If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. Our Detroit wrongful death lawyers can help you file the claim and recover the compensation without losing any time. Filing for compensation is also a way of holding the negligent party accountable, which is why it is important.
Michigan has a distinct set of laws that govern wrongful death claims. Even if you are eligible, you must meet the requirements laid out in these laws to receive damages. Here at TorkLaw, our attorneys can help you understand these legalities and meet the requirements. However, it is still important for you to know the basics of wrongful death lawsuits. Here’s a quick look at these.
What is regarded as Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is defined as the death of someone caused by the negligence of another person, business, company or entity. Such negligence may be accidental or intentional. For instance, if a patient dies after a misdiagnosis, the entity responsible for the diagnosis may be held responsible. Similarly, if a company-owned vehicle hit and killed another driver, the driver’s family can sue the company for the negligence.
A wrongful death lawsuit is essentially a civil lawsuit. This means that it exclusively deals with your right to receive compensation for the loss of your loved one. If a death was intentionally caused, criminal proceedings may be separately launched against the guilty party. However, the wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in the case of both intentional and accidental deaths.
When Should You File a Wrongful Death?
If you have a loved one who has died due to the negligence of someone, you should file a wrongful death lawsuit. The basic aim of such a lawsuit is to hold the responsible party accountable. This ensures that the negligence is publicly known and acknowledged. It also ensures that the negligent party is more likely to prevent a similar tragedy in the future.
Another important aspect of the wrongful death lawsuit is the economic aspect. As a dependent family member of the deceased, you are able to recover a suitable amount once negligence is proved. This helps you stay financially afloat and meet the expenses of pre-death medical treatment and burial which you may otherwise be unable to afford. Our Detroit wrongful death lawyers strive to make sure that you file for and receive the maximum amount of damages to cover these costs and expenses.
Michigan’s Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases
In most cases, Michigan has a statute of limitations of three years for wrongful death cases. This means that the lawsuit must be filed within three years from the death of the victim. This deadline typically applies to motor vehicle accidents and other similar mishaps.
For other types of wrongful death instances, Michigan has a different deadline. For deaths caused by nursing home negligence or medical malpractice, for instance, the deadline is two years. The same time limit applies to cases where the death of a victim is caused by the intentional acts of a party.
It is important to note that there are exceptions to the statute. You may have to file a wrongful death claim sooner than the stated deadline, or you may have more time to file than the standard statute. Qualified Detroit wrongful death lawyers can help you determine precisely the deadline that applies to your particular case.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan?
Michigan laws clearly lay out the individuals who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. As per these laws, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Detroit if you are among the following:
- The spouse, children, descendants, brothers, sisters, parents or grandparents. If none of these survive the deceased, then the person who will legally inherit the estate of the deceased can file the lawsuit.
- The children of the deceased person’s spouse can also file the lawsuit.
- If the will of the deceased mentions any devisees, these are entitled to filing a wrongful death claim. If the will mentions any individuals who may be entitled to damages, they also qualify for filing the suit. Finally, beneficiaries of any living trust of the deceased may qualify, dependent upon certain conditions.
Given the complexity of the matter, it is often unclear who is actually entitled to file a lawsuit. In some cases, more than one family members or survivors may be eligible to file the lawsuit. It is then up to qualified Detroit wrongful death lawyers to advise you on which survivors have legal priority in the matter.
How is Settlement Amount Disbursed?
The allocation and disbursement of the of the settlement amount received in a wrongful death lawsuit is done by an attorney recognized by the court. Before the disbursement can happen, the court decides upon the matter of the percentage of the amount for each individual. The actual percentage depends on the closeness and dependence of a given survivor in relation to the deceased.
The court allows the family members and survivors to agree upon an allocation arrangement. If that doesn’t seem possible, the court then decides the arrangements on its own by taking into consideration the claim of each survivor. Once the court makes a decision regarding the distribution of the amount, the money is transferred to the attorney.
Why Hire Detroit Wrongful Death Lawyers?
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in Detroit, it is your right to seek suitable wrongful death damages. On your own, you may be able to file the claim but meeting various requirements laid out in Michigan laws can be very hard. You will also have to face the attorneys of the negligent party. Without a good attorney, you are very likely to lose the lawsuit.
Here at TorkLaw, we understand how catastrophic the loss of a near and dear one is. This is why we believe in compassionate work ethics. If you hire us, we strive to ensure a minimum strain and burden on you during the proceedings of the claim. We also aim at maximizing the payout amount to help the survivors.
Reach out to us to discuss your potential lawsuit in a free one-on-one consultation. If you like what our attorneys have to say, we can take it from there.