Understanding Michigan Wrongful Death Claims

shutterstock_1426522850-300x200Car accidents frequently occur in the most unexpected ways and can yield devastating results. When an accident results in the death of a loved one and was potentially caused by negligence or wrongdoing of another driver, those who are responsible must be held accountable. In Michigan, you may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in a Michigan car accident.

According to a recent news report, a deadly local car crash killed a father and injured his family. The driver who caused the crash drove his pickup truck across the road’s centerline and crashed into a family heading in the opposite direction. Police who arrived on the scene reported that the driver who caused the collision was well beyond what constituted “super drunk” under Michigan laws. Based on the police report, the driver’s blood-alcohol level was at 0.34 percent, which is more than four times the legal limit in Michigan. Following the crash, the driver is facing several charges in connection with the accident and other crimes, such as possession of a loaded firearm. The local family that was hit had the father pronounced dead on the scene and the wife and two children badly injured in the crash.

In Michigan, a wrongful death claim may be filed when a case involves a death “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” When filing a wrongful death claim, it is typically executed by the estate or the family of the deceased person and liability is expressed in terms of monetary damages or compensation. The defendant would be responsible for compensating the family if they are found liable.

Wrongful death claims can be filed by family members, but Michigan laws limit family members who can bring a claim. Under Michigan law, the spouse and children, siblings, parents and grandparents, and anyone who was left property in the deceased’s will are eligible to receive compensation. If none of these people in these categories are alive or the deceased did not possess a will, however, anyone who would have been eligible to inherit the deceased’s estate can receive damages in a wrongful death case, such as other extended family members.

Family members are eligible to receive compensation covering reasonable medical expenses, funeral and burial fees, lost wages, costs related to damaged property, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering the deceased may have experienced in their final moments. Under Michigan’s statute of limitations governing wrongful death claims, accident victims have lawsuits three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.

Do You Need a Michigan Personal Injury Attorney?

If you or someone you love has been recently injured or killed in a Michigan motor vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at the Neumann Law Group for immediate assistance. Our team of lawyers is committed to pursuing justice on behalf of accident victims in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Detroit, and beyond. We handle all types of personal injury claims and look forward to seeing how we can help you. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-525-6386.

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