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Frequently Asked Questions
A Michigan wrongful death lawsuit is defined by the Michigan Wrongful Death Act, MCL § 600.2922. This act states that wrongful death has taken place “Whenever the death of a person or injuries resulting in death shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another, and the act, neglect, or fault is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages, the person who or the corporation that would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death was caused under circumstances that constitute a felony.”
There are certain procedures and time limitations one should follow and understand when filing a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit. That is why it is very important to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney immediately if you have lost someone due to a wrongful death accident in Michigan
A wrongful death lawsuit is usually filed by the relatives of the deceased person. In some cases, a non-family member will be elected to file the case. A probate estate must be opened and a personal representative is appointed.
Quite often, the family will agree on who should be appointed as the personal representative. When the family cannot agree on this appointment, a court hearing will be held and the probate judge will determine who appointment. After this complete, the personal representative can hire a Michigan lawyer to file the wrongful death lawsuit.
A Michigan wrongful death lawsuit is governed by a statute (Michigan Wrongful Death Statute) that controls every aspect of the case. This includes how the settlement funds are distributed to the family members of the deceased. People entitled to shares are the deceased’s spouse, children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters.
Just because a person is legally entitled to a portion of the settlement proceeds does not mean they will automatically receive money. A judge is the ultimate decider of who gets settlement money and the amount for each person.
Every case is different; therefore there is no set amount of compensation a family member can get for a wrongful death claim in Michigan. The types and amount of damages can depend on each case type. For example, a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice may be subject to limits on damage amounts because of a specific statute in Michigan, whereas the type of settlement in an auto accident case can often depend on the insurance policy limits of the negligent driver or owner of the vehicle.
There is no specific formula, and will be determined by a number of factors including the expertise of the lawyer in which you hire. At the law firm of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. our wrongful death lawyers understand how to maximize the compensation a family member can receive for their loss. We will work hard to get you the best possible settlement for your case and represent clients under our No Fee Promise, which means no legal fees or costs until we win or settle your case.
The amount of time for a wrongful death lawsuit is different for every case. Some cases settle quickly and others can take many years.
The amount of time depends on the complexity of case. The factors include proving liability and the amount of damages. Every judge sets their own scheduling order for the case. Some set shorter deadlines and others set longer ones.
The important thing is to not rush to a quick settlement. It is important to work up the case over time to get the highest compensation award.
Michigan law allows several types of recoverable damages in a wrongful death case. First, there is compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering from the time of injury until death. There is no guideline for this amount of money and it varies on a case by case basis.
Second, there is a claim for the loss of society and companionship by the family members. This is compensation for the family members missing the loved one and how it has affected their life. This also varies in every case.
Finally, there are financial losses as a recoverable damage. These include lost income and earnings, loss of support, medical bills and funeral expenses.
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