In Michigan, wrongful death is a negligent or wrongful act that results in the death of another person, unless the act was made in self-defense. 

A family may bring a wrongful death claim to court when they feel they’ve endured emotional pain and suffering from the loss. This type of lawsuit is civil, unlike criminal suits, which are brought to courts by the state itself. This means that a claim can be made, even if a criminal case is already taking place.

Wrongful death can also be claimed by someone pregnant, if their pregnancy turns into a miscarriage due to the other person’s act of negligence. This does not apply to medical procedures, side effects of prescription drugs, or acts committed by the pregnant person themselves.

Who can seek damages in a wrongful death claim?

The deceased’s immediate family, which includes:

  • A spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Brothers & Sisters
  • Children of the deceased person’s spouse
  • Anyone who is to inherit property from the deceased person’s will.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

In Michigan, only the estate’s personal representative can file a claim. The representative must send the deceased’s family notice about the wrongful death claim in writing within 30 days of filing. The family members that were notify then have 60 days to send their own notices, or else they will be excluded from the case.

What Damages Are Available in a Michigan Wrongful Death Case?

Should the person at fault be proven legally liable for the deceased’s death in the court of law, damages may be awarded for:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Lost wages, including income that may have been earned in the future
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Reimbursement for property damage
  • Family members may even receive compensation for having lost the benefits of the deceased’s company.

Is there a time limit to filing a wrongful death lawsuit?

According to Michigan State Law, the personal representative has three years within the date of death to file a wrongful death claim, otherwise it will be past the statue of limitations. Should loved ones wish for justice, they should make their wishes for a claim to be filed known.

When to contact an attorney?

If your loved one was or may have been lost due to the negligence of another, you should contact a David Shafer at (231) 722-2444

Nolan & Shafer Case Study

2019 Wrongful Death in Ottawa County

A mother and grandmother was killed when her vehicle was struck by a commercial driver. The commercial driver was speeding and failed to see the woman’s vehicle stopped for a red light. The woman suffered a blunt force injuries and died almost instantly. The woman’s family received a settlement of almost 3 million dollars.