Fatal Car Accidents

Experienced Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyers Aggressively Pursuing Compensation on Behalf of Grieving Families in Traverse City and Grand Rapids

Across the United States, over 19,500 people died in car accidents during the first half of 2023 alone. Tragically, many of these accidents involved distracted driving, speeding, road rage, or drunk driving—meaning they were entirely preventable. After losing a loved one, financial matters may be the last thing you want to consider. However, now is the time to consider the long-term impact that the accident will have on your life because your ability to bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party won’t last forever.

At Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City fatal car accident lawyers are immediately available to guide you through the complex process of seeking damages from a party that caused or contributed to your loved one’s death. We’ve handled countless personal injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle accidents and know what it takes to ensure your family recovers the compensation they need, deserve, and are entitled to.

Michigan’s Wrongful Death Law

If a fatal car accident was caused by someone else’s wrongful act, neglect, or fault, you can sue for wrongful death under MCL § 600.2922. Generally, this means that if your loved one could have brought a personal injury lawsuit had they survived the accident, eligible family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.

Criminal Charges Versus a Wrongful Death Claim

In some cases, the at-fault driver may also be facing criminal charges. The burden of proof in criminal cases is much higher than it is in civil cases. Therefore, you can bring a civil claim and potentially recover damages, even if the defendant was acquitted or charges were dismissed in the criminal case. However, sometimes, certain findings in the criminal investigation and case can affect the civil case, so it is important to consult an attorney right away.

Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Michigan?

In Michigan, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must bring a wrongful death claim. A personal representative is typically named in the deceased’s will if they had one. If the accident victim did not have a will, the court will appoint a personal representative.

If the claim is successful, any proceeds are for the benefit of the surviving family members, including spouses, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, and beneficiaries of the decedent’s will. If a decedent dies without a will, and none of the other specified family members are left, whoever could have inherited the estate can potentially receive damages, such as cousins.

Proving a Wrongful Death Case

To successfully bring a wrongful death case in Michigan, the estate must establish the defendant was negligent. A traditional negligence analysis requires proof of three elements:

  1. The defendant owed the accident victim a duty of care,
  2. The defendant breached the duty owed to the accident victim and
  3. The defendant’s breach of the duty caused or contributed to the victim’s death.

If liability is established, damages may include lost wages, future earnings, reasonable medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, the decedent’s pain and suffering, the family members’ pain and suffering, property damage, and loss of care or companionship.

Have You Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Michigan Car Accident?

If you recently lost a family member in a car accident, you only have three years from the date of their death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. This makes it critical to avoid any delay in starting the process. At the Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City fatal car accident attorneys regularly secure more than $3 million in personal injury cases each year for our clients. We understand that this is an exceptionally difficult time for your family, and we will do everything possible to make the recovery process as straightforward as possible. The Neumann Law Group represents grieving families in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, and Ann Arbor, as well as in communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney.

Client Reviews

Helpful staff who is always there for you. Dedicated to serving your needs.

- Joyce L.

I was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident and was able to obtain a large settlement that will take care of me for the rest of my life. I also referred my friend to Neumann Law Group regarding a medical malpractice matter. She has also been overly satisfied with this firm. I highly...

- Kevin R.

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