Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyer

Michigan Wrongful Death Attorneys

Facing the loss of a loved one devastates families and brings feelings of grief and anger. The aftermath of your loss might also include financial strain from the loss of household income, unpaid medical bills, and the cost of a funeral and burial.

You might feel awkward about consulting a lawyer after the death of a loved one, but if another party’s negligence or wrongful actions caused your loss, you have the right to seek justice and accountability. Money won’t erase the pain and hurt you are experiencing, nor will it bring back your loved one; but, it can help alleviate the additional financial stress you might be feeling right now.

If your loved one sustained a fatal injury as a result of another party’s intentional harm or negligence, Michigan law entitles surviving family members to seek compensation for damages in civil court. Contact one of the compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Thurswell Law at (248) 354-2222 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.

How Does Michigan Define Wrongful Death?

Under Michigan law, a wrongful death occurs whenever the death of a person or injuries resulting in death have been caused by “wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” This also includes injury to a pregnant woman resulting in death to the fetus or a stillborn birth. The law stipulates that if the deceased would have been able to sue for damages if death did not occur, then the personal representative of the estate of the deceased has a right to pursue those claims. Those who might recover damages in a wrongful death suit in Michigan typically include:

  • Spouses and children;
  • Descendants of the deceased;
  • Parents and grandparents of the deceased;
  • Siblings; and
  • Stepchildren.

When you discuss your case with a qualified Michigan wrongful death attorney, he or she can advise you how any settlement or verdict in favor of the estate of the deceased might be divided among surviving family members.

What Types of Accidents and Injuries Might Lead to a Wrongful Death Claim?

Many scenarios might result in a fatal injury, but not all qualify as a wrongful death. Here are some of the most common accidents and injuries which lead to wrongful death claims:

  • Motor vehicle crashes. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety reported 905 fatal crashes in 2018, resulting in 974 fatalities on Michigan’s roads and highways. Most traffic accidents are preventable. Negligent drivers who make poor choices behind the wheel might be liable in a wrongful death suit if their carelessness resulted in a fatal crash.
  • Unintentional falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report between 30,000 and 35,000 deaths from unintentional falls across the nation each year. Unintentional falls include slip-and-fall accidents and trip-and-fall accidents. When people fall a great distance or hit their heads, they face potential fatal injuries, but even falls that seem less severe could result in fatalities when they cause severe injuries. Property owners have a legal duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors. Owners who fail to uphold their duty might be liable in a wrongful death suit if a visitor sustained a fatal injury on their property.
  • Workplace accidents. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports more than 150 workplace fatalities across Michigan in their most recent yearly data. Workplace accidents which might result in fatal injuries include unintentional falls, toxic substance exposures, heavy equipment accidents, and accidents caused by unsafe working conditions. In most cases, survivors cannot file a wrongful death case against an employer, but they can take action against a third party. A qualified Michigan wrongful death attorney can advise you on the best path for you and your family.
  • Medical malpractice. Michigan law holds doctors and other medical professionals to a standard of care for their patients. When medical professionals or facilities breach their duty towards a patient and it results in death, a Michigan court might find them liable in a wrongful death suit. Types of medical malpractice which might result in death include surgical error, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a terminal illness, wrong patient or wrong site errors, and prescription errors.
  • Defective products. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that tens of thousands of product defect-related deaths take place every year. Under Michigan law, any party involved with bringing a defective product to market might have legal liability for those deaths, including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. The CPSC records and reports deaths related to chemicals, flammables, fireworks, furniture, home decor, kitchen products, construction products, toys and children’s products, and anything else except automobile and medication defects, which the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDO) oversee.

Recovering Damages in a Michigan Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If a Michigan court rules in favor of the estate of the deceased, it might award the following damages:

    • Loss of support and service from the deceased
    • Loss of companionship and protection for a widow or widower
    • Emotional pain and suffering
    • Lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance for minors when there is no surviving spouse
    • Medical costs resulting from the fatal injury, including ambulance and emergency services, surgery, X-rays, and medication
    • Burial costs and funeral expenses for those who paid
    • Lost wages from the date of injury until the date of death

If the court awards damages to the estate of the deceased, Michigan law requires the estate to pay medical bills, funeral expenses, and burial costs out of the award before distributing money to surviving family members.

Contact a Skilled Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your loved one sustained a fatal injury as a result of another party’s intentional harm or negligence, then you and your family might be eligible to receive compensation for damages related to your loss. Under Michigan law, you typically have three years to take legal action against a party with legal liability. Let an experienced Michigan wrongful death attorney advocate for you and your family while you focus on coping with your loss during this challenging time.

Contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys from Thurswell Law at (248) 354-2222 or online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and determine your eligibility for compensation.

(248) 354-2222
1000 Town Center, Suite 500 Southfield, MI 48075
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