Auto accidents can happen to anyone, and they can be overwhelming, traumatic, and even devastating. Unfortunately, the process of trying to wrangle insurance coverage and compensation for damages can be almost as bad as the accident itself (and in some cases, worse).
Each state has its own unique laws that govern car accident personal injury cases. In Michigan, these laws have a few particularities that are essential to know for anyone trying to pursue an auto accident personal injury claim.
The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Suits in Michigan is Three Years. A “statute of limitations” is essentially a time limit for pursuing a specific sort of lawsuit. In Michigan’s Civil Court System, the statute of limitations for all personal injury lawsuits (including auto accident personal injury lawsuits) is three years. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident/injury-event to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit (i.e., if someone died as a result of the accident, and their family is suing for damages), the statute of limitations is still three years, but the “clock” starts from the date of the person’s death rather than the date of their injury.
Notably, you will probably have less than three years to file a claim with your insurance company (or the other driver’s insurance company). The statute of limitations only applies to court lawsuits. It does not apply to car insurance claims and proceedings. Each insurance company has their own policy on how long you have after an accident to file a claim. Almost all of them require you to file claims or give the company notice within a certain time frame, which is usually somewhere between 1-2 days and a few weeks.