When a tragic accident takes the life of a loved one, families are not only faced with devastating grief and mental anguish. They may also encounter significant financial hardships due to lost income and the unexpected expenses that often accompany a family member’s sudden passing. Fortunately, legal relief may be possible.
Michigan personal injury laws allow family members to seek wrongful death compensation when a relative’s death is due to someone else’s negligence. At Christensen Law, our attorneys can help you pursue justice and find peace of mind during this impossible time. While money can’t bring back a family member, it can be a vital source of stability in a suddenly unstable world.
If you have lost the companionship of a family member because of someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, consider talking to an experienced wrongful death attorney at our firm today. We will leverage our decades of in-depth experience in wrongful death cases to build a solid claim on your behalf and provide you with the compassionate, attentive care you need during this difficult time.
For a free consultation with one of Christensen Law’s skilled lawyers, contact us today.
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What Is Wrongful Death in Michigan?
In Michigan, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by any form of “wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” Generally speaking, the law allows a victim’s family to seek compensation when a death occurs due to the negligence of a person or company which is when someone fails to use reasonable care to avoid harming someone.
For example, if a victim dies in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death case in court to pursue compensation for their losses.
Accidents That Can Result in Wrongful Death
Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury claims, with one key difference.
In a personal injury case, the victim of another’s negligence can use the legal system to seek compensation for their injuries. However, in the case of a wrongful death claim, the accident takes the victim’s life. It is up to surviving family members to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased individual instead.
Examples of accidents or events that may trigger a wrongful death claim include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability accidents, such as slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability accidents
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
If any type of negligent accident or incident claimed the life of a loved one, consult with an experienced Michigan wrongful death attorney to review your legal options.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Detroit, MI?
In Michigan, the personal representative of the victim’s estate is responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is sometimes referred to as the executor of the deceased individual’s estate.
Within 30 days of filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative must notify eligible family members about the case. Eligible family members are generally entitled to a portion of the compensation recovered through a successful wrongful death suit.
While only the personal representative can file a lawsuit, Michigan law dictates that the deceased victim’s family may be entitled to receive damages. These family members include the surviving:
If the individual does not have surviving family, Michigan’s law of intestate succession will apply.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a way for grieving family members to pursue compensation for the losses they suffer due to their relative’s sudden death. It is also a legal way to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions.
Generally, family members may be able to pursue compensation for different types of losses, such as:
- Medical costs incurred before death
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future financial support
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
Unlike other states, Michigan does not place a cap on the amount of damages that a family may recover in a wrongful death claim. This is true in all cases except for medical malpractice suits and some product liability cases.
If medical malpractice results in a death, a cap is applied to the amount of non-economic damages a family may collect. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and quality of life changes. The state has a chart outlining its medical malpractice damage caps.
Fighting for Wrongful Death Compensation in Michigan
Fighting for wrongful death compensation can be challenging. The death of a loved one can be traumatic, and moving beyond the pain to objectively build a case for compensation is not easy. Let the team at Christensen Law tackle the challenge for you. We can provide you with the experienced legal counsel you need and handle the logistics of filing a strong and compelling case.
Our wrongful death lawyers will fight aggressively for the outcome your family needs so that you can focus on rebuilding your life.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
You only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. Michigan gives victims three years from the date of a family member’s death to file a wrongful death claim. However, it’s best to get a wrongful death attorney started on the case as soon as possible. That way, your lawyer can collect important evidence before it disappears or witnesses’ memories fade.
How Can the Wrongful Death Lawyers From Christensen Law Help Me?
At Christensen Law, we’ll take on the burden of building a solid wrongful death case while you focus on the needs of your family. Our skilled wrongful death attorneys can help by:
- Investigating the circumstances of the accident
- Assisting in legal matters that involve your loved one’s estate
- Communicating with insurers and defendants in the wrongful death case
- Negotiating with insurers on your behalf
- Calculating the full and fair value of your wrongful death claim
Let the experienced Michigan team at Christensen Law handle the specifics of your wrongful death claim while you and your family take the time you need to heal. The sooner you get an attorney on your side, the better chance you have of securing your family’s financial stability.
At Christensen Law, we have a reputation for success and a genuine desire to bring comfort and closure to your life. Call or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.