Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer

Ann Arbor Wrongful Death Lawyer


Accident Results






Ethical and Compassionate Wrongful Death Attorneys

We Fight to Obtain a Successful Outcome

A wrongful death happens when a person dies from an accident they did not cause. Losing a loved one can cause untold hardship, especially if the deceased provided for the family financially. Thankfully, Michigan law allows eligible family members to recover financial compensation from the person or entity that caused their loved one’s death through a wrongful death claim.

However, wrongful death claims are not always straightforward and require the experience and specialized knowledge of a lawyer. At Goodman Acker, P.C., our Ann Arbor wrongful death lawyer has helped several bereaved claimants file a successful wrongful death claim. We understand Michigan’s wrongful death law and legal system and have a successful track record.

So contact us at 248-286-8100 to learn how we can help you.

Why Choose Our Wrongful Death Lawyer in Ann Arbor?

At Goodman Acker, P.C., we understand the devastating impacts of losing a loved one. Therefore, our attorneys strive to provide compassionate yet aggressive representation to our clients. We will carefully assess the case facts to determine the best way to handle your case and will work tirelessly to achieve a favorable outcome.

We take a personalized approach to every case we handle, so you will not be shuffled between lawyers.

In the decades we have existed, we have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients, and their positive testimonials are a testament to our dedication and commitment. We will protect your rights to fair compensation and are available to serve you 24/7. Our initial consultations are free, so call us at 248-286-8100 to schedule a free case review.

What Amounts to Wrongful Death Under Michigan’s Law?

Michigan law defines wrongful death as a loss that occurs due to the wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another person that would have permitted the deceased to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived. Wrongful death claims stem from different cases, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Truck collisions
  • Medical negligence
  • Premises liability
  • Defective products, etc.

Under Michigan’s wrongful death statute, miscarriages resulting from negligence also qualify as a wrongful death case. Also, not everyone can file a wrongful death claim. The only person allowed to file a lawsuit is the deceased’s family’s personal representative.

This means that when you lose a loved one, if the decedent appointed a personal representative before dying, the person can file a lawsuit on your and your family’s behalf. If not, the probate court will appoint one. In most cases, the personal representative is a part of the family.

Who Can Receive Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Although personal representatives are the ones who can file a wrongful death claim, it is the deceased’s family that benefits from it. The compensation awarded goes to the following persons:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Other descendants of the deceased
  • The individuals to whom the deceased’s estate would pass, if none of the above are survivors
  • Children of the deceased’s spouse
  • Any individual who is a devisee under the deceased’s will.

Anyone who does not meet this criteria is not entitled to compensation. When you visit our law firm, we will help you determine those entitled to any compensation awarded in the wrongful death claim.

No amount of money can bring back your loved one, but getting financial compensation helps you regain your financial footing.

How Is Liability Proven in a Wrongful Death Case in Ann Arbor?

When pursuing a wrongful death claim, it is essential to show that the at-fault party was negligent and their negligence caused the deceased’s death. To do this, our Ann Arbor wrongful death attorney will establish the following:

  • That the at-fault party owed the deceased a duty of care. What the duty of care amounts to depends on the facts of the case and differs from one case to the next.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care by performing a wrongful or negligent act.
  • That the breach of duty directly contributed to the deceased’s death. If there is no direct causation between the defendant’s action and the victim’s death, the wrongful death claim will fail.
  • That the defendant’s actions caused you and your family to suffer losses. There must be damages for you to receive compensation, so it is crucial to show you suffered damages.

Also, proving negligence goes beyond saying that the at-fault party caused your loved one’s death. You must back it up with evidence. The proof required in these cases includes but is not limited to the accident report, medical records, visual records of the accident, witness statements, etc.

What Damages Are Allowed Under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act?

The compensation allowed under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act is generally classified as economic and noneconomic damages. The former compensates for the monetary losses caused by the death of your loved one, while the latter is for emotional losses. After a successful wrongful death claim, you and other beneficiaries will receive compensation that covers:

  • The medical expenses incurred before the death of your loved one
  • The funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of society
  • Loss of financial support.

You will also receive compensation for any physical and emotional suffering the deceased endured before they died, including emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and post-traumatic stress disorder. What the compensation amounts to in monetary figures differs from one case to the next.

Usually, several factors come into play, like the following:

  • How the accident occurred and if the accident caused the death
  • If the decedent suffered pain and suffering before passing away
  • How the decedent’s death affected their surviving family members
  • The amount of the loss of income from the decedent’s death
  • The presence of an insurance policy to pay a settlement
  • The amount of the medical expenses the decedent incurred before their death.

The above list is not exhaustive, as other factors might apply to your case. When you contact Goodman Acker, P.C., our Ann Arbor wrongful death attorneys will examine your claim to know its worth and advise you accordingly.

We have a 99% success rate and always act in the best interest of our clients.

Ann Arbor Wrongful Death Lawyer FAQs

Losing a loved one can be devastating and leave you with questions about your legal rights and what to expect if you decide to file a wrongful death claim through your personal representative. The following are some of the questions we frequently get:

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if I Lose My Loved One to Another Person’s Negligence?

Yes. However, you cannot commence the action yourself; you must do so through the personal representative appointed by the decedent in their will. If there is no will, the probate court will choose one from your family members.

How Long Do I Have to Commence a Wrongful Death Action?

Under Michigan law, you have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The time starts counting from the day the decedent died, and you must not miss the deadline. If you miss the deadline, you cannot file an action to recover compensation from the at-fault party, as you will be statute-barred.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Case?

Hiring a wrongful death lawyer when pursuing a wrongful death case is always advisable. Your lawyer will protect your rights and advise you on the proper steps to take. Your lawyer also works to ensure your case has a successful outcome.

How Much Do Wrongful Death Lawyers in Ann Arbor Charge? 

Wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they take a percentage of your compensation and only do so when they win your case. So, their payment is contingent on having a successful outcome. However, note that the contingency agreement does not cover other legal fees like filing fees, the cost of hiring expert witnesses, etc.

These may not be your only questions; our attorneys will discuss your specific concerns in your initial consult.

How Can Our Ann Arbor Wrongful Death Lawyer Help You?

Our legal team at Goodman Acker, P.C., will help you and your family seek justice and compensation for the loss of your loved one through another person or entity’s negligence. To do this, we will carefully listen to you and investigate the case to gather evidence and determine its strength. If we believe there is a valid claim, we will calculate what your case is worth and commence the wrongful death lawsuit.

Also, we will handle settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurer, ensuring they do not bully you and your family into accepting a lowball amount. If the case goes to trial, we will argue your case before a jury. We will be with you every step of the way, providing updates and advising you on the best choices for you and your family.

Get the Help You Need from Goodman Acker, P.C.

At Goodman Acker, P.C., we believe that the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s death should be accountable. But you and your family should not shoulder the burden of building a case while grieving. So, while you grieve, our lawyers will handle your case. Call us at 248-286-8100 to schedule a free case evaluation.

Attorney Barry Goodman


Barry J. Goodman has devoted his professional life to keeping courthouse doors open for victims seeking justice. Always a tireless advocate for his own clients, Goodman sees his responsibility as a Detroit personal injury attorney in a broader sense as well. [ Attorney Bio ]


Why Choose Us


Free Consultation, No Obligation.