It’s nearly impossible to find a silver lining to a global pandemic, but there are a few that have been noted. For example, with less drivers on the roads due to lockdown orders, school closings, and businesses going remote, fatal car accidents were down in Michigan from January through April 2020.
According to the Michigan State Police, National Safety Council found fatal crashes per 100 million miles driven were up 14% across the nation in March.
While fewer car accident fatalities are a great thing, if your loved one was among those killed on Michigan roads, it is of little comfort. In addition to your profound grief, the person may have been the family breadwinner and you face devastating financial hardship as well.
If you are facing this life-altering predicament and aren’t sure where to turn, the wrongful death attorneys at Davis Injury Lawyers PLLC can help. You may be entitled to compensation if your loved one died from the willful actions or negligence of another. Let us review your possible claim by contacting (313) 462-7979 today.
Michigan Wrongful Death Claims
Michigan wrongful death claims are covered by state law. Pursuant to Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.2922 you can bring a claim for wrongful death if it was “caused by wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” It is not an easy legal claim to pursue and it may take some time to resolve. That is why you must find an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Davis Injury Lawyers.
Sometimes prior to making a wrongful death claim there is a legal fight about who can bring it. The potential for such precursor litigation is another reason why you want an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side. Options for who can file the claim include:
- The executor of the person’s will if the deceased passed testate (with a will).
- If the person passed in testate, without a will, a spouse, or the person next in line under intestacy laws can make the claim.
- The legal parents of a deceased minor can make a wrongful death claim.
The elements of a wrongful death claim in Michigan that must be proven by the plaintiff are:
- Negligence – must prove the death was caused by the negligent, reckless, or careless actions of the defendant.
- Breach of Duty – must prove the defendant owed the victim a duty and failed in it. For example, motorists owe each other the duty to drive safely and follow traffic laws.
- Causation – must prove how the defendant’s negligence caused the death. In other words, even if the defendant was driving recklessly, other causes for the death must be eliminated such as the victim had a heart attack and that is why the cars crashed.
- Damages – must prove that the death generated quantifiable damages such a medical, funeral, and burial costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Should your wrongful death claim prevail, the estate (or other legal representative) is entitled to damages that include:
- Medical costs of the victim that occurred while being treated after the accident before death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Loss of love and consortium of the deceased
The wrongful death statute contains no statute of limitations, the time in which you must bring your claim or be barred from doing so. Instead, the statute of limitations on the underlying claim is used. For example, if negligence caused the fatal car accident, the statute of limitations for negligence is used. In Michigan, you must bring negligence actions within three years after the time of death.
Davis Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Wrongful Death Claim
No amount of money can replace your loved one, but you have a right to be compensated for the damages caused by another’s negligence. Easing your financial burden can help as you and your family grieve and start moving forward in your “new normal.” We understand your pain and are here to help.