If you are a resident of Michigan who has suffered some kind of accident, you may be confused about which laws may apply to you when it comes to filing insurance claims and lawsuits. Fortunately, at Atkinson Petruska Kozma Hart & Couture, we understand how important it is for you to be informed, so we have carefully put together a list of the most important state laws that may apply to you.
Injury Lawsuit Deadlines
According to Michigan law, a person who has suffered a personal injury only has a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the person he or she deems responsible for the incident. This is known as a statute of limitations. In Michigan, for most cases this length of time is three years starting from either the moment the accident occurs or the moment the injury is discovered. However, if you’re filing a claim against a state government agency, the deadline is only six months (unless the claim is regarding a defective public building or highway, in which case the deadline is 120 days). If your claim is denied or ignored in that instance, you are entitled to an additional two years to file a lawsuit.
The Modified Comparative Fault Rule
If at any time you are found to be partially responsible for your own injuries, you may be subjected to deductions from any recovered compensation you might acquire based on a fault percentage. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you may even be forced to forfeit the entire amount. For example, if you were to stick your hand over a fence to pet a dog and there was a clear sign indicating that the dog bites, and you were bitten, you may not be entitled to compensation under this law given your disregard of clear warnings.
No-Fault Car Insurance Laws
In Michigan, when to people get into a car accident, both party’s insurance covers the associated medical costs and other necessary expenses regardless of who’s fault the accident was, thanks to the no-fault law. This law also prevents drivers from being able to go to court for additional compensation unless there is medical evidence proving that the accident resulted in a death, serious impairment, or permanent disfigurement. Small claims cases for property damage valued at less than $1,000 are covered under a “minitort” provision of the no-fault law, but this provision does not apply to injuries.
Zero Tolerance Dog Bite Laws
In most states, if a dog bite occurs but the animal has no history of violence, then the owner of the dog is protected by a typical “one bite” rule. However, in Michigan, dog owners are considered “strictly liable” regardless of the animals past if “a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog.”
Medical Malpractice Damage Caps
Damage caps are basically limits set to prevent victims of certain types of cases from earning more than a specified amount for “non-economic damages,” or as it is more commonly known, “pain and suffering.” In Michigan, the damage caps in relation to standard medical malpractice cases are set at $445,500. If, however, the malpractice incident resulted in a wrongful death or devastating disability, the damage cap would be raised to $795,500.
To learn more about other Michigan laws may pertain to you or your case, reach out to our legal experts at Atkinson Petruska Kozma Hart & Couture today. If you or someone you know has been involved in personal injury and require a professional attorney to assist you in a case, call us at 1.877.732.2491 or complete our free case review form to receive a prompt response from our one of our knowledgeable staff or attorneys.