What is a Statute of Limitations in a Lawsuit?
If you’re in a situation where you need to think about filing a personal injury lawsuit, one concept that’s going to be very important to your case is called a statute of limitations. This is true whether you were injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, in a case of medical malpractice, or because of any other type of accident. So what exactly is a statute of limitations and what does it mean for your case?
In simple terms, a statute of limitations is a deadline. A statute of limitations is a law that restricts the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit. If you’re injured in an accident, it’s extremely important to understand that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit. If an injured person waits to file a lawsuit and the statute of limitations has passed, the case will likely be dismissed and they won’t be able to collect damages.
Since you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, how long do you have to get started?
In the state of Michigan, personal injury cases generally have a three-year statute of limitations that begins at the time of death or injury. However, there may be some exceptions so it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that you can learn about all the facts that apply to your specific case.
For example, one situation where the statute of limitations could be different is if a lawsuit is against a state government agency. When cases involve a government agency, the statute of limitations can be significantly shorter than it is for cases against private citizens or commercial businesses. In Michigan, there is a six-month time limit to file a formal claim against a state government agency or a 120-day limit to file a formal claim for cases involving a defective highway or public building. If that formal claim is denied or not acted on, there is a two-year time limit to file a lawsuit.
Another situation where the statute of limitations can be more complex is in cases of medical malpractice. Under MCL section 600.5805(8), there is a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits. However, under MCL section 600.5838a(2), there can be certain exceptions that apply, such as if it takes time for a person to discover they’ve been injured.
If the injured person is a minor, there may also be a different statute of limitations that applies to their case. Be sure to contact a lawyer for more information on those types of cases.
Contact a Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer
At Scott Goodwin Law P.C., you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in helping accident victims in the state of Michigan. We have experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases and are ready to help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation where you’ll be able to get answers to any questions you have and learn more about your legal options.