Six months after their boy was killed while riding his bike, a Redford Township family is finally getting some sense of justice. Local police announced this week the driver who killed 6-year-old Chase Young has been charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment or death and one count of habitual offender — fourth offense notice.
The tragedy happened on Aug. 10 in the area of Brady Road and Vassar Drive. Little Chase was hit by a blue 2023 Chevrolet Impala, driven by Korey Colt Thompson. Neighbors told police that two men had run away from the car after the crash, and neither of them stopped to check on the little boy. Young was flown to a nearby hospital in critical condition but died a few days later due to complications from his injuries.
Who is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Michigan?
The first thing you need to know is that even if the at-fault driver is facing criminal charges you must file a civil lawsuit to recover damages. If you lost someone in any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact experienced Detroit accident lawyers right away.
Under Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act, the personal representative of the victim’s estate has the legal authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative can be a family member, an executor named in the will, or a person appointed by the court.
According to the act, the following people may be entitled to seek damages
- The deceased’s spouse, children, descendants, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters.
- The children of the deceased’s spouse.
- Other persons to whom the victim left property in their will.
The lawsuit must be filed within 3 years from the death of the victim, but seasoned attorneys warn you should not wait too long.
Types of damages the family may be entitled to under a wrongful death lawsuit
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the family is entitled to seek compensation for:
- Reasonable hospital, medical, funeral, and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support the deceased person would have contributed to the family
- The pain and suffering endured by the victim before their death
- The loss of the deceased’s care, companionship, and other intangible benefits.
Medical expenses, funeral costs, and financial support fall under economic damages. They are called tangible losses and are fairly easy to calculate as they are based on bills, payslips, etc.
The suffering the victim and the surviving family endured are considered non-economic damages. The amount of money you can seek under non-economic damages depends on the impact the sudden death had on the family. If a parent is killed, leaving behind young children, they may seek millions of dollars in damages, even though no amount of money can compensate for the pain of growing up without a mother or father. The same applies when a family loses a child in an accident. That’s the sort of grief that lasts a lifetime.
In Michigan, there is no cap on non-economic damages, except in medical malpractice cases where the maximum you can get is $887,500.
Have you lost a loved one in an accident in the Detroit area?
If you recently lost someone in a tragic accident, the experienced attorneys at the Neumann Law Group are here for you. Our compassionate wrongful death lawyers will fight for your rights and help you get closure. Through our dedicated representation, over the years we have secured significant compensation for our clients. To learn more and schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 800-525-6386.