When a person passes away in a motor vehicle accident, it is difficult for the family members left behind. In Michigan, if the person’s death was caused by another person’s negligence or wrongful act, the survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit which allows them to pursue compensation for their loss.
There are several elements that must be proven in a wrongful death case in order for it to be successful.
There must have been a death of a human being that was caused by another person’s negligence or intent to cause harm, there must be surviving family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death and there must be a personal representative appointed to manage the deceased person’s estate.
The personal representative must bring the wrongful death lawsuit.
There are several groups of people who may be entitled to damages. These include the deceased person’s spouse, children, descendants, parents, grandparents, siblings or another individual to whom the estate would pass. The children of the deceased person’s spouse also may be entitled to damages and anyone else designated under the deceased person’s will.
In determining the damages to award, the court may consider the medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses, the pain and suffering the deceased person experienced between the time of the injury and death, the loss of financial support and the loss of companionship with the deceased person.
If family members have questions and would like to pursue a wrongful death claim, an experienced attorney can help.