Wrongful Death in Michigan
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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan?

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

When a loved one dies from the negligence of another person or group, it is a hard time for friends and family members. However, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for your loved one’s passing may help bring some closure and justice.

If you live in Michigan and have suffered a wrongful death in your family, you can hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. An experienced wrongful death lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can help you recover compensation and get the amount your loved one deserved.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Michigan

Personal injury claims are filed if someone’s negligence leads to serious injuries. When someone dies from injuries incurred by negligence or purposeful actions like a shooting, it is considered a wrongful death.

Michigan’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years from the date of the death. Wrongful death claims are usually accepted if the deceased person would have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived their injuries. There must also be monetary losses for the surviving family members.

A lawyer files the lawsuit on behalf of an appointed personal representative of the deceased. The personal representative sends a copy of the complaint to any family members within 30 days. Any awarded damages split among the family members may include the surviving spouse, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, and other members named in the deceased person’s will.

If a will does not exist or no one named in the will is alive, others may be entitled to compensation. Your lawyer can explain your options to you so you know who qualifies for these claims and what happens next.

Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan

Most Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death claims place the burden of proof on the plaintiff to demonstrate the defendant acted carelessly or negligently, resulting in a person’s death. These are some of the most common wrongful death lawsuits:

Medical Malpractice

Doctors and hospitals can make mistakes that can result in serious injuries and wrongful deaths. The elderly are also vulnerable to mistreatment, sometimes resulting in wrongful deaths in nursing homes.

Construction Accidents

Many workers are in danger in the construction industry, which has the highest rate of workplace fatalities among other sectors.

Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and boats can lead to fatalities. These incidents occur due to many factors, including speeding, drunk driving, and driver inattention.

Defective Products

A product liability claim can be filed if a defect in a car, machine, or another piece of equipment, like defective medical devices, results in your loved one’s death.

Types of Damages You Can Get from a Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim can be filed to receive compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and the deceased’s lost and future wages. You may also receive compensation for any pain and suffering they experienced from when they were injured until their passing.

Some states use punitive damages to punish defendants for egregious, despicable, or ill-intentioned acts. Instead of punishing the defendant in Michigan, exemplary damages are awarded if the defendant’s actions were despicable and the plaintiff suffered mental anguish or humiliation.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.

At the law firm of Cochran, Kroll, and Associates, P.C., we understand how hard this time can be for you and your family members who have been affected by the wrongful death of a loved one. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible after the accident so we can help you determine who was responsible for your loved one’s untimely passing and discuss your options for moving forward with a lawsuit.

Contact us for a free consultation at 866-MICH-LAW. Our law firm never charges a fee unless we win your case.


How does a wrongful death claim differ from a “survival action”?

Survival action is used where someone has suffered an injury that led to their death, whereas wrongful death claims are brought on behalf of people who died because of another’s negligence. Your lawyer can explain more of what it takes to file a survival action and a wrongful death claim.

How does a court calculate a deceased person’s future wages?

According to a life expectancy table, future earnings are determined by multiplying the decedent’s expected years of work up to retirement and the average income earned in those years. The final sum is reduced to its present value, representing how much money that amount would be worth if it were invested today.

Do wrongful death claims take a long time?

The timeline of a wrongful death claim depends on various factors, including the amount of damages and whether liability can be proven. The judge’s scheduling order may affect the timeline. You and your lawyer should work together to gather helpful evidence that strengthens your ability to prove fault based on those circumstances of your loved one’s unfortunate passing.

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.

Jasmine Holt is a freelance writer specializing in legal content marketing for attorneys and law firms. She hopes to provide better legal advice to the general public using her previous experience working with a franchise company and a law firm. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.



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