Michigan wrongful death lawyerA Michigan wrongful death lawyer can help you recover compensation if you lost a loved one to a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident, medical malpractice, or the intentional act of another individual. Losing a family member or loved one is one of the most difficult experiences you can endure during your lifetime, especially when this death is sudden and due to carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of someone else.

The last thing you want to take on after a loved ones death is a wrongful death lawsuit. It can seem daunting but we are here to help. We can take care of the whole process so you can focus on grieving and taking care of family obligations.

Our experienced and reliable attorneys will work hard as possible to assess the situation regarding the incident, gather and build all the evidence, and build a strong claim on your behalf and behalf of your loved one.

Once we build the strength of your case, we will file a wrongful death lawsuit to get you and your family the highest settlement possible.

What Is The Definition of Wrongful Death in Michigan?

Under the Michigan wrongful death statute, a wrongful death is a death that is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another that would have allowed the person to file a lawsuit had he or she lived. Essentially, it’s when someone dies because of someone else’s negligence. This can include individuals, businesses, or entities.

Once someone passes due to a wrongful death, Michigan law will allow the surviving family members to bring a lawsuit against the party at-fault in order to receive compensation.

Our expert Michigan wrongful death attorneys can help the family members seeking a wrongful death claim investigate the incident that took place and hold the person, manufacturer of the product, trucking company, or other entity responsible for the death.

The death can be accident or intentional and the term wrongful death usually refers to a civil suit which seek compensation for the death of a family member or loved one.

Regardless of who is responsible for the death, a case can be brought against them with the help of a personal injury attorney. This includes individuals, businesses, companies, manufacturers of products, and other various legal entities.

Another scenario is when the negligence of a medical provider is the reason for the death. This can include anyone in the medical staff including doctors, surgeons, staff, a hospital, nursing home. You can file for damages caused by the death with the help of a Michigan wrongful death attorney.

Common Causes of Michigan Wrongful Death

Common causes of Michigan Wrongful DeathA wrongful death happens anytime when reckless, negligent, or deliberate behavior results in a death or fatality.

In order to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Michigan, a wrongful death attorney must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual, business, or entity had some duty of care to the deceased and that their behavior didn’t meet a certain standard of care.

Here are some of the most common causes of a wrongful death in Michigan:

Damages For Wrongful Death Cases in Michigan

The deceased victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Michigan. This can include the spouse, child, parents, grandparents, or a loved one named in their will. This lawsuit will seek financial compensation for damages both economic and non-economic in nature. Some of these damages will include:

These are the most common forms of wrongful death, but this list does not include all possible causes. Something such as toxic exposure to chemicals is another cause that could lead to wrongful death of not just 1 person, but multiple.

  • Any hospital or medical bills that are related to the incident
  • Pain and suffering including mental anguish and shock
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Lost wages and other benefits the deceased provided for family
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

How Do You Prove A Wrongful Death?

In order to win a wrongful death case and receive a settlement, the plaintiffs and wrongful death lawyers must show that someone’s negligence caused the loss or death of their loved one. While you can technically try this case yourself, it is highly recommend to utilize the services of a wrongful death of attorney who can show that their plaintiff has met these 4 conditions:

Owed a duty to the wrongfully deceased individual

This essentially means that the driver who was negligent should have followed all traffic laws in the case of a vehicle accident. In the case of a medical malpractice death, the doctor has a duty of care. This means the medical provider has a standard care level that is reasonable in that particular circumstance.

Breach of duty

Now that it has been established that the individual, business, or entity owed a duty to the deceased person, you must now show that this duty has been breached or not met. This could mean running a red light, making an error during surgery, creating a product that is inherently dangerous, etc.

Responsible for the death

Now the plaintiff must be able to show the breach of duty or negligence is what caused the wrongful death. For example, the car accident must of caused the death or the mistake by the doctor is what caused the death. In almost all wrongful death cases, physicians and pathologists will be responsible for determining the official cause of death.

They should provide damages to the family member(s)

If the previous three conditions are met, attorneys will calculate the damages for the loss. This can include the spouse, family members, children, grandparents, etc. Not all family members will get the same amount as they all have a different relationship and loss of companionship. The number will be negotiated between wrongful death lawyers and the insurance company, individual, entity, or combination thereof. If no settlement can be agreed upon, the case will be brought to trial before a jury and judge.

The total amount of damages that can be collected on behalf of the deceased person will depend on many different factors and this is why it’s so important to have an experienced Michigan wrongful death lawyer working for you that has handled numerous wrongful death cases and knows how to maximize a wrongful death settlement.

We understand that no amount of financial compensation can replace your loved one, but it can however help pay for related expenses and help provided for your family.

Who Can Sue For a Wrongful Death in Michigan?

While a wrongful death can happen because of a various amount of different situations, only certain people are allowed to receive compensation from the individual, corporation, or entity that is responsible for the death due to negligence or an intentional act. Only the following people (wrongful death victims) are allowed to receive compensation from a wrongful death suit:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • Both children and step-children
  • Descendants of the deceased
  • Parent and grandparents of the deceased
  • Brothers and sisters of the deceased
  • The personal named in the victims will

When bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, there must be what is called a “personal representative of The Estate” according to the Michigan Wrongful Death Act. In order to be approved for this position, the Michigan Probate Court must approve this individual. This designated person will work with the Michigan wrongful death attorney to make key decisions and handle the claim.

Another key aspect of being the personal representative is that they will administer the execution of the will and distributing property to all the parties involved. Wrongful death lawyers can help with this designation.

How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

How long does a wrongful death lawsuit takeIn the State of Michigan, there is a 3 year statute of limitations for bringing a case for the wrongful death of a loved one. If you fail to file a lawsuit in this window, the family members will not be able to seek damages against the negligent party. This is a good reason for hiring a Michigan wrongful death lawyer to assist you.

Once the Michigan wrongful death lawsuit case if filed, the length of time it will take depends on many different factors. All Michigan wrongful death claims are different. Certain types of cases are known to take longer than others. For example, a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit will typically take longer than a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from a car accident.

The judge presiding over the case also has a large influence. Some judges are more strict as regards to the length of time allowed to take depositions and investigations.

In almost every instance, there will be what is called a mediation or settlement facilitation. The purpose of this is to negotiate a settlement and prevent the case from going to trial. If every single case went to trial, it would be difficult to handle the caseload and the courts would back up causing even more delay in reimbursing family members.

How Much Compensation Will I Receive For a Wrongful Death of a Family Member?

Unfortunately, there is no average settlement for wrongful death lawsuits. Every case is unique and it’s impossible to put a number on any particular case. Some of the more common factors that will determine the amount of the settlement pay out include.

  • The amount of pain/suffering endured by the deceased person
  • The loss of companionship for family members
  • Income or wage loss (A high earner will result in a larger settlement)
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of health insurance and/or pensions

Hiring an Economist To Determine Monetary Value

In many complex wrongful death lawsuits, an economist will need to be hired to determine a monetary value when a wrongful death occurs. They will take these factors into play along with the loss of household services that the deceased would have provided if not for the death. The amount will usually be contested by the insurance company or entity being held responsible.

Are Wrongful Death Settlements Taxed?

Are Wrongful Death Settlements TaxedThe short answer is no, a wrongful death civil lawsuit is not taxed. According to the Internal Revenue Service, any compensation that is awarded from a physical illness or injury is non-taxable. “If you receive a settlement for personal physical injuries or physical sickness and did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to the injury or sickness in prior years, the full amount is non-taxable. Do not include the settlement proceeds in your income.”

We still strongly recommend discussing your settlement with your accountant or tax preparer, but it is extremely rare to pay taxes on a wrongful death claims.

How Much Time Do I Have To File?

In general, you have three years from the time of the incident to start a wrongful death claim. Michigan law states if you fail to make a wrongful death claim in this window of time, you and your family will be barred from receiving any compensation for the negligence which caused the death of your loved one. It’s best to contact a wrongful death attorney as this three year rule is not always the same. In some medical malpractice cases, you may only two years for example.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Wrongful Death Lawyer?

It does not cost anything to hire one of the wrongful death lawyers at The Clark Law Office. We don’t charge any fees to start working on your case and we only get paid when you relieve the check for the settlement. This is called a contingency fee agreement. We will pay for all the expenses of filing and building a strong case for you and your family. We only get a percentage of the settlement at the very end when your check is delivered.

Experienced Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyers

A wrongful death accident can happen in a number of different ways. We we take on your Michigan wrongful death case, we will study the incident to determine exactly what happened. If it was a car accident, we will hire experts to determine how the negligence contributed to the death of a family member. If it was a medical negligence situation, our wrongful death lawyers will hire experts and doctors to investigate what happened and build a strong case that will hold up in court.

If you have suffered a loss of a family member due to the negligence of someone else, call the Michigan wrongful death lawyers at The Clark Law Office. We offer free consultations to all potential clients. We have a track record of success in wrongful death lawsuits and we will help guide you through this impossible time with extreme compassion and our extensive knowledge of the the law. Call us today at (517) 347-6900.

Who can sue for wrongful death in Michigan?

A personal representative of the estate can sue for wrongful death. Only certain people are able to receive compensation for a wrongful death claim. This includes the deceased person's spouse, children, step-children, descendants, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and anyone inheriting the estate.

How long do you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Michigan?

The state of Michigan law requires a wrongful death lawsuit be filed within 3 years of the deceased person's death. Always contact an attorney well before this deadline.

What are the most common causes of wrongful death?

Auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, birth injuries, and work accidents are the most common causes of wrongful death.

Does wrongful death mean death caused by a tort?

Yes it does. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case and falls under the category of tort law.

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