An auto accident can cause serious, even fatal, injuries to the victims involved in the collision. Sometimes those injuries are obvious immediately following the accident while in other cases the injuries (or the severity of the injuries) do not present themselves until weeks, even months, after the collision. If you have been injured in a Saginaw, Michigan auto accident, or you are the surviving family member of a victim who was fatally injured in a collision, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss. While the law provides a mechanism by which victims can be compensated by a negligent party, the law also limits the time within which victims of auto accidents must pursue that compensation. Failing to pursue compensation in the time frame allotted by law means a victim will forever lose the right to compensation.
Victims hesitate to pursue compensation to which they might be entitled for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is because they don’t realize the extent of the injuries they suffered. Other times it is because a victim is too traumatized by the collision to focus on practical issues such as litigation and compensation while in still other situations a victim simply doesn’t understand that he or she is entitled to compensation. Regardless of the reason for the delay, failing to act in a timely manner after an auto accident can cause a victim to lose the right to compensation at all.
The law imposes time frames within which certain legal actions may be brought. Known as a “statute of limitations”, these time frames determine how long a litigant, or in the case of an auto accident a victim, has to begin a lawsuit. Note that the statute of limitations, or SOL, marks the date by which the lawsuit must be filed, not the date by which the lawsuit must be resolved or concluded.
In the State of Michigan, the SOL for most personal injury lawsuits is three years from the date of injury. A wrongful death action must also be brought within three years of the date of death. Although the time frames can get complicated in other types of litigation, such as a medical malpractice lawsuit, the SOL for an auto accident or w wrongful death based on an auto accident are fairly clear in Michigan. Even if it appears that you and the at-fault party are going to reach an out of court settlement that resolved the entire matter, it is crucial that a lawsuit be filed prior to the SOL running out or you will lose your right to compensation altogether.
If you have questions or concerns about how the SOL impacts your Saginaw, Michigan auto accident be sure to consult with an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney right away to ensure that your right to compensation is protected.