When to Hire Wrongful Death Lawyers in Detroit
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
The unexpected death of someone you love is a trying time for anyone. You are likely not in the frame of mind to consider whether a loved one’s passing amounts to wrongful death during this difficult period, but if you suspect the negligence of another party played a role in their death, you should act immediately.
A successful wrongful death claim can help a suffering family work through their grief by procuring financial support at a time when the loss of the family member has caused financial hardship, whether through medical bills, lost wages, or funeral expenses.
Compensation from wrongful death cases provides notable relief to the next of kin, not least when the loved one was the sole provider in the family or household. Seeking compensation, therefore, can play an important role in healing, helping you focus on working through emotional distress by settling your financial worries. That’s why it’s in your best interest to know your legal rights and whether you have grounds for a claim when a loved one experiences an untimely death in an accident.
Wrongful Death Accidents
There is a wide variety of wrongful death claims, and it’s important to understand the factors related to an accident that can qualify as contributing to wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit is undertaken when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that factors beyond the deceased’s control and attributable to the wrongful act or wrongdoing of a negligent party led to the death of a person.
What is a Wrongful Death Accident?
For negligence to apply, you must prove that the accident occurred due to the fault of another person or the negligence or deliberate misconduct of another party or entity. Wrongful death can be caused by auto accidents, medical negligence, work-related incidents, or the deliberate unlawful act of another individual, among other factors.
Wrongful death claims are filed as civil lawsuits, although a criminal case may also be pursued in parallel to a civil case, depending on the nature of the accident resulting in the death.
Among the common causes of wrongful death are motor vehicle accidents such as car accidents and motorcycle accidents, surgical errors, workplace accidents where the property owner may be held liable, and accidents caused by defective products.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Detroit?
State laws vary, but under Michigan’s Lawful Death Act, family members have the authority to file a suit to obtain monetary compensation in Detroit, MI. This includes close relatives such as the surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, or grandparents.
According to Michigan law, when the deceased has none of these as the next-of-kin, more distant relatives or others may be able to file the claim in Detroit when there are grounds to do so.
However, unless the deceased left a will designating a direct inheritor to their estate, the victim’s family must first designate a family member to be the personal representative of the decedent and file the lawsuit on behalf of the family. When the family agrees to this, the representative works with an experienced wrongful death attorney and represents all family members and their interests in the case. The attorney will help to mediate an agreement between family members on the division of any settlement received.
Damages in a Detroit Wrongful Death Case
The plaintiff can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit based on two types of damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages have a monetary value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses.
As with personal injury claims, non-economic damages may be harder to quantify because they lack an exact numerical value. These consist of emotional and psychological hardships resulting from the situation, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or loss of protection.
Compensation After the Death of a Family Member
The most common types of damages awarded are for medical expenses either for the deceased or for family members suffering from the incident, the loss of income related to the death of the deceased in any way, and financial restitution for emotional and other suffering that prevents the victims left behind from earning an income.
A victim’s spouse can be awarded damages for the loss of protection and companionship, while children can be awarded compensation for the loss of companionship and parental guidance.
Negotiating a Settlement After a Fatal Accident
Proving wrongful death is a complex affair and may result in either negotiating a settlement or going to trial. The critical factor is that you and your attorney must present evidence that the accident causing death was the result of another party’s negligence.
If the death was intentional, you may pursue a criminal case, which can lead to jail time for the accused. Wrongful death cases may involve more than one accused party, involve a business or other entity, and result in complicated settlement negotiations with insurance companies.
This is why, if a family member died as a result of negligence in Detroit, hiring experienced wrongful death lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is your best chance to provide the burden of proof. Our experienced attorneys will determine the chances of proving wrongful death, how much you stand to gain from a lawsuit, and we will negotiate settlements, whether with defendants or insurance companies, on your behalf.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Given the serious and challenging nature of wrongful death cases, it’s advisable to consult with and hire legal representation to file the claim for you. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we work on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we win your case. This means that if you move ahead with a wrongful death lawsuit, there is no financial risk to you and no upfront costs.
The way it works is that Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. front the costs related to filing and other fees incurred by the case. If we win, we recuperate these costs and the fee mutually agreed upon with you according to the contingency contract.
In the state of Michigan, this is usually around ⅓ of the final settlement total. When a case is tried in a Michigan court, the amount a lawyer charges in a contingency agreement cannot exceed ⅓ of the recovery amount. After deducting filing costs, the fee is usually 33⅓% in a wrongful death suit.
Wrongful death cases require considerable time and labor to investigate. The contingency fee agreement enables our legal team to put in the time and do the necessary work for your case to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Millions Recovered for Our Clients
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has a strong record of recovering millions of dollars for our clients, including $15.8 million for a medical malpractice suit in which cerebral palsy was inflicted on a baby due to an error by a doctor in the final stages of delivery. In addition, we have recovered over a million dollars in numerous other wrongful death suits.
Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Will Fight for You
Detroit wrongful death lawyers Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., have extensive experience filing and handling wrongful death claims in Michigan. We bring experience across the board of wrongful death cases in multiple practice areas to the table, from motor vehicle and work accidents to medical malpractice and fatal product defects.
While we cannot directly relieve your suffering, we can help secure your financial security for the future and bring the responsible party to justice, helping alleviate your grief. Pursuing a wrongful death claim may allow you to move forward with your life again. Our main goal is to help relieve your financial stress and help you to get back on your feet.
We Can Take on Wrongful Death Cases Involving Medical Malpractice
Our senior partner, Eileen Kroll, has years of experience handling complicated wrongful death cases, especially those resulting from medical malpractice. Her capacity as both an attorney and registered nurse means she brings a unique perspective to legal matters involving wrongful death via medical malpractice, and her insight can substantially help your case.
Wrongful Death Lawyers in Michigan
As reputable wrongful death lawyers in Detroit, we strive for the opportunity to secure financial awards for family members who have lost a loved one. We seek to give families peace of mind so they can focus on the long and challenging process of rebuilding their lives.
If you think you have a legal claim and decide to use our services, you can expect emotional sensitivity, personal attention to your needs, prompt communication, and complete transparency about the status of your case and the steps we are taking to win it.
Contact our wrongful death lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation today. Although the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Michigan is three years, these cases take time. Don’t wait to take legal action; contact us today!
Our telephone number is 866-MICH-LAW.
How is wrongful death defined?
Wrongful death is when somebody is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit distinct and separate from criminal charges, although a criminal prosecution may also follow from the death.
How do I choose the right wrongful death lawyer?
Your attorney can make or break your case, so it’s essential to take the time to research, read reviews, and meet with several reputable lawyers before making your decision as to who to hire. Investigate the law firm and the specific attorney’s background, and make sure that whoever you hire has previous experience in managing wrongful death suits similar to yours.
If you have no previous experience with the legal system, don’t hesitate to ask questions when meeting with an attorney for the first time. Among the things you need to know are: whether they will be handling your case personally, the amount of time they will dedicate to you and whether they have a proven record with cases resembling yours.
If you’re searching for an attorney in the Detroit area, Wayne County, Oakland County, Bloomfield Hills, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, or Royal Oak, contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for a free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.