A wrongful death claim is a suit that arises from the death of an individual that was caused by the reckless or negligent conduct of another. A wrongful death suit is different from other types of personal injury claims because the actual victim (the “decedent”) is not bringing suit; rather it is the family members or the decedent’s estate.
As such, a wrongful death claim is brought to recover damages for the injuries that the surviving family and/or estate have suffered due to the death of the victim. At West Michigan Injury Lawyers, PLC, we understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, we help our clients achieve financial security and some closure so they can focus on recovering from their loss.
To file a wrongful death suit in Michigan, you must show that:
Under Michigan law, only certain individuals can file wrongful death claims, and those that are allowed to sue, do so on behalf of others. In Michigan, only a personal representative may file a suit on behalf of the surviving spouse, children, or parents (M.C.L. § 600.2922). A personal representative is a person, appointed by the decedent to represent his estate, or if no will is left, by the state of Michigan to represent the beneficiaries.
Siblings and cousins of the decedent do not have the right to bring the lawsuit unless they have been named as personal representative of the decedent, in which case they still have no right of recovery so long as there is a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the decedent.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
While no amount of money can ever replace the loss of your loved one, the compensation you could receive in a wrongful death claim can help you to adjust to the new way of life that inevitably results.
Potential damages that you may be able to recover in a wrongful death claim include:
You will need time to grieve your family member’s passing. However, it’s important not to delay too long in filing a wrongful death claim. Your claim must be filed within three years of the date of your loved one’s death. If you fail to meet this deadline, the court will likely refuse to hear your case.
In addition to filing before time expires, submitting your claim sooner rather than later can help you get the financial resources you need to pay off the significant bills that resulted from the situation. When you feel like you are ready to start the process, reach out to West Michigan Injury Lawyers, PLC. Our Muskegon wrongful death lawyers have over 75 years of combined experience and are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve.
As a victim of wrongful death, it is not unlikely to experience lasting emotional distress. Emotional distress is a common result of trauma and may be reflected in stress, anxiety and mental health troubles. Seek justice right away with the help of our firm.
In order to win your case, you will need to provide proof that your emotional distress is the cause of trouble in your life. Examples of trouble may include the inability to drive, difficulty maintaining a job, difficulty caring for dependents and more. It is very common that your friends and/or family will need to testify on your behalf in order to prove your emotional distress.