After the death of a loved one, you may be consumed with grief and sorrow. No amount of money can make up for such a devastating loss. However, you may face various practical challenges as well, such as how to pay a mortgage or how to support your children.
At the Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City wrongful death lawyers can help families bring wrongful death claims arising out of fatal accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. We are highly experienced injury attorneys who derive personal satisfaction from vindicating the rights of victims and their loved ones throughout the West Side of Michigan.What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan?
A wrongful death in Michigan is defined as a death that is caused by the fault, wrongful act, or neglect of another party. Generally, you can bring a wrongful death claim in a situation in which the victim could have sued for personal injuries had they not died. For example, wrongful death claims can be filed following fatal car accidents, fatal workplace accidents, and fatal instances of medical malpractice, among others.
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits, and they are independent of any criminal charges associated with the same set of events. A higher standard of proof ("beyond a reasonable doubt") will apply to a criminal case. This means that you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit even if criminal charges have been dismissed or have resulted in no conviction. However, in some cases, findings made in a criminal case can have a bearing on the civil case.Who Can Bring a Michigan Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Michigan, the personal representative of the decedent's estate, often a family member, must file the wrongful death claim. He or she has 30 days to notify family members of the action. Then, they have 60 days to notify the estate about their damages as a result of the decedent's death. The victim’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, anyone who is left property in the decedent's will, and children of the decedent's spouse may be entitled to recover damages.Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
In many cases, the victim’s estate must prove the elements of an ordinary negligence claim, but it depends on the circumstances that gave rise to the decedent's death. For example, if the wrongful death lawsuit is based on medical malpractice, the estate would need to establish that the healthcare provider being sued breached the standard of care that would have been followed by a reasonably prudent medical professional of similar training under the same circumstances. This standard of care can vary by geographic region and personal details of the patient, such as age, gender, and health.Wrongful Death Damages
Damages that can potentially be recovered in a wrongful death case often include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, future lost income, loss of care and companionship, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. The damages award is used to pay off medical, funeral, and burial expenses before it is distributed to family members.Has Your Family Endured the Preventable Loss of a Loved One?
The loss of a loved one is devastating. At the Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City wrongful death attorneys are committed to pursuing justice for the families of those who have died due to the negligence of others. An accident lawyer who grew up in Grosse Point, Attorney Kelly Neumann has secured many verdicts and settlements exceeding one million dollars over the years and routinely obtains more than $3 million in settlements for her clients each year. We represent injured individuals in Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, Saginaw, Flint, Midland, Muskegon, Holland, Ann Arbor, Warren, Dearborn, Petoskey, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Traverse City personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at the Neumann Law Group a call at 800-525-6386. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless and until we can connect you with the compensation you deserve.