Michigan Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one is extremely painful and challenging for families and friends to accept—especially when that loss is directly attributable to someone else’s negligence. In Michigan, a “wrongful death” refers to a death caused by another’s wrongful act, neglect, omission, or default.
Before filing a wrongful death claim under Michigan law, an estate must be opened on behalf of the deceased. A personal representative must then be appointed to administer the estate. A claim or lawsuit must be filed on behalf of the estate—usually against the at-fault person or entity who brought about the deceased’s untimely death. A Michigan wrongful death claim or lawsuit may ordinarily be filed on behalf of the dead’s husband, wife, child, parent, or sibling.
If someone you love was killed as a result of another person’s negligence or intentional act, you might be entitled to monetary compensation under the law. Since the deceased is not available to testify about the underlying accident at deposition or trial, wrongful death cases can sometimes be challenging to prove. The knowledgeable and compassionate wrongful death lawyers in Southfield and around Michigan at Haque Legal may represent you by filing a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate—and, if necessary, litigating the case through the Michigan court system.
Bases for Michigan Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful deaths may come about from many circumstances in Michigan. The most common bases for Michigan’s wrongful death claims include car accidents, workplace accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, negligent supervision, defective medical devices, and defective drugs.
Due to the many high-speed roadways and highways in Michigan, motor vehicle accidents are unfortunately all too common. A motor vehicle accident may serve as the basis for a wrongful death claim when one driver is killed as a direct result of the other driver’s negligence. Most of these cases involve drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, or reckless driving. All of which one of our skilled personal injury attorneys in Southfield, Dearborn, or Warren can help with.
Michigan’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations ensures that claims and lawsuits are filed promptly. If cases languish for too long, evidence becomes stale and potential trial witnesses may become unavailable for various reasons. Imposing time deadlines for filing suit allows trial evidence to remain fresh—and for the timely resolution of cases.
Under Michigan law, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case is ordinarily two years from the date of the deceased’s death. In most cases, absent some limited circumstances, this is a hard-and-fast deadline. In other words, if a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit is not filed within the applicable period, the estate may be forever barred from filing a claim or lawsuit—or from seeking monetary recovery—at any point in the future.
Since time may be of the essence in a wrongful death case, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate should not delay in taking legal action. The knowledgeable Michigan wrongful death attorneys at Haque Legal can file any wrongful death claims or lawsuits promptly.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Michigan
If you decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate, a Michigan wrongful death attorney could assist with proving all of the legal elements of the claim, including:
Duty of care – The first step to proving negligence in a Michigan wrongful death action is to show that the at-fault party or parties owed the deceased a duty of care under the law. For example, in a motor vehicle accident, a defendant driver owes a plaintiff motorcyclist (not to mention all other drivers who operate their vehicles on the roadways) an affirmative duty to drive in a reasonably careful and prudent manner. This means that the driver must operate a car in the same way as a “reasonable” driver acting under the same or similar circumstances.
Breach of the applicable duty of care – To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant(s) violated the standard of care that was owed to the deceased under the circumstances. For example, in the case of a motor vehicle accident, if a driver ran a red light or stop sign and collided with a motorcyclist in the middle of a traffic intersection, thereby bringing about the deceased’s death, that act would likely constitute negligence on the part of the defendant driver.
Cause – For the deceased’s estate to recover in a Michigan wrongful death action, the estate must prove that the negligent acts of the defendant(s) caused the deceased’s death. In other words, the estate must show that the deceased’s death was foreseeable—and that it would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence.
Damages – Damages in Michigan wrongful death cases may be proven by a combination of lay and expert witness testimony. Available damages in Michigan wrongful death cases consist of both economic and non-economic damages. The injuries possible to the deceased’s estate include medical costs and expenses, future lost wages (as a result of the deceased’s death and inability to work), conscious pain and suffering, and funeral expenses. Also, family members can claim damages for the value of support and services provided by the deceased, emotional, and mental pain and suffering, and more. A Michigan wrongful death attorney may help you prove the nature and extent of the estate’s damages.
Contact a Michigan Wrongful Death Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
If one of your loved ones has died in an accident that was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you need a knowledgeable attorney on your side representing the deceased’s estate from beginning to end. The Michigan wrongful death attorneys at Haque Legal may negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of the estate, and if necessary, litigate the case in court.
To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Michigan wrongful death attorney, please call us today at (248) 996-9954 or contact us online.