Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan
In Michigan, if a person is killed due to the negligence of another person, the estate of the deceased victim is entitled to pursue a wrongful death action against the at-fault party. Such lawsuits are governed by the Michigan Wrongful Death Act (MCL 600.2922).
Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
Relatives entitled to pursue such lawsuits under the Act include:
- surviving spouses;
- brothers and sisters; and
- stepchildren of the deceased victim.
What damages does the Wrongful Death Act permit relatives to recover?
Generally under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act, close relatives of a deceased victim can seek compensation for loss of financial support; loss of services; and perhaps most importantly, loss of the love, affection, companionship and society of their loved one.
Other concerns when bringing a wrongful death action
There are also formal requirements under Michigan’s probate law, such as the appointment of a Personal Representative for the deceased victim’s estate, which must be satisfied before a lawsuit alleging wrongful death can be pursued.
Furthermore, if the victim was killed in a car accident, the provisions of the Michigan No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act (MCL 500.3101, et seq.) will also apply. Because of this potentially complicated interplay between multiple areas of law, it is critical that the families of individuals killed by the negligence of others seek out experienced and skilled Michigan wrongful death attorneys who are knowledgeable in the provisions of the Michigan Wrongful Death Act, Michigan probate law, and the Michigan No-Fault Act.
When a Michigan resident is killed in an automobile accident, or dies as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident, his or her estate is entitled to certain personal insurance protection (PIP) benefits under the Michigan no-fault law.