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Is there a statute of limitations on personal injury liability/ bodily injury for auto accidents in Michigan.

Ypsilanti, MI |

I had a vehicle titled in my name that was driven by someone else I barely knew and they were involved in an accident and where severely injured. Vehicle was not insured at that time and now the Insurance company that covered the medical bills is coming after me in a civil suit. Accident occurred in September 2009.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Michigan has a 3 year statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit for injuries - called a 3rd party tort lawsuit. But reading your question there are many contractual actions such as an insurance company seeking reimbursement from an uninsured driver that can be 6 years.


  2. Unless you can work out a favorable settlement with them, I would suggest hiring an attorney to defend you. As you had no insurance, you are not entitled to the protection of the Michigan No Fault Law which generally says you may not be sued for reimbursement of PIP benefits paid. In my mind there is a question as to whether the 1 year PIP statute, the 3 year tort statute or the 6 year contract statute applies to the suit for reimbursement - which is why, if I were you, I'd hire an attorney to research this. You may have a possible statute defense that would allow you to ask to have the case dismissed. If you don't have such a defense, you would want to explore whether the use of your vehicle was permissive, for your owner liability only exists with consensual use of the vehicle. Also, if the insurer didn't sue the at fault driver, you'd want to consider suing him/her for contribution as to anything you are required to pay.


  3. Michigan has a statute of limitations for motor vehicle injury cases that is three years. However, what you are describing is what is called a subrogation case the insurance company has. The way it works is you are required to have insurance on your vehicle. When it strikes and causes damage to another vehicle that has insurance, that insurance company will pay for their insured's car to be fixed. The law allows the insurance company to come after you for their money back because you did not follow the law and have the required insurance. The accident still must have been your fault for them to collect. As to the time limit-- in my opinion it would be six years because it would be considered a contract type case.

    not a complete and all encompassing informative guide to the law. Every year, the Michigan Law changes in some fashion. New laws are passed and the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court decide cases that change the law. As a result, we recommend that you contact a licensed attorney who specializes in this area of the law.


  4. I believe you may have several defenses available to you even though you failed to have the requisite car insurance in force. You need an attorney for this to protect you from a potentially large personal judgment. It is unlikely, but possible, that you have other insurance (umbrella liability for example) that may protect you. A complete inventory and review of your policies is in order as well. At minimum, an attorney likely will negotiate a more favorable settlement than you are able to on your own. Good luck!

    No attorney-client relationship is formed by the act of attorney providing this answer. This answer is provided for general public informational purposes only. While care is taken to provide accuracy in the answer, as this is not intended or provided as a legal opinion, attorney cannot guaranty the accuracy. Attorney disclaims any basis for liability in providing this free public service. To be certain of accuracy, you should consult with a lawyer for that purpose.


  5. Get an attorney. This appears to be a subrogation claim by the insurance company and I believe that they have 6 years to file the same. You should hire an attorney to (1) defend this and to file a cross-claim against the operator; or (2) if appropriate, file bankruptcy.

    You only have 21 days to file an Answer to the complaint if you were personally served OR 28 days if by other means, such as by certified mail.

    Good Luck


  6. The statute of limitations for a car accident, uninsured motorist or other type of accident claim in your state can easily be determined by calling a local attorney who specializes in accident or injury litigation.

    24 Hour Attorney Call Center (314) 361-4242 or visit us on the Web at http://www.hoffmannpersonalinjury.com.

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