Understanding the Statute of Limitations in a Michigan Personal Injury Negligence Claim

Senior woman falling down-stumbled on a door Concept for Understanding the Statute of Limitations in a Michigan Personal Injury Negligence Claim

The statute of limitations is the law that establishes how long you have to file a lawsuit. It is a critical aspect of any personal injury claim.

What Is the Personal Injury Negligence Statute of Limitations?

In Michigan, the personal injury statute of limitations for most personal injury claims based on negligence is three years from the date the injury or death occurred. If another person’s negligent or intentional acts caused you to sustain an injury and you wish to file a lawsuit, you must file a complaint and the necessary paperwork to support your claim within three years from the date of the injury or death.

Even though three years may seem like a lot of time, it can pass faster than many people realize. After a serious accident, you may have spent time in the hospital receiving treatment for your injuries. You will also need time to gather evidence to support your claim and prepare the paperwork needed to file your case in court.

What Happens If I Miss the Deadline?

If you do not file a lawsuit within the time limit set by the statute of limitations, the defendant will file a motion to dismiss your case. Once your case has been dismissed, you forfeit the right to ask the court to award you compensation for your injuries, regardless of how significant they were or how obvious it is that the defendant caused them.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There are exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations. If any of these exceptions apply to your case, you may be able to file your case after the three-year deadline.


If the injured person suffers insanity or some form of mental derangement at the time of the accident, they have one year from the time the “insanity” is over to file a lawsuit.

The legal definition of insanity means that the person’s mental state is such that they cannot comprehend their rights. It is “not dependent on whether or not the person has been judicially declared to be insane.”

Minor Victim

If the injured person was under age 18 when the injuries occurred, they have one year from their 18th birthday in which to file a lawsuit.

If you are a parent or legal guardian considering filing a lawsuit on behalf of a minor, it is important to speak with a lawyer to understand and evaluate the impact of waiting to file a lawsuit.

Defendant Is Out of State

If the person who caused the injuries leaves the state of Michigan before the lawsuit can be filed and is gone for more than two months, the period of absence will not be counted as part of the three years.

This exception exists because the plaintiff is not expected to serve the defendant when they are out of state. The statute of limitations does not restart until the defendant returns to the state.

Medical Malpractice Claims

If you think you have a claim for medical malpractice, then the general statute of limitations is only two years from the date of the treatment. The Statute of Limitations for a medical malpractice claim is much more complicated, and requires a serious investigation of your potential claims. Please contact the personal injury lawyers at Muth Law, P.C. as soon as possible to investigate a malpractice claim.

How a Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

While the personal injury statute of limitations may seem straightforward, nuances to the law can affect your personal injury claim. If you suffered an injury and someone else was at fault, we encourage you to contact the personal injury lawyers at Muth Law, P.C., as quickly as possible.

Based on decades of experience, we have learned that it is best if you reach out to us earlier rather than later. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more time we have to assess and prepare your case.

We will evaluate your case and determine the statute of limitations that applies. We will collect evidence to build a strong case before the statute of limitations expires. We will also negotiate with the defendants and their insurance companies to try to resolve your case before the deadline imposed by the personal injury statute of limitations.

Even if you are not sure whether you have a case, we would much rather that you reach out to us early and learn that you do not have a case than to learn that you have a case you cannot pursue because you contacted us too late.

Contact the Michigan Personal Injury Lawyers at Muth Law, P.C. Today

The PI Attorney team at Muth Law has decades of experience representing people who were hurt because someone else was negligent.

We invite you to learn about us and the people we represent, the promise we make to our clients, and the cases we handle. Then contact us today to schedule a free, non-obligation, confidential consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.

Contact us anytime by calling 734-481-8800, emailing us at info@muthlawpc.com, or completing our contact form.

Categories: Personal Injury