Getting compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one won’t ease the emotional pain, but it might ease some of the resulting financial burdens. Allow an Ann Arbor wrongful death attorney to help you.
No matter the circumstances, losing a loved one is an incredibly painful experience. But if your loved one died as a result of another party’s negligence, the loss can be especially devastating.
Wrongful death is any scenario in which another person’s intentional or negligent acts led to someone’s death. There are many types of wrongful death cases, including those involving vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and defective products.
As difficult as the weeks and months after losing a loved one may be, if you believe your loved one’s death was caused by another party’s negligence, it’s important to seek justice. An Ann Arbor wrongful death lawyer with Christensen Law can be an invaluable legal ally in your pursuit of compensation and justice.
Examples of Wrongful Death
In a wrongful death case, your attorney will seek to recover damages for you and any other affected family members of the deceased. Examples of common types of wrongful death cases include the following:
- Vehicle Accident – Whether your loved one suffered an accident while riding in a car, boat, motorcycle, bus, or other vehicle, if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to a wrongful death settlement. Common negligent driving behaviors include distracted driving, drowsy driving, driving while under the influence, and speeding.
- Worksite Accident – When property owners and employers do not maintain safe worksites according to standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers are put at serious risk. In 2015, nearly 5,000 workers died while on the job.
- Defective Product – At every stage of product development—design, manufacture, distribution, and advertising—companies must ensure that their products are safe for public consumption or adequately warn the public if a product is found to be unsafe. If your loved one died because of a product malfunction, you could be entitled to a wrongful death settlement.
- Pedestrian/Bike Accident – As more and more people opt for green modes of transportation, an unfortunate byproduct is an increase in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. In 2016 alone, over 6,000 bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles.
- Criminal Behavior – In some instances, wrongful death can be a result of criminal behavior. For example, if a home burglary causes the victim to have a heart attack that results in his or her death, that could be considered a wrongful death case.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Michigan?
In Michigan, family members who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one’s death include the following:
- Spouses and children
- Children of the deceased’s spouse
- Anyone the deceased left property to in his or her will
In certain cases, none of these potential beneficiaries may be living or the deceased may not have a will. In these scenarios, anyone who may have benefited financially from the deceased may file a wrongful death suit. This may include first cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Wrongful Death Compensation
After a wrongful death suit is filed, there is a 60-day period in which surviving family members or people named in the will must report how the deceased’s passing has affected them financially. This determines the size of the settlement amount a plaintiff may seek.
Potential damages to be recovered in a wrongful death settlement include the following:
- Income the deceased would have earned
- Medical expenses incurred if the loved one required hospitalization or other care before passing
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Any costs associated with damaged property
- Intangible benefits provided by the deceased, including guidance, companionship, and care.
- Your pain and suffering after your loved one’s death
Although the time following the wrongful death of a loved one is incredibly difficult, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon after the event as possible. Michigan’s statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is three years.
Contact an Ann Arbor Wrongful Death Attorney
We know how painful losing a loved one can be. If your loved one died because of someone else’s careless or negligent actions, Christensen Law will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your loss.