The grief of losing a loved one can be overwhelming, especially if their death is due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct. In addition to unimaginable grief, surviving family members often face financial hardships in the wake of such a sudden loss. Funeral and burial costs, medical bills, and lost income can undermine a family’s financial security during an already stressful time.
In Michigan, you and your family can take legal action to demand compensation from the at-fault party. The attorneys at Christensen Law have extensive experience helping the families of wrongful death victims seek the compensation they are entitled to under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act.
Contact a wrongful death lawyer at Christensen Law today for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your legal options in a private case review.
What Is the Michigan Wrongful Death Act?
The Michigan Wrongful Death Act permits the family members of individuals who died due to a wrongful or negligent act to sue the at-fault party for damages resulting from the individual’s untimely death.
Michigan law defines “wrongful death” as a loss that occurs due to any “wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another” that would have permitted the deceased person to file a personal injury lawsuit if they had lived. Miscarriages are also included in Michigan’s wrongful death statute. If a miscarriage occurs due to negligence, then the mother could sue the at-fault party for losses.
Who Can Sue Under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act?
By law, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must initiate a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family. Only this person has the authority to bring the suit. In many cases, the personal representative will be a family member.
If your relative did not establish an estate plan naming a personal representative, the court will appoint one on their behalf.
What Damages Are Allowed Under the Wrongful Death Act?
A variety of damages can be recovered in a successful wrongful death claim, including:
- Medical and hospital expenses incurred before your loved one’s death
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Any physical and emotional pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their death, including emotional distress, mental anguish, lost enjoyment of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of society
- Loss of financial support
A wrongful death attorney at Christensen Law can discuss the types of damages you may be entitled to after reviewing the facts of your case.
Who Can Receive Wrongful Death Compensation?
Even though the personal representative brings the wrongful death lawsuit, the family will benefit from it. Compensation may be awarded to the deceased person’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Other descendants of the deceased
- The individuals to whom the deceased’s estate would pass, if none of the above are survivors
- Children of the deceased’s spouse
- Any individual who is a devisee under the deceased’s will
While no amount of money can replace what you have lost, wrongful death compensation can play a vital role in helping families rebound from their tragedy and regain solid financial footing.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Michigan law, family members must bring a wrongful death suit within three years of the deceased person’s death. It’s critical not to miss the deadline. Otherwise, you may forfeit your ability to pursue compensation for your loved one’s death.
If your loved one died due to a negligent or wrongful act, or if you suffered a miscarriage as a result of medical negligence, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Investigating the accident, gathering evidence, and documenting damages can take time, so getting the process started as early as possible gives you the best chance of securing maximum compensation.
Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Case
To prevail in your wrongful death claim, you will need to prove that the at-fault party was negligent and liable for your loved one’s death. To do this, you (or your attorney) will need to show that:
- The defendant had a duty of care to prevent your loved one from being harmed.
- The defendant breached that duty through negligence or a wrongful act.
- The defendant’s breach of their duty directly contributed to your loved one’s death.
- The defendant’s negligence or wrongful action caused you and your family to suffer losses due to your loved one’s death.
Proving negligence requires strong evidence and a skillful argument, which is why it’s wise to work with a lawyer with extensive experience litigating wrongful death cases.
How Our Michigan Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help
If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, it is crucial to find a proven wrongful death attorney to represent your interests and protect your rights.
At Christensen Law, we firmly believe that those responsible for your loved one’s death should be held accountable for their negligence. But you shouldn’t have to bear the extra burden of building a wrongful death case while you are grieving. That’s where we come in.
Our attorneys can handle every aspect of your case for you. We’ll conduct a thorough investigation, gather crucial evidence to support your claim, place a full and fair value on your case, and aggressively pursue the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.