Michigan Statute of Limitations Personal Injury

michigan statute of limitations personal injury

When filing personal injury claims, there is one important rule you must adhere to: the Michigan statute of limitations. This establishes how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit under Michigan law. Working with experienced personal injury attorneys is one of the best ways you can ensure that your case is handled quickly and effectively. At Lipton Law, our Southfield, Michigan personal injury lawyers are standing by to help injured victims. We will help our clients file a personal injury claim within the Michigan statute of limitations personal injury. To schedule a free consultation with us and establish an attorney-client relationship, please call 248-557-1688 today. 

Some of the personal injury cases we handle include the following.

Understanding Michigan’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

According to the Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5805, the statute of limitations is as follows.

“The period of limitations is 3 years after the time of the death or injury for all actions to recover damages for the death of a person or for injury to a person or property.”

So, what does this mean for the average person filing a personal injury claim? Basically, after you suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have 3 years to file a complaint in court. This three-year clock starts counting down on the date when the incident occurs. 

What Is the Michigan Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?

This three-year deadline applies to most personal injury cases. The statute applies to both negligence and intentional torts. It’s also important to note that the three-year clock starts counting down either on the date of the injury or on the date the injury is discovered. 

While three years seems like a lot of time, it can pass much more quickly than you think. This is especially true if you’re involved in a major accident, and you spend a lot of time in the hospital. That’s why it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to start your criminal or civil claim.

What If You Miss the Filing Deadline?

If you wait longer than three years to file a personal injury claim in Michigan, the responsible party (the defendant) will likely file a motion to dismiss your case. Only certain specific exceptions will give you extra time to file. If the court dismisses your case, you can no longer be awarded damages, no matter how serious the incident was.

Obviously, it’s very important to adhere to the statute of limitations in order to file successful personal injury lawsuits. It also helps during settlement negotiations if the other side knows you still have time to take them to court if necessary. 

Exceptions to the Michigan Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

We mentioned above that there are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations in Michigan. These exceptions extend or delay the period in which an injured person can submit a claim for their personal injury case under Michigan law. Below, we outline three notable exceptions to the rule of three years as the filing limit. 


If the injured person suffers from insanity or mental derangement when the accident occurs, they have one year to file once the period of insanity passes. Insanity, in this case, simply means that the victim cannot comprehend their rights. It is not required that the victim be pronounced clinically insane. 

Minor Victim

If the victim was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, they have one year to file a claim after they turn 18.

Responsible Party Is Out of State

If the defendant leaves Michigan after the accident or offense and before a lawsuit is filed, their time of absence won’t be counted in the countdown. However, the defendant must be gone for more than two months for this to apply. This applies because the plaintiff cannot be expected to serve the defendant if they are not in the state. In other words, the statute of limitations doesn’t start until the defendant returns. 

Types of Personal Injury Claims

michigan personal injury statute of limitations

The three-year clock applies to a variety of personal injuries taken to Michigan court. Below, we outline the accidents and injuries to which the three-year clock applies.

Auto Accidents

These are the most common sources of catastrophic injury when it comes to personal injury. The range of cases is broad, including car accident cases, truck accident cases, and even commercial vehicle cases. The following negligent behaviors are common causes of most accidents on the road.

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving (DUI)
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs (DWI)
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving while drowsy or tired

A person’s careless actions behind the wheel can affect more than just the lives of those directly involved in the accident. Close friends and family members can also be deeply affected. But how long after an accident can you file a claim in Michigan? If you’ve suffered injuries from an auto accident, contact our auto lawyers in Michigan immediately. We can help you meet your filing deadline and avoid losing the right to compensation.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims are also very serious. Common examples of medical malpractice include the following.

NOTE: Time limits differ slightly for med mal cases. You must file within two years of your provider’s harmful action. However, if two years pass before you discover the problem, you have six months from the date of discovery or when you should have discovered it to file. The absolute time limit for these cases is six years from the harmful action. This applies no matter when you discover your injury.

Because of the intricacies of med mal cases, we encourage you to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer in Michigan about your case.

Premises Liability

These cases involve someone suffering harm due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. Below, we list some common premises liability cases.

Insurance Claims

If you file a claim with an insurance company on time, but they wrongfully deny your claim, you might have a valid bad faith insurance claim. To have a fair shot at receiving the compensation you deserve, please contact the insurance claim lawyers at our law firm.

Defective Products

A defective product could be almost anything, from car parts to medicine to children’s toys. Dangerous and defective products have the potential to harm many people, which is why it’s important to file a claim as soon as possible. Speak with a recall lawyer with our firm to find out whether you have a case.

Contact a Southfield Personal Injury Attorney Today

At Lipton Law, we refuse to stand idly by as innocent people are harmed by negligence. That’s why our law office aims to give you the edge you need in your case. To finally find the legal remedy you’ve been searching for, contact our office for a free evaluation of your case. Once we establish an attorney-client confidential relationship with you, we can help you fight for just compensation. Any sensitive or confidential information you give us will remain confidential. To schedule your consultation, please call 248-557-1688 today.