Christensen Law understands that getting compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one will not ease your emotional pain, but it might ease some of the resulting financial burdens. So, allow our Ann Arbor, MI, wrongful death lawyers to help you.
No matter the circumstances, losing a loved one is an incredibly painful experience. But if your loved one died as a result of another party’s negligence, the loss can be especially devastating.
Wrongful death is any scenario in which another person’s negligent actions lead to someone else’s fatal injury. There are many types of wrongful death cases, including vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and hazardous property conditions.
As difficult as the weeks and months after losing a loved one may be, if you believe another party’s negligence caused your family member’s death, our Ann Arbor personal injury lawyers can help you seek justice. A wrongful death lawyer with Christensen Law will be an invaluable legal ally in your pursuit of compensation and peace of mind. Call 248-900-9000 today.
Why Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Is Important
Seeking accountability is an important part of seeing that justice is served on behalf of the loved one who was taken from you too soon. You can hold the responsible party accountable for your tragedy by filing a civil lawsuit.
Insurance companies may act sympathetic toward you, but their bottom line is what is truly important to them. They make the pain worse for grieving families when they deny liability in your loved one’s death.
Through a wrongful death claim, you can hold the responsible party to higher standards in the future so that someone else’s family doesn’t suffer as you have. Our Michigan wrongful death attorney will hold the insurance company accountable for the full value of your damages.
How Much Is Your Wrongful Death Claim in Ann Arbor, MI Worth?
There is no “average” wrongful death settlement, as each case is unique and will be affected by many factors. These are some of the results we’ve achieved for our clients. These won’t necessarily be the results you will see in your case, but instead, they are an example of what our commitment to justice has achieved:
- We secured a $9.5 million jury award for a client who was stabbed at a gas station and passed away after an underage and unsupervised employee failed to call 911 soon enough for emergency responders to save the victim’s life.
- After an intense battle with the power company, we secured a $4.55 million jury award for a cable technician who left a wife and two young daughters behind when he was electrocuted while working on a power pole.
- We secured a $3.2 million settlement after a couple were involved in a head-on accident, seriously injuring the husband and killing the wife. The at-fault party’s insurance company agreed to settle when a jury trial appeared imminent.
To find out how much your wrongful death claim in Ann Arbor may be worth, contact our legal team. We will examine your evidence to calculate your damages to get a fair settlement value for your claim.
Is There a Cap On Wrongful Death In Michigan?
Michigan has no cap on economic damages in wrongful death claims. This means there is no limit on demanding compensation for financial losses like medical bills for the decedent, the loss of the decedent’s income, etc.
There is, however, a state-mandated limit on the value of the non-economic damages you can claim. This would include damages for things like the pain and suffering of your loved one prior to their death, loss of consortium, and mental distress.
We Handle Various Wrongful Death Cases in Ann Arbor
Our firm understands how a wrongful death can shatter the lives of an accident victim’s family and friends. Our own experiences, and our experiences helping clients, have given our Ann Arbor personal injury lawyers the compassion and the tools to serve Michiganders going through difficult times. We have made it our mission to serve clients whose lives have been upended by tragedy.
Christensen Law has stood for the rights of those affected by personal injuries and wrongful death. Our Ann Arbor attorneys know what it takes to recover damages for you and any other affected family members of the decedent.
Our Ann Arbor wrongful death lawyers and compassionate staff have experience with cases involving the following:
Fatal Vehicle Accidents
If someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s fatal car accident, we could help you pursue a wrongful death insurance claim or lawsuit. Common negligent driving behaviors include distracted driving, drowsy driving, driving while under the influence, and speeding. We take cases involving car, truck, bus, motorcycle, and boat crashes.
Fatal Worksite and Construction Accidents
Property owners and employers who do not maintain safe worksites according to standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can put workers at serious risk of fatal construction accidents. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 140 workers sustained a fatal job-related injury in Michigan in 2021.
Fatal Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often result in fatalities due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles. Often, in fatal truck accident claims there is more than one responsible party. These can include the truck’s driver, the trucking company, a loading company, or even a truck parts manufacturer. Our wrongful death lawyer in Ann Arbor will help you identify all potential defendants in your case.
Fatal Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
When cars cause pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents, the victims are especially vulnerable to severe and deadly injuries because they lack seatbelts, airbags, and other protections a vehicle’s cab offers. According to the Michigan State Police, 212 pedestrians and bicyclists suffered fatal traffic crash injuries on the state’s roadways in 2021.
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Far too often, drivers fail to notice motorcycle riders or to respect their right to share the road, leading to fatal wrecks. According to one 2022 report, Michigan has had an average of 110 motorcycle accident fatalities per year over the past nine years. We will pursue a wrongful death claim after a fatal motorcycle accident if your loved one died due to the negligent actions of another driver.
Wrongful Death Premises Liability
Residential and commercial property owners and managers must keep their premises reasonably safe to avoid harming visitors and customers. When they fail to do so, we hold them financially accountable for resulting injuries. Fatal premises liability claims can include slip and falls, dog bites, and swimming pool accidents.
Whether you lost your loved one to a slip and fall accident that caused fatal injuries or a fatal dog mauling, our wrongful death attorneys in Ann Arbor will help your family get the compensation they need to move forward from your tragedy.
Call Christensen Law today at 248-900-9000. Our staff will provide you with a free case review.
Possible Wrongful Death Compensation
Coping with a loved one’s death should not be made more difficult due to financial hardships. If your family member did not cause the accident that led to their fatal injury, you should not have to shoulder the financial burden of their medical treatment and other losses.
Our firm has helped thousands of clients recover millions of dollars in successful settlements and verdicts. We are here to safeguard your family’s future and fight for economic justice. We prepare every case for trial and will spare no resources when advocating for the compensation you need and deserve.
Potential damages our Ann Arbor wrongful death lawyers will pursue include the following:
- Income the deceased would have earned had they lived
- Medical expenses from the time of injury until death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Intangible benefits provided by the deceased, including guidance, companionship, and care
- The decedent’s pain and suffering
- Survivors’ emotional and mental pain and suffering
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Michigan?
A decedent’s loved ones cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit directly. Instead, the decedent’s personal representative (executor) must pursue a case on behalf of the qualifying beneficiaries.
Under Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.2922, family members who are eligible to recover wrongful death compensation include the following:
- Spouses and children
- Children of the decedent’s spouse
- Anyone the decedent left property to in their will
In some instances, none of these potential beneficiaries may be living, or the decedent may not have a will. In these scenarios, anyone who could inherit from the estate can receive wrongful death damages. These beneficiaries may include first cousins, aunts, and uncles.
After the executor files suit, there is a 60-day period in which surviving family members or people named in the will must report how the decedent’s passing has affected them financially. This determines the size of the settlement amount a plaintiff may seek.
How Is a Wrongful Death Case Paid Out in Michigan?
If you’re struggling financially due to the wrongful death of a loved one, you are most likely wondering how a wrongful death claim works and when you may be able to expect to be paid for your portion of the settlement. Here are the steps:
- Your wrongful death settlement negotiations will take place between the insurance company and your lawyer
- Any settlement you agree to must be approved by a Michigan court
- The personal representative of your loved one’s estate will file a motion to ask the court’s permission to distribute the money
How long your wrongful death case will take to settle or be decided by a jury will vary depending on your circumstances. On average, however, it takes one to four years to settle a wrongful death claim. Your attorney will go over your case’s estimated timeline with you.
The Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan Explained
Here are the key elements that must be proven to establish a wrongful death claim in Michigan:
- A duty of care was owed to your loved one. The defendant owed a legal duty of reasonable care to the decedent prior to the incident leading to death. For example, drivers owe pedestrians care while driving.
- A breach of that duty of care occurred. It must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care through negligent actions like speeding, improper use of equipment, safety violations, etc. Their wrongful conduct must be substantiated.
- There is evidence of causation. A link must be drawn between the breach of duty and the resulting death. The negligent actions must be shown as directly causing the death.
- Your loved one suffered harm as a result. Quantifiable monetary and non-economic damages like medical costs, funeral expenses, lost wages and benefits, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, etc. must be demonstrated.
- Your case has the right plaintiffs. Wrongful death lawsuits must be brought by appropriate family members or the executor of the decedent’s estate on behalf of eligible survivors.
By providing evidence and expert testimony to conclusively satisfy each of these legal elements, families can prove entitlement to wrongful death compensation under the law. Our wrongful death lawyer will develop a compelling case to prove liability in your claim.
How Long Do You Have to Pursue an Ann Arbor Wrongful Death Case?
Although the time following the wrongful death of a loved one is incredibly difficult, it is critical to contact an Ann Arbor, MI, wrongful death attorney as soon after the event as possible. Michigan’s statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is three years, according to Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805. If you do not meet this deadline, you might lose your chance to recover compensation.
Contact Christensen Law About Your Wrongful Death Case Today
We know how painful losing a loved one can be. If your family member died because of someone else’s careless or negligent actions, Christensen Law will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your loss.