Losing a close family member is one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences a person can endure. This loss is especially difficult when it results from another person’s negligent, reckless, intentional, or wrongful act. Although monetary compensation can never replace a lost loved one, it may help bring about a sense of closure and justice for yourself and other surviving family members.
If you lost a loved one in an occurrence resulting from someone else’s negligent, intentional, or reckless conduct, you may have legal options. Contact an experienced and compassionate Detroit wrongful death attorney immediately.
At Michigan Injury Lawyers, our experienced team can meet with you to determine your eligibility for filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. We can then file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and work to pursue the justice that you and your family members deserve.
For a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Detroit wrongful death attorney, please call us or contact us online for more information.
Why Choose Us?
Dealing with the recent death of a loved one is never easy especially when negligent, wrongful, or intentional conduct caused the death. Fortunately, our legal team can help you handle the legal components of your wrongful death claim while you mourn your loved one’s loss.
Regarding legal representation, not all wrongful death lawyers are the same. While many attorneys settle claims early in the process, our team is not afraid to take a tough stance and aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and their representatives. Moreover, if litigation becomes necessary, we can file a wrongful death lawsuit in court and pursue favorable compensation for you.
Our team has a strong track record of both settling and litigating wrongful death claims throughout Michigan and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our seriously injured clients. In short, our client testimonials speak for themselves.
We have convenient offices throughout the state, including Ann Arbor, Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Mount Clemens, Petoskey, Saginaw, Sterling Heights, Troy, and Traverse City. Let us help you pursue and recover the monetary compensation you need and achieve the justice you deserve in your wrongful death case.
Potential Wrongful Death Compensation in Detroit
Several classes of individuals may be eligible to pursue wrongful death compensation following a loved one’s untimely death due to a fatal accident, intentional act, or accidental death (a death resulting from another person or entity’s negligence).
Those individuals include:
- Surviving spouses
Moreover, in some limited circumstances, distant relatives like aunts and uncles can bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit seeking monetary recovery.
Deceased individuals may also leave a will naming one or more survivors as estate heirs. Any of these individuals can also bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit following the deceased individual’s death.
One prerequisite to filing a wrongful death claim is an appointment as the personal representative or PR of the deceased individual’s estate. In most situations, surviving family members will agree on who should receive the PR designation. The PR will then work with a wrongful death attorney representing the surviving family members’ interests.
The total monetary compensation a claimant can receive as part of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit is extremely case-specific and may vary considerably from case to case.
Factors that may affect the total amount of a wrongful death settlement or jury verdict include:
- The specific circumstances that led to the decedent’s untimely death
- The degree to which surviving family members depended on the decedent for financial support
- The pain and suffering the decedent likely experienced between the time of the incident and their eventual death
A favorable wrongful death settlement or jury verdict should compensate a claimant for both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses that a wrongful death claimant may recover include monetary compensation for:
- Past, present, and future lost income, if surviving family members depended upon the decedent for economic support
- Loss of work benefits, including a pension or health insurance
- Burial and funeral expenses resulting from the decedent’s death
In addition, a wrongful death claimant may be eligible to recover non-economic damages.
The purpose of these damages is to compensate individuals for their intangible losses, including compensation for:
- Loss of the decedent’s moral and emotional support
- Loss of the decedent’s care, comfort, and companionship
- Loss of spousal companionship and consortium, if the decedent was married before their death
- Pain and suffering between the time of the incident and the decedent’s death
- Loss of the decedent’s household services
One of the best ways to pursue favorable compensation in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit is to retain experienced legal counsel to represent you as early as possible.
The skilled and compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers can handle all communications with insurance company representatives on your behalf and aggressively negotiate with adjusters. If the insurance company refuses to make a fair and reasonable offer to resolve your case through settlement, we can file a lawsuit and pursue litigation in civil court.
Once you receive a monetary award, Michigan law determines the heirs with the legal right to recover compensation from the settlement or jury verdict. The decedent’s parents, children, and spouse are primary beneficiaries under the law. In some situations, however, grandparents and other relatives may receive a share of the proceeds. The family member who paid for the funeral service and burial receives those expenses first. The remaining proceeds then go to the decedent’s heirs under Michigan law.
Where Do Fatal Accidents Occur in Detroit?
Many wrongful death claims in Michigan arise from fatal accidents, including motor vehicle crashes (especially those involving drunk drivers), nursing home falls, construction site accidents, and swimming pool drownings.
Regarding fatal motor vehicle crashes, some of the most common locations in Detroit include Interstate 75 and U.S. Route 23.
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries in a recent Michigan accident, our experienced legal team can explain your rights and help you pursue a wrongful death claim for monetary compensation with the appropriate insurance company.
What Incidents Lead to Detroit Wrongful Death Claims and Lawsuits?
Surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit if their loved one died during an intentional, reckless, or accidental occurrence. Some of the most common occurrences that lead to Michigan wrongful death claims include:
- Fires and explosions that occur at a job site, sometimes resulting from defective equipment or products
- Electrical injuries at a job site resulting from faulty wiring
- Premises accidents, including defects at a construction site, where a premises owner or manager fails to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition
- Swimming pool, jet ski, and boating accidents, where the property owner acts unreasonably under the circumstances
- Drug overdoses and poisonings
- Defective products that malfunction, usually because of a design or manufacturing flaw that exists
- Abuse and negligence by employees at a nursing home or assisted living facility
- Negligent actions and inactions by hospital staff
- Medical negligence and malpractice by a medical provider, such as a doctor or nurse
- Motor vehicle crashes, including car and truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle crashes, and bicycle accidents, where an at-fault driver violates one or more traffic laws or engages in road rage, distracted driving, or DUI
In a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, the individual who brings the claim—or the claimant has to satisfy a legal burden of proof to recover monetary compensation and damages.
In wrongful death claims that involve negligent conduct, the claimant must legally demonstrate the following elements:
- Legal duty of care—First, the wrongful death claimant must legally establish that the at-fault party (the individual or entity that committed the negligent or wrongful act) owed the decedent a legal duty of care. In the context of a premises accident, for example, the property owner typically has a duty to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of property visitors—and to warn about or repair defective conditions within a reasonable time.
- Breach of the duty of care—Second, the wrongful death claimant must establish that the at-fault party violated that legal duty somehow. For example, in the context of a premises accident, the claimant must show that the at-fault property owner failed to repair or warn about a property defect quickly enough to prevent the accident from occurring.
- Causation—Third, the wrongful death claimant must show that the fatal incident happened as a direct result of the wrongful act. For example, a property visitor might have fallen down a staircase because the owner failed to keep the stairs in a reasonably safe condition.
- Damages—Finally, the wrongful death claimant must demonstrate that as a direct result of the at-fault party’s wrongful act or omission, their loved one’s death occurred.
When it comes to proving these legal elements, we might retain an accident reconstructionist who can visit the scene of the occurrence, speak with witnesses, and determine exactly what happened. The accident reconstructionist can then draft a report or testify at a discovery deposition or jury trial in your wrongful death case. Our legal team will do everything possible to help you prove the necessary legal elements to recover favorable monetary compensation.
FIGHTING THE INSURANCE COMPANY IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
Even in cases that involve a person’s death, insurance companies are often difficult to deal with. In fact, insurance companies do not have the incentive to offer favorable monetary compensation in any personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Rather, insurance companies want to try and save themselves as much money as possible to keep in-house and distribute to their shareholders. Many insurance companies will use any tactic to try and avoid a significant monetary payout to an accident victim or wrongful death claimant.
In most wrongful death claims, the initial offer from an insurance company representative is far below the actual value of the case. Therefore, it may take several rounds of negotiations between a wrongful death attorney and the insurance company adjuster before reaching a favorable settlement.
Usually, a wrongful death attorney places a demand on the table, and the insurance company adjuster responds with an offer. The attorney might gradually reduce their demand as the insurance company gradually increases its offer. This back-and-forth process continues until the wrongful death case either settles or the parties cannot agree.
The knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers can be extremely helpful during settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives.
If the insurance company refuses to offer you fair and reasonable compensation as part of your claim, we can threaten the insurance company with wrongful death litigation and, if necessary, take your case to a civil jury trial. Our compassionate legal team can help you make intelligent and informed decisions at every stage of the proceedings and pursue the maximum compensation possible.
What Should You Do After Your Loved One’s Death to Preserve Your Legal Rights?
After your loved one’s death, you should retain experienced legal counsel to assist you with the claims-filing process as soon as possible. Navigating this process can be extremely complicated especially during the weeks and months after losing your loved one.
Our legal team can take the burden off your shoulders and handle all of the legal components of your claim while you mourn the loss of your loved one.
During this time, it is often a good idea to retain copies of important documents, including incident reports, police reports, camera footage of the incident, funeral bills, and medical records/bills. As you receive these documents, you can forward them to our legal team for review.
Call a Detroit Wrongful Death Attorney Right Away
If you recently lost a loved one due to another person’s wrongful act, the compassionate and experienced attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers are here to help.