When Can I File a Lawsuit After a Car Crash in Michigan?
Managing a claim following a car accident that wasn’t your fault can feel like navigating a maze. Which path do you take? Should you file a claim with your insurer and wait for payment? Should you immediately file a personal injury lawsuit? The process is confusing and sometimes complex.
At Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC, we know how frustrating it can be attempting to unravel your options for recovering compensation. Insurers and the Michigan court system have strict timelines that you must operate within if you want to stand any chance of recovering the money you deserve. When can you file a lawsuit following a Michigan car crash? Our team can help answer this vital question.
Your Options for Recovering Compensation
In Michigan, you have options for how to recover compensation following a car accident. Michigan is a no-fault car insurance state, meaning you seek compensation from your insurance provider after a collision. Michigan car insurance providers offer different levels of personal injury protection depending on a motorist’s needs. PIP coverage generally pays for medical expenses. However, the specifics of what a plan will cover depend on which level of protection a motorist opts into.
Additionally, Michigan drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents may be able to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. They can only file a lawsuit against the at-fault party if their injuries meet Michigan’s “serious injury threshold.” That means there must be a serious impairment of a bodily function or serious and permanent disfigurement. Check with your attorney to determine whether your injuries qualify you to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
Michigan Car Accident Statute of Limitations
When can you file a lawsuit after a car crash in Michigan? The answer is as soon as possible but not after three years. Michigan gives car accident victims three years from the day of the collision to file a lawsuit.
You may think three years sounds like plenty of time to get your ducks in a row. Unfortunately, roadblocks can slow down your progress and stall your case, threatening to derail your personal injury claim before it gets to a judge or jury.
If you’re able to file an insurance claim against the at-fault party, you may find that their insurance company won’t negotiate with you in good faith. They drag out the process, throwing out lowball offers and stringing you along. Often, by the time you’re prepared to take the insurer to court because negotiations have stalled, the statute of limitations has already expired. You can be left with virtually no leverage against the insurer because cases filed after the three-year statute of limitations are generally dismissed.
You need to talk with an experienced Michigan car accident attorney. An attorney can advise you of your rights and review your situation to find the best path forward. If an insurer is not negotiating in good faith, an attorney can begin preparing a lawsuit before it’s too late. An attorney can also help you manage crucial deadlines and keep your case on track.
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Attorney Today
Whether you are a habitual procrastinator or always first out of the gate, an experienced Michigan car accident attorney with Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC can help. We’ll be sure to meet the crucial deadlines you’ll encounter when you’re pursuing the compensation you deserve for your accident-related injuries and losses.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident with a negligent motorist, our team is ready to give you effective and timely legal representation. Contact us online or call our office today at (586) 776-1700 to set up a free consultation.