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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan?

When you lose a loved one because of the negligence or carelessness of another person, you may wish to seek justice and compensation on their behalf. To do so, one would usually pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. However, not just anyone can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one. There are specific laws in place that limit who is legally able to take action against the party or parties responsible for a person’s death. If someone you love died as the direct result of another’s error or negligence, find out if you qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Michigan on their behalf.

About Wrongful Death in Michigan

A wrongful death lawsuit is intended to stand in where a personal injury lawsuit typically would if the individual who was harmed had not been killed. Both wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits work to obtain justice for any wrongdoing, as well as compensation for any expenses that resulted from the injury or illness. However, the damages that result from a wrongful death case are often far more substantial and costly. The damages may include funeral expenses, burial expenses, a long list of medical costs, the loss of earnings expected from that individual, as well as the emotional loss of companionship.

Who Can File?

According to Michigan law, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must be the one to file the wrongful death claim. The representative then has 30 days to notify the deceased person’s family members of the claim.

Only the following family members of the deceased may recover damages in the wrongful death case:

  • Spouse
  • Children and stepchildren
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Grandparents

In addition to these family members, anyone who receives property in the deceased person’s will may also receive damages. If the person who passed away had no will, anyone who is eligible to inherit the estate may receive damages.

How To File a Claim

There are very strict time limits associated with wrongful death cases. As mentioned, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate will fill the wrongful death lawsuit and then inform the family of the deceased within 30 days. The family then has 60 days to notify the estate of any damages they suffered because of their loved one’s death. If this information is not gathered within the 60-day limit, it will likely not be included in the case, which means they will not receive compensation for those particular damages.

Contact Goodman Acker P.C. today to discuss your Detroit wrongful death case with our experienced attorneys.