Statute of Limitations

Waiting to File a Claim Could Jeopardize Your Rights

Consult With an Experienced Michigan Lawyer

Whether you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, your child was harmed by medical negligence, or a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you are more than likely facing significant financial challenges. Many of these financial challenges can be alleviated by compensation obtained through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. However, it is absolutely imperative that you pursue legal action in a timely manner.

Michigan Statutes of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the maximum period of time in which a lawsuit may be filed for an injury. If the lawsuit is not filed within that time limit, then it can never be brought. The time period typically begins running at the time the wrong was done, regardless of when the damage ultimately results. There are different time limits for different types of cases:

Claims Involving Negligence

  • Negligence, such as car crashes, slip and falls, premises liability, construction accidents, etc.: 3 years
  • Negligence resulting in wrongful death: 3 years from the date of appointment of a personal representative by the probate court, but in no event longer than 5 years from the date of the negligence.
  • Dramshop actions/Liquor liability: 2 years, but preliminary notice of the action must be given to the bar or liquor store within 120 days of retaining an attorney
  • Intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress: 3 years

Claims Involving Wrongful Death

  • Wrongful Death caused by negligence: 3 years from the date of appointment of a personal representative by the probate court, but in no event longer than 5 years from the date of the negligence.

Claims Involving Intentional Misconduct or Wrongs

  • Fraud: 6 years
  • Assault and battery: 2 years
  • Violation of Civil Rights: 3 years
  • Libel and slander: 1 year
  • Intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress: 3 years

Other Claims

  • Suits against the state, counties, municipalities, schools, and other governmental units: 2 years. Notice of the injury and its cause must also be given to the government unit typically within 120 days of the incident.

Other Factors

  • Suits by minors (under 18): Minors have until their nineteenth birthday to bring a case except in the case of medical malpractice. If a child is less than eight years old when the malpractice occurs, (s)he has until her 10th birthday to bring suit. If a child is eight years old or older, then the regular two year statute of limitations applies. There is one exception to this rule. If the malpractice claim involves an injury to the child's reproductive system, and the child is less than 13 years old, then the child has until her 15th birthday to bring suit. If the child is older than 13, then the regular two year statute of limitations applies.
  • Insanity and mental incompetency: If a person has a mental condition which prevents him from comprehending his rights (regardless of whether a probate court has found him to be incompetent to handle his own affairs), then the person has one year after the disability is removed to bring suit.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

For further explanation of your rights under Michigan law, or to speak with an experienced attorney regarding your legal concerns, contact us. We offer free case evaluation and accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingent fee — we collect no attorney fees unless you collect compensation. Home and hospital visits, or after-hours consultations are available by appointment.

Meet Our Team

Heidi Salter-Ferris's Profile Image
Ms. Salter-Ferris graduated from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois in 1983 and has limited her practice to serious injury law ever since. She began her legal career at a prestigious Chicago law firm before relocating to Ann Arbor in 1988.… Read More

Don Ferris's Profile Image
Mr. Ferris is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Notre Dame, graduating with highest honors in 1973. He received his law school degree from the University of Michigan in 1976. After working as a Washtenaw County senior assistant public de… Read More