If your loved one died because another party failed to act with reasonable care, you may be able to obtain compensation for the resulting damages by bringing a wrongful death claim. In Michigan, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may bring the claim on behalf of eligible beneficiaries, who must be notified of the action within 30 days of its filing.
If the case yields a payout, those who are entitled to some or all of it include the victim’s:
- Children or other descendants,
- Grandparents, and
If none of these parties survived the deceased, those who were named in his or her will may recover the compensation that results. If there is no will, the probate court will name a personal representative, and any funds that result from his or her suit will go to beneficiaries who are eligible under the laws of intestate succession.
How Long Does a Personal Representative Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Suit?
The standard statute of limitations for wrongful death suits in Michigan is three years; however, the personal representative cannot take legal action more than two years after being appointed by the court. Because this filing deadline has a number of exceptions, though, it’s advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
If your family attempts to proceed with a lawsuit after the applicable deadline has passed, the case will most likely be dismissed. In such a scenario, you will essentially lose the opportunity to hold the liable party financially accountable.
What Kinds of Damages Might Be Recoverable in a Successful Wrongful Death Suit?
If the personal representative can prove that the defendant is legally liable for the deceased’s passing, eligible beneficiaries may be compensated for:
- Medical expenses that the victim accumulated over the course of the final injury or illness;
- Lost income and benefits that the victim would have continued providing dependents had he or she lived;
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses;
- Relevant property damage;
- Pain and suffering endured by the victim;
- Pain and suffering endured by the family; and
- The loss of care, companionship, and other non-economic damages that are every bit as real as the economic damages the family incurred.
In order to recover compensation for any such damages, however, you will have to prove that your family did, in fact, incur them. Thankfully, a resourceful attorney can track both economic and non-economic losses to approximate a fair settlement figure.
Discuss Your Case with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Detroit
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one whose death you think was preventable, contact Seva Law Firm. We have recovered more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our valued clients. Call (248) 385-5704 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Detroit.