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Detroit Wrongful Death Lawyer

If a fatal accident has caused your family to lose a loved one, you can seek justice through compensation. Get the help you need by working with a Detroit wrongful death lawyer.

Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, and knowing that they didn’t have to die when or how they did makes that loss even more tragic. This is what makes a wrongful death so painful. It’s not only the sudden loss, but also the knowledge that the deceased should have had more years ahead of them.

While a wrongful death claim won’t bring them back and may seem like the last thing you want to think about when you’re grieving, these legal actions have a distinct purpose. A wrongful death suit can help hold negligent parties responsible for what happened to your loved one, and the compensation from such a claim can help you focus on healing instead of worrying about how you’re going to cover financial losses due to the untimely death.

If you’ve lost a family member due to someone else’s neglect or reckless actions, now’s the time to speak with a Detroit wrongful death lawyer. Call Christensen Law today for a free consultation, or visit our contact page.

What Is a Wrongful Death Accident?

According to Michigan statutes, a wrongful death is when someone dies due to the wrongful actions, neglect, or fault of another person. The statute makes a comparison to other personal injury claims, in that families can sue for wrongful death under many of the same rules that would apply if the deceased had survived their injury or illness to file their own lawsuit.

Wrongful deaths cover a wide range of injuries and illnesses. Some of the types of wrongful death cases we handle at Christensen Law include:

  • Defective products – Lax regulations, a lack of proper testing, and sloppy manufacturing processes can all result in tainted or defective products ending up on store shelves. However, companies are still responsible for the effects of their products, and they can be held liable if they’re found to have been negligent during the development or manufacturing process
  • Worksite accidents – Employers have a responsibility to keep their workers safe, and that includes their workspace. But poor maintenance, a lack of safety inspections, and damaged equipment can all lead to potentially fatal injuries in the workplace. Employers can be held liable for workplace deaths if they’re found to be willfully negligent in their safety efforts. Death benefits may also be available through workers’ compensation even if the employer didn’t do anything wrong.
  • Vehicle accidents – Driving while drunk or impaired by other drugs, distracted driving, driving on too little sleep, etc., can all lead to deadly vehicle accidents. Another common cause of vehicle-related wrongful deaths is drivers being hit by commercial truckers. In all of these instances, the driver and their employer may be held liable for negligence.
  • Pedestrian or bike accidents – More people are opting to bike or walk to work, if they’re able, but this comes with a trade-off: An increase in pedestrian and bike fatalities. Drivers have a duty to watch out for and avoid pedestrians, as well as people on bikes. If the driver was negligent at the time of the crash, they can be held liable for damages.
  • Slip-and-falls – Falling on a slippery surface is a potential way to sustain a traumatic brain injury, which can prove fatal. These kinds of accidents can happen in public spaces, inside stores, on the job, in parking lots, on sidewalks, really anywhere where there’s a potential for a slick surface to form. It’s up to property owners to keep visitors, guests, workers, and others safe from slip-and-falls, and failing to do so may mean they’re liable for damages. Tripping over uneven surfaces can lead to similar injuries, and it’s also the job of property owners to prevent these kinds of incidents.
  • Criminal Behavior – A wrongful death claim is a civil action, but it can be filed in relation to a criminal action. If someone’s criminal activities result in another person’s death, the person responsible for the criminal act can be held liable in a wrongful death claim.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan?

Michigan law requires the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file any wrongful death claim. If a wrongful death claim is filed, whoever filed the claim must notify the existing members of the deceased’s family within 30 days.

Once the family members have been notified that a wrongful death claim has been filed, they in turn have 60 days to let the victim’s estate know about any damages the might be entitled to due to the victim’s death. If they do not send notice in time, they may be deemed ineligible to recover any damages should the wrongful death claim prove successful.

It’s important to know that, in most cases, only certain family members are eligible to recover compensation from a wrongful death claim. The potential beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim include:

  • The deceased’s spouse
  • Their parents and grandparents
  • Any brothers or sisters they have
  • Any children of the deceased

The only other people who can recover compensation in a wrongful death claim are family members who are left property in the deceased’s will.

Damages in a Michigan Wrongful Death Case

If you establish the defendant is liable in a wrongful death case, the deceased’s estate can recover damages. In Michigan, damages you can receive from a wrongful death suit include:

  • Any hospital and medical, expenses incurred prior to the person’s death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages and income, including any future income the deceased would have earned were they still alive
  • Damages for pain and suffering the deceased person experienced prior to their death
  • Damages for any property damaged in whatever caused the fatal accident
  • Pain and suffering for family members as a result of the person’s death
  • Loss of care and companionship resulting from the lost relationships when the person died

If any damages are awarded in a wrongful death case, state law requires that any hospital, medical, funeral, and burial expenses be paid for with the awarded damages. Once those expenses have been covered, any additional damages are split among whoever is named in the deceased’s will.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Michigan

Michigan allows for wrongful death claims to be filed within three years of the date of death. While that may seem like a long time, there’s a lot of work that goes into filing a wrongful death action.

If you’re considering filing a claim, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable Michigan wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. That way you can make sure everything is filed correctly and on time, which gives your case a better chance of success.

How Does a Michigan Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work?

Like most personal injury claims, wrongful death claims typically involve proving some type of negligence on the part of the defendant. Proving negligence means showing that not only did the defendant’s actions or failure to act cause someone’s death, but that they also had a responsibility to act. Generally, you also have to show how the defendant’s actions or negligence directly led to the victim’s death. Lastly, you also have to show measurable damages.

One type of wrongful death suit that can be especially difficult to prove is medical malpractice. That’s because you have to show how the doctor or hospital’s actions fell below what’s known as the “medical standard of care.” To meet the medical standard of care, your doctor’s actions must be in line with what another doctor with the same training and experience would do if they were presented with a similar case. If the doctor’s actions do not meet this standard, they may be considered negligence and, therefore, liable for damages.

How a Lawyer Can Help with a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim is not something you want to attempt without experienced legal counsel. These cases are complicated and turn on nuanced legal concepts. Furthermore, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims means it’s important to file the case quickly while still ensuring everything is in order.

Here are some of the ways Christensen Law can help with your wrongful death claim:

  • If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you’re most likely in serious emotional pain. You may not feel up to filing a lawsuit, but the three-year clock is ticking. While we take care of your court case, you can focus on healing.
  • Wrongful death claims are a core area of practice for our firm, so we know the relevant laws and rules surrounding these cases. You don’t want to lose your claim because you missed some crucial element in establishing your case.
  • We can investigate your claim for you. We have teams of researchers and expert witnesses we can call on to document your case, which makes it more likely that you’ll prevail should the case go to trial.
  • We can assist with any legal matters involving the deceased’s estate.
  • We can handle any communication between you and the defendant, their insurance company, etc. Speaking to an insurance company can give them an advantage because they can take anything you say to them and turn it against you. Don’t take that chance. Hire a lawyer to handle any official communication between you and anyone else involved in your claim.
  • We can calculate the full value of your claim. One way insurance companies lowball settlements is to only pay you for some of what you’re owed. We’ll make sure to evaluate the entirety of whatever damages you may be entitled to, and fight for what you’re owed when the time comes to negotiate a settlement.
  • We can negotiate from a position of strength. We know the tricks that insurance companies and other entities use to entice plaintiffs into accepting lowball offers. We won’t stand for that. We’re prepared to aggressively fight for you to get the maximum damages possible.

Talk to a Detroit Wrongful Death Attorney Now

Legal action is likely the last thing on your mind while you’re grieving, but it’s important to weigh all your options if you believe your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death. A wrongful death claim can hold liable parties responsible for their actions. You may be facing serious financial jeopardy now that your family member is gone.

We take a dedicated, compassionate approach to wrongful death claims at Christensen Law. We know how sensitive and important these cases are, which is why we make sure to keep our clients in the loop at every step along the way. We’ve spent years fighting these battles and recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients. You can read more about our case results here.

Our proven track record has given us a reputation for success. Our client testimonials demonstrate our commitment and resolve. Here’s one example:

“Absolutely recommend these attorneys. This is a professional and efficient law firm. My attorneys did their jobs and that’s why I came here. I’m satisfied with my settlement. Sarah and David are excellent people and attorneys. They are both very professional and polite. I enjoyed dealing with them. I absolutely recommend these attorneys.”

If someone in your family has suffered a wrongful death, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Any delay could mean you lose your chance to recover any compensation you may be owed. To get started, call Christensen Law today for your free case evaluation.