Car Accident Laws
Knowing what to do after a car accident can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are coping with a severe injury or caring for a seriously hurt loved one. Putting your car accident case on the back burner can be tempting with so much on your plate, but this could be a critical mistake.
Investigating an auto collision, filing an insurance claim, and working through settlement negotiations can take time and expertise. If you cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company before the statute of limitations for car accidents expires, you could be left with no compensation or options for pursuing additional damages in court.
Furthermore, acting promptly can ensure you follow Michigan’s car accident laws, improving your chances of recovering compensation. The following rules and regulations may affect your case:
No-Fault Insurance Requirements
Michigan’s No-Fault insurance system requires that most motorists carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP pays for your medical bills, lost income, replacement services, and death benefits in the case of a fatal accident, no matter who is at fault for the collision. Recent changes to the No-Fault laws will affect how much compensation you can recover from your insurance provider.
According to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), in addition to PIP, drivers must also carry the following:
- $250,000/$500,000 in bodily injury liability per person/per accident
- $10,000 in property damage liability
- $1 million in property protection insurance (PPI) for damages to another party’s property, such as a building, fence, or a properly parked vehicle
An attorney at our firm can explore and explain your options for seeking car accident damages from your insurance provider under the No-Fault system. However, if you have medical bills that exceed your PIP coverage and other significant damages, we can help you seek additional awards from the driver who caused your crash.
Getting started on your auto insurance claims immediately is a good idea. Acting quickly allows you to investigate, collect evidence, and build a case while the information is fresh and readily available. It also allows us time to navigate the insurance process before the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits runs out.
If you have grounds to seek awards from a liable driver, Michigan’s comparative negligence laws may come into play. According to Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.2959, if you bear some responsibility for your crash, the court will assess a percentage of fault, reducing your compensation. For example, say you win a $100,000 verdict but are 20 percent liable. You would collect $80,000.
If you are more than 50 percent at fault, the court will bar you from seeking compensation for pain and suffering. Insurance companies know the law, so this rule will affect your settlement. For this reason, insurers will often look for reasons to blame your accident on you. We can protect you from these allegations and fight for full and fair compensation for you or your loved one.
Duty to Report a Car Crash
According to Michigan Compiled Laws § 257.622, you must report any car collision involving injuries, death, or $1,000 or more in property damages. If a law enforcement officer was at the scene, they made a report. If not, you should contact local authorities immediately. This report will likely be critical evidence in your car accident case.
Recoverable Car Collision Damages
We want you to have the resources you need to pay for medical care and other car accident damages without threatening your financial security. We will help you identify and pursue maximum compensation for your losses within the window the statute of limitations outlines. We will seek the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitative services or long-term nursing
- Lost income, earnings, and benefits
- Lost future earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Mental distress
- Impaired quality of life
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Do You Need an Auto Accident Lawyer?
You do not have to hire a car accident lawyer to help with your auto insurance claims or lawsuits. However, working with an attorney with our firm can provide you with a compassionate and legal ally with years of experience. We will work tirelessly to take the burden of your case off your shoulders so you can focus on getting better. We will:
- Investigate your crash, gather evidence, and build a robust case proving you deserve compensation for your injuries and losses
- Identify your economic and non-economic damages
- File your insurance claims within the deadlines and take legal action (if necessary) before the statute of limitations for car accidents expires
- Handle all case-related paperwork and communications with insurance agents and other involved parties
- Negotiate for the maximum possible settlement
- Prepare your case for trial and take legal action if necessary
- Listen to you throughout the process so we can tailor our representation to your individual needs
Contact Christensen Law About Your Car Accident Case
For decades, Christensen Law has stood for the rights of personal injury victims. If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a car crash, we can help you pursue financial justice. Contact us today or call for a risk-free, no-cost consultation. We take cases on contingency, so you never pay anything up front or out of pocket.