If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident that was not their fault, you’re probably wondering what legal action you can take to get justice for your loved one—maybe even wondering how to file a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims can be difficult to undertake; that’s why it’s imperative to have not only a compassionate, but experienced wrongful death attorney, on your side.
Below, our legal team outlines everything you need to know about wrongful death claims, from what falls under this type of claim, what to expect during the process, and more.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
The universal definition of a wrongful death claim is when a claim is filed when someone dies due to another person’s negligence or intentional act.
In wrongful death cases, survivors of the victim are compensated for the harm, losses, and suffering they’ve been burdened with after losing their loved one.
The most common wrongful death situations we see involve:
- Car Accidents
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
- Premises Liability Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Accidental Poisoning and Overdoses, including gas leaks from faulty furnaces.
- Drowning or Boating Accidents
- Workplace Accidents and Illnesses
Who Can File For Wrongful Death?
It’s important to understand who’s eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, since each state has its own laws designating who can file.
However, in Michigan, a claim may be filed by the deceased’s following relatives:
Additionally, determining who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the decedent’s will. If a person dies with a completed will, the court may appoint an executor or personal representative to administer the estate.
It should be noted though that in most states, if the court appoints an executor or personal representative, they have the sole right to choose the attorney or law firm that will file for wrongful death.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim: Top Guidelines to Remember
As you can see, wrongful death cases are complex at best to navigate. Here, we outline a few key things that should answer your question of how to file a wrongful death claim:
Wrongful Death Claims Must Be Filed Within Three Years
A statute of limitations sets the maximum amount of time that parties involved in a dispute have to initiate legal proceedings. Typically, the statute of limitations begins on the date of an alleged incident, whether civil or criminal.
All states have a time limit set in place that restricts when a wrongful death claim can be filed. However, the wrongful death statute of limitations in Michigan is 3 years, and begins on the official date of death. The exception is when wrongful death involves medical malpractice. Then, there is a 2-year statute of limitations.
Wrongful Death Cases Are Heard in Civil Court
Wrongful death cases are heard in civil court, which is separate from criminal court. This means that you’ll sue the party responsible for your loved one’s death, rather than seeking criminal charges for them.
You May Be Awarded Compensatory Damages
When you file a wrongful death claim, you may be awarded compensatory damages. This includes monetary compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, and any loss of income.
You could also be entitled to compensation for non-economic losses, such as:
- pain and suffering
- loss of parental training, companionship, and guidance for minor children.
Contact Us. We Will Work With You to Get Justice
Our wrongful death lawyers can help you get the compensation you and your family deserve. We’ll carefully explain all the steps involved in filing a wrongful death claim and make sure you’re taken care of the whole way.
For more information or to get help with a wrongful death claim, contact our team today for a no-commitment, free consultation.
Are you having problems processing your No-Fault PIP benefit claim because you have to deal with the bureaucracy of the State and the Assigned Claims Facility? The attorneys and staff at Wigod & Falzon, P.C. have been dealing with the Assigned Claims Facility for many years. At our law firm, we have an intake department that is highly specialized in dealing with Assigned Claims.
Due to the changes in the Michigan No-Fault Law, more cases are headed to the Assigned Claims Facility than ever before. Their five-page application is highly confusing and unfair to the typical person or uninformed Michigan consumer.
WE CAN HELP!
IF YOU ARE AN INJURED PERSON who has to deal with Assigned Claims and do not know where to turn, CALL US! We can guide you through their bureaucracy and their confusing process, and we know the best and quickest path to get you your Michigan No-Fault Benefits.
IF YOU ARE A LAW FIRM who does not want to involve yourself with Assigned Claims Plaintiffs, feel free to refer them to our office for the standard referral fee.
Wigod and Falzon is proud to announce the addition of three new attorneys who have joined the team this year.
Richard Brewer has litigated cases involving Automobile Negligence, Michigan No-Fault law, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability, Premises Liability, Motorcycle accident claims, Trucking Accident claims, and all other personal injury claims.
Sandra Toma studied Speech Communication and Rhetoric at Wayne State University before earning her Juris Doctorate from Detroit Mercy Law in 2020. While in law school, Sandra worked at a Plaintiff’s law firm as a Litigation Paralegal. Sandra primarily handles first party auto no-fault (PIP) claims and third party auto negligence claims, along with medical provider suits.
Helen Khouli graduated from Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Crime and Law. Helen later earned her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from DeSales University in 2014. Thereafter, she attended Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley School of Law where she graduated in 2018. Her work and experience has been focused on personal injury.
For additional information about the exceptional attorneys at Wigod and Falzon, please visit the biography pages. The staff of attorneys at Wigod and Falzon continues to grow along with a dedication and commitment to the clients.
This summer, Wigod and Falzon had the pleasure of working with Rapha Ministries International in providing backpacks filled with school supplies to children in kindergarten through 12th grade who would be otherwise unable to have a backpack or the needed supplies for school.
Rapha Ministries International was able to hand out 100 filled backpacks to the children and our firm was happy to provide 48 backpacks filled with school supplies.
We are grateful for the opportunity that we had in joining with such a wonderful cause and helping children get the tools they need in order to attend school.
One of our attorneys, Alec Ohryn, is volunteering at Constitution Day at Oakland County Circuit Court today.
The volunteers are helping area middle and high school students learn the importance of constitutional law and proper courtroom etiquette. Students and attorneys will discuss a factual Supreme Court case scenario and prepare for oral arguments before a sitting Oakland County Circuit Court judge.
When “no fault” auto insurance was introduced as a remedy for those injured in an accident it was supposedly to benefit the injured victim. The basics of the policies require injured parties to file claims with their own insurance company first after an accident injury. The problems with the change from a fault-based accident recovery system began to emerge when the legislatures began writing the statutes, as embedded in most state laws are restrictions regarding when an injured victim can file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Insurance companies use this technicality to no end when individuals suffer injuries that may not qualify them for standing to sue, even when the medical bills generated by the accident injury pass the coverage maximum. The required personal injury protection, or PIP coverage, in most states is ridiculously low. This means the maximums are reached in almost every accident regardless of seriousness of injury. The accident lawyers in Southfield MI at Wigod & Falzon understand this dilemma for accident victims, and they work diligently at qualifying their clients for additional financial recovery pursuit when injured in a crash.
Insurance Company Advantage
Just as with many other legislative statutes, the wording of the law clearly benefits the insurance providers because it gives them still another technicality to defend against being required to cover accident injuries. Insurance companies exist to make a profit, and the seriousness of a claimant injury is not a consideration. All that matters is as low of a settlement as possible, and hopefully none at all. That is why it is necessary to have an aggressive attorney.
How an Injury Can Qualify for a Negligence Lawsuit
Only certain injuries can qualify a victim for standing to sue a negligent driver for additional damages beyond their own personal injury protection coverage. They are:
- Broken bones
- Partial paralysis
- Full paralysis
- Serious physical limitations
What this means is that all injuries associated with a negligence lawsuit must be “authorized” by the state of Michigan in order to proceed, which can make being properly compensated a difficult legal task in many instances.
Contact a Michigan No Fault Accident Attorney
Never attempt handling your own accident case in a no-fault state. Michigan residents should call Wigod & Falzon accident lawyers in Southfield MI for comprehensive representation.