Why You Should Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer
December 6, 2019
It’s tragic when a family member dies, regardless of the circumstances. And, when the death is caused by negligence, the tragedy is compounded. When that happens, the surviving family members will usually consult a wrongful death lawyer about filing a lawsuit against the negligent party.
How does Michigan law define a wrongful death?
When a person dies as the result of another party’s negligence, the family might have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Survivors may file a claim against one or more persons or entities. Here are some examples:
- The driver(s) who caused the accident that resulted in the death
- A physician, nurse or other medical professional
- A hospital, nursing home or other medical facility
- A municipality
- A landlord or property owner
- A product manufacturer
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that is unrelated to any criminal charges that may be pending.
What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit?
Survivors may file a suit up to three years from the date of death. However, because these claims are usually lengthy and complicated, it is better to begin as soon as possible. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will evaluate your case and tell you how best to proceed.
What are the most common reasons for wrongful death claims?
There are many circumstances that may result in a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are some of the most common situations:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and falls and other “premise liability” accidents
- Workplace accidents and illnesses
- Boating or drowning accidents
- Defective products
- Airplane crashes
- Dog attacks
Who is eligible to receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit?
In general, the victim’s immediate family members are entitled to compensation for the damages they’ve suffered as a result of the wrongful death. However, it is the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate who must file the claim.
The following individuals may be entitled to recoup damages:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children (including step-children)
- Anyone else who was left money or property in the deceased person’s will
In certain cases, there may be exceptions to the above. That is why it is important to speak to a reputable wrongful death lawyer if you are contemplating a lawsuit.
What kind of settlement can survivors expect to receive?
Because many elements influence the outcome of each lawsuit, it is hard to estimate the worth of a claim. The defendant’s degree of negligence is usually a major factor. Nevertheless, if the deceased had any responsibility for what happened, the settlement may be less than if the defendant were 100% at fault.
In addition, the degree of emotional and financial hardship experienced by the family is also considered. So are the pain and suffering the victim endured between the precipitating incident and the time of death.
Family members may also receive compensation for other kinds of damages, such as:
- Reasonable medical expenses relating to the injury, illness or accident that resulted in the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages from the time of the accident and the victim’s death
- Loss of projected future earnings, including pension plans and health insurance coverage for the survivors
- Loss of care, protection, and companionship previously enjoyed by the victim’s surviving family members
“We understand what it’s like to lose a loved one because of someone else’s careless actions,” said Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “If this has happened to you, contact us right away. Our compassionate and knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers will fight to win the compensation your family deserves.”
Michigan wrongful death laws are complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.