If You Die in a Car Crash Does Your Family Get Money?
If the unimaginable happens and someone in your family was killed in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, you will be experiences all sorts of emotions including grief, shock, disbelief, anger, horror, and sadness. Besides with just dealing with the emotion of losing a loved one, you must also face the financial burden that a death can cause. How are you going to pay for the funeral expenses? How am I going to survive without the income that they provided for the family? How am I going to raise the kids without my significant other?
When a family member dies in a car or vehicle accident, there is a good chance for the family to recover financial compensation for the wrongful death of the person.
People are entitled to wrongful death compensation include the deceased person’s spouse, all of the children, any descendants, grandparents, brothers and sisters of the deceased and anyone else that might be included in their will.
How Do Family Members Recover Damages?
In order to recover damages, you will need to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The only person entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in Michigan is the personal representative of the estate who lost their life.
Compensation For Wrongful Death Lawsuit in a Car Accident
There are 2 ways to seek compensation for death in a car accident under Michigan law. The main form of compensation will be by suing the at-fault driver responsible for the death. This award will generally be much larger. The 2nd form of compensation is called survivor’s loss benefits which fall under Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws.
In order to file a wrongful death claim, there must be another driver that was negligent in order to recover damages for the deceased’s family. If there was indeed a negligent act by someone else that caused the accident, you can recover damages for their pain/suffering, medical expenses, loss of companionship, and for the financial support they provided for the family.
Explaining Survivor’s Loss Benefits
The best way to explain survivors loss benefits is that it covers the “contributions of tangible things of economic value” that they personal killed in a car accident would have continued to provide had he or she not been killed in the crash.
Section 500.3108 of Michigan Insurance Code states “(2), personal protection insurance benefits are payable for a survivor’s loss which consists of a loss, after the date on which the deceased died, of contributions of tangible things of economic value, not including services, that dependents of the deceased at the time of the deceased’s death would have received for support during their dependency from the deceased if the deceased had not suffered the accidental bodily injury causing death and expenses, not exceeding $20.00 per day, reasonably incurred by these dependents during their dependency and after the date on which the deceased died in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that the deceased would have performed for their benefit if the deceased had not suffered the injury causing death.”
As you can see, this form of compensation doesn’t cover much and is capped at $20/day which is almost insignificant when dealing with the loss of the family member.
How Much Compensation For a Wrongful Death Claim in a Michigan Car Accident?
The amount of compensation that the family can recover depends on a couple of different factors. The main factors include how much the deceased suffered before they died, the amount of injury suffered by family members by the loss of the deceased’s companionship, and how much financial support the deceased was providing to both their family and their dependents. The insurance company and insurance coverage of the negligent driver will also play a vital role. If they don’t have a large policy limit, it’s going to be very difficult to obtain a large settlement. The auto insurance company pays only up to policy limits. You can go after personal assets, but most people don’t have the wealth to justify doing so.
Here are a couple of examples to clarify:
If the family member died in a slow and particular agonizing way, the family will be able to recover a higher settlement because of this increased pain and suffering. If the death was quick with very little suffering, this recovery amount will be lower.
If the deceased had a very close relationship with the family members and spent lots of quality time together, the loss of companionship will be much greater.
If the person who was killed in the vehicle accident was the breadwinner of the family, the damages will be greater. In order to offset this loss in income after a fatal accident, the settlement will need to be larger in order to counteract this.
Lawyers For Family Members After a Fatal Vehicle Accident in Michigan
If you have lost a family member in an auto accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident in Michigan, please give us a call so that an experienced wrongful death lawyer can fully explain the rights and options available to you. At an absolute minimum, you will be able to recover survivor loss benefits and you might be entitled to more compensation if the death was caused by the negligence of another driver.
Our attorneys have been litigation car accidents and wrongful death claims for over 40 years and have a successful track record. In 2020, we got the family members of a deceased driver $4.75 million when she was killed by a truck. We provide free consultations to all potential clients and never charge a fee unless we are successful in getting compensation for you and your family.
According to the National Safety Council, you have a 1 in 107 chance of dying in a motor vehicle crash during your lifetime. If someone dies in a car accident in Michigan, the dependents receive financial support called survivor's loss benefits. If the other driver was at fault for the death, you can file a wrongful death claim to recover economic loss, pain and suffering, and other damages.
What Are The Odds Of Dying In A Car Accident?
What Happens When Someone Dies In A Car Accident In Michigan?
According to the National Safety Council, you have a 1 in 107 chance of dying in a motor vehicle crash during your lifetime.
If someone dies in a car accident in Michigan, the dependents receive financial support called survivor's loss benefits. If the other driver was at fault for the death, you can file a wrongful death claim to recover economic loss, pain and suffering, and other damages.
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