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Statute of Limitations in Michigan Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, and Automobile Accident Cases

April 28, 2015

There is a statute of limitations (i.e., a legal time clock) in Michigan that limits the time an injured person has to file a lawsuit.  If that time period expires before a lawsuit is filed in a Michigan court, the claim will be barred forever.  Perhaps you or a loved one recently suffered serious injuries or death in a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, or as a result of medical negligence — you are likely struggling with overwhelming challenges and financial hardship.  A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can remedy financial difficulties.  However, it is critical to file a lawsuit in time, before the statute of limitations runs out.  The legal time clock starts when the wrong was done, even if the harms or losses are not fully known until later.  There are distinct statutes of limitations in Michigan for different types of personal injury cases.

Michigan Medical Malpractice Statutes of Limitation

  • Medical malpractice cases against a doctor or other healthcare professional must be filed by a patient in a Michigan court no more than 2 years after the date of the medical incident.  On rare occasion, a “discovery rule” may briefly extend the 2-year time to start the lawsuit if the negligent act was not discovered right away.  In some instances of delayed discovery, an injured patient may have up to six months after the discovery to file a lawsuit.
  • The statute of limitations may be different when the medical malpractice causes a patient’s death.  In such instances, Michigan law may allow the patient’s estate to start a lawsuit within 2 years of a probate court’s appointment of a personal representative for the estate.
  • A medical malpractice case for a minor (child) must be brought within 2 years of the date of the medical error or before the child’s 10th birthday, whichever date is later.  However, if the malpractice destroys the reproductive system, the date to file the lawsuit may be extended to the child’s 15th birthday.

Michigan Automobile, Truck, Motorcycle, Bicycle or Pedestrian Negligence Accidents

  • First-party claim, also called a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim, must be filed in court against your own automobile insurance company within one year of the automobile, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident.  A first-party (or PIP) claim may provide reimbursement for (1) reasonable and necessary medical services, (2) a wage replacement benefit, or (3) limited replacement services.
  • A third-party claim must be filed in court within 3 years of the automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident causing severe injury.  The defendant is the at-fault driver of the automobile or truck that caused the accident.  And the resulting significant injuries must be substantial, e.g., severe permanent disfigurement or scarring, significant impairment of bodily function, or death.

Don’t Wait! Act Quickly to Protect Your Rights

In personal injury cases in Michigan, whether it you have a medical malpractice or a vehicle accident claim, act quickly to preserve key evidence and protect your legal rights to reimbursement.  Michigan law does a poor job protecting injured people and any delay seeking legal help can mean losing rights of reimbursement forever. Contact us or another experienced attorney right away.

At Buchanan Firm our combined legal-medical team has decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases, and catastrophic automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian injury cases. We also have medical professionals on staff to talk with you and review your claim. We promise to quickly and efficiently assess the facts and take immediate action to protect your rights.