METRO DETROIT WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER
The loss of a loved one is never easy, particularly if it was avoidable and caused by someone else's carelessness. If your family member was killed in an accident as a result of someone's negligence, you may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action for damages. Contact Metro Detroit Injury Lawyers for a free consultation concerning your Michigan wrongful death claim.
Overview Of Michigan’s Wrongful Death Statute
A wrongful death claim is an action for a decedent’s damages before death and for the damages arising out of his or her death. Wrongful death actions based on the underlying personal injury action (car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, dog bite attack, medical malpractice, etc.) and are governed by Michigan’s wrongful death statute, MCL 600.2922.
Under Michigan law, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death action. Even though the claim is brought by the personal representative, the lawsuit must include the claims of all persons who suffered a loss or who are entitled to recover damages as a result of the loss.
Appointing A Personal Representative
In order to commence a wrongful death action, an estate for the decedent must be opened, and a personal representative appointed. Once the estate is opened, the probate court will issue letters of authority, which confer onto the personal representative the authority to commence a wrongful death action.
The personal representative brings the wrongful death action on behalf of the decedent’s estate, and thus represents the interests of all those entitled to make a claim to the estate. Since the personal representative represents interests beyond their own, there are special notice requirements that must be met. The notice is designed to advise all potential interested parties under the estate of their rights.
Persons Entitled to Recover Damages
MCL 600.2922(3) limits the persons entitled to recover damages in a wrongful death action to those who suffer damages and survive the deceased. Although a person may be within the class of persons entitled to assert a claim to the decedent’s estate, he or she will not be permitted a recovery if the law decides he or she did not suffer damages. For instance, Michigan has precluded recovery for estranged family members who made no attempts to maintain a relationship with the decedent.
Damages Recoverable In Michigan Wrongful Death Actions
Under the statute, a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit may seek compensation for the following:
- Medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses for which the estate is liable
- Damages for the decedent’s conscious pain and suffering during the time period between injury and death
- Loss of financial support including future earnings and other income and benefits
- Loss of society and companionship of the deceased
Contact Metro Detroit Injury Lawyers
If your loved one lost his or her life in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you may be entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact the Metro Detroit Injury Lawyers today at 248-430-8929 for a free consultation and evaluation of your Michigan wrongful death lawsuit.