The Basics Of Wrongful Death Claims In The State Of Michigan

If you think that you grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Michigan, you need to understand the basics of what is a wrongful death lawsuit as well as who is allowed to file such a lawsuit and what damages they can collect. 

What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In the state of Michigan, a death is considered wrongful if it was brought about by the actions, neglect, or fault of someone else. A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against an individual person. It can also be brought against an entire organization, such as a hospital or a blood bank.

It is important to remember that a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil, not criminal matter. You can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against someone regardless of whether or not criminal charges are being pursued against the person in question. 

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In the state of Michigan, the individual who files the wrongful death lawsuit has to be the personal representative of the deceased estate in order to file a claim. However, additional family members outside of the personal representative who is carrying out the deceased's will and estate may also be able to pursue damages through the wrongful death claim the personal representative files. 

If the executor of the deceased person's will files a wrongful death lawsuit, they have to notify the deceased person's family members who could pursue compensation so that they can add their individual claims to the lawsuit. 

Only certain family members can receive compensation for damages in a wrongful death case. The deceased's spouse, children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters may all receive damages. If their spouse had children, even if they were not the deceased's children, they may also receive damages. Additionally, anyone names in the deceased's will who is left property can also pursue damages.

The only case where extended family members, such as uncles, aunts and cousins, may pursue a wrongful death claim and receive compensation is if none of the family members listed above are living or the deceased has no will. In the event that the deceased does not have a will, technically anyone who could have inherited money or property from the deceased, can try to get compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. 

If a family member of yours has passed away, and you feel that there is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed, the personal executor of their will has to file the initial claim and then you can add your claim to the lawsuit. If you have questions about exactly how this process works in the state of Michigan, discuss your concerns with a wrongful death attorney. Read more here.