How Much Time Do I Have to File My Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Personal injury includes damages incurred from slip and fall accidents, car accidents, nursing home abuse, and medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has suffered bodily or psychological harm due to the negligence of another person or organization, filing a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation may be the right decision.
It is important to hire a personal injury attorney immediately following you or your loved one’s accident to ensure you file your case before the statute of limitations runs out. The time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit depends on the type of accident, damages you seek, and your state’s statute of limitations.
Types of Personal Injuries
Personal injury lawsuits arise from the following common types of personal injuries:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
- Product liability injuries
- Sexual abuse
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Medical malpractice and neglect
- Birth injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord or neck injuries
These injuries cause immense emotional and physical pain, cost thousands of dollars in medical treatments and lost wages, and sometimes result in the wrongful death of a loved one. A personal injury claim attempts to address the emotional and psychological damages incurred by the victim and their family by seeking appropriate compensation for the injuries they suffered.
Types of Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are different types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit that a victim or their family can receive. These include economic, non-economic, exemplary, and wrongful death damages.
Economic damages are calculable financial losses incurred by the victim or their family. These include lost wages, medical bills, cost of continued treatments such as nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, follow-up surgeries and appointments, and the cost of transportation for these appointments.
Non-economic damages refer to the psychological stress caused by the injury. These are not calculable like economic damages but affect the victim and their family in debilitating ways. Non-economic damages include mental anguish, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Exemplary damages are awarded in cases where the defendant acted in a willful, malicious, and wanton manner towards the plaintiff, in some cases humiliating the victim, causing loss of dignity, or outrage on the part of the victim. They exist because Michigan doesn’t allow a victim to receive punitive damages or damages that punish the defendant.
Exemplary damages can be awarded without direct evidence of an injury; however, if the court awards exemplary damages, the plaintiff cannot recover additional non-economic compensation.
Family members can receive wrongful death damages when loss of life occurs due to a personal injury accident. These include funeral and burial expenses, pre-death medical bills, loss of future wages, loss of support and services, loss of companionship, and emotional distress of surviving family members.
In some cases, such as car accidents, premises claims, or malpractice, you may need to file a claim against the defendant’s insurance company rather than seek damages through the courts. Never settle with an insurance company without consulting your attorney. A personal injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company and make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Time Limits You Have to File
The specific time limit you have to file an accident lawsuit varies. In Michigan, you typically have three years to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case. However, if you wish to file a malpractice case, you must do so within two years from the date of the incident.
There are specific statutes that you need a qualified personal injury lawyer to help you navigate. For instance, if you fall on a sidewalk owned by a municipality, you only have 90 days to file your personal injury claim. However, if you discover that you have a case after the statute of limitations runs out, you may still have the ability to file a claim.
It is vitally important that you contact a law firm specializing in personal injury suits such as Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for legal advice following your or a loved one’s accident.
Contact Our Legal Team Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of another, contact the law office of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney today. We will review the circumstances surrounding your case and determine the best legal action to take to reach a fair settlement offer. Contact us at 866-MICH-LAW to schedule a confidential, free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.