Giroux Trial Attorneys, P.C.

Wrongful Death

Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys in Michigan

At Giroux Trial Attorneys, we understand how devastating a wrongful death case can be to the entire family. Serving Michigan, our wrongful death attorneys have the experience and track record you need as you face this daunting experience. Keep reading to learn more about wrongful death cases, or call Giroux Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.

Wrongful Death

The death of a loved one is never easy to process. That’s why it’s important to seek legal assistance from an experienced wrongful death attorney. If you’re dealing with a wrongful death case, our team at Giroux can help you stay grounded during this difficult time and focus on the outcome.

Although no amount of money can make up for the loss of your loved one, you could receive compensation for your loss. This can be particularly important if your loved one provided you with financial and/or emotional support.

What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims in Michigan

Before moving forward with any wrongful death case, there are two aspects you need to understand: Michigan’s definition of wrongful death and who is liable in these cases.

How Wrongful Death Is Defined in Michigan

Firstly, wrongful death is defined under Michigan law as a death “caused by wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” The act, neglect, or fault is such that, if the person had not died, the injured person would have been entitled to pursue their own personal injury lawsuit to recover damages.

Who Is Liable in Wrongful Death Cases

Secondly, many individuals can be held liable for wrongful death in Michigan. Defendants may include:

  1. Any healthcare professional whose medical malpractice caused the death. This can include doctors, nurses, therapists, and anyone else who had a patient/healthcare practitioner relationship with the decedent (deceased individual). This also includes the negligent hospital or healthcare facility where the decedent was being cared for at the time of the death.
  2. Vehicle drivers. The driver’s employer may also be liable if, at the time of the accident, the driver who caused the accident was driving on behalf of their employer.
  3. Truck driving companies that failed to properly maintain their fleet when that failure was the cause of the fatal accident. This is true even if the driver of the truck, truck passengers, or occupants of any other vehicles that were involved in the accident were killed.
  4. A municipality that failed to properly maintain roads when that failure was the cause of a fatal accident.
  5. Manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and installers of defective products. For example, defects can be in the product itself, packaging, instructions for use, failure to provide warnings for use of the product.
  6. Law enforcement whose misconduct or gross negligence caused the death of the loved one.
  7. Lastly, a wrongful death action can be pursued against an individual whose criminal conduct caused the death of a loved one. Criminal and civil cases are separate; defendants found not guilty in a criminal case could still be held liable for wrongful death in a civil case.

There may be others responsible for the death of your loved one based on the individual circumstances of your case. If you’re looking for wrongful death attorneys in Michigan, turn to Giroux Trial Attorneys. Our team can investigate your case and determine who may qualify as a defendant and be held accountable for your loved one’s death.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Michigan?

The wrongful death statute is complicated. In order to determine when a lawsuit must be filed, other statutes relating to lawsuits based on negligence and/or intentional conduct must be consulted.

Negligence

For cases arising out of negligence, you must file the lawsuit no later than three years after the incident.

Medical Malpractice

In a medical malpractice case, you must file the action within two years after the act which resulted in the death, or within six months of the date it is discovered.

Avoid Missing Deadlines

If you miss the deadline for filing your lawsuit, you won’t be able to collect compensation for your loved one’s death. Don’t risk missing this deadline.

The statutes of limitations can vary based on many factors. It’s important to let an experienced wrongful death attorney evaluate your potential claim and recommend the best course of action. Our team can help you better understand the laws surrounding wrongful death claims and how to move forward with your case.

If you still have questions about Michigan’s statute of limitations, or suspect your loved one’s death was caused by negligence, schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death attorneys at Giroux Trial Attorneys. 

Accident & Unintentional Injury Statistics

According to the National Safety Council, in 2019, 173,040 people died as a result of unintentional injuries, and approximately 48.3 million people sought medical care for the treatment of unintentional injuries.

The top five unintentional deaths in 2019 were in these categories:

  • Poisoning, 38%
  • Falls, 23%
  • Motor Vehicle Crashes, 22%
  • Suffocation, 4%
  • Drowning, 2%

Other causes are burns, problems in the natural environment, and other undefined events.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims in Michigan

Most wrongful death claims in Michigan are due to the negligence. For example, some of the most common causes are:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
  2. Medical malpractice.
  3. Slip and fall accidents or trip and fall accidents caused by defective premises, debris, or liquid spills left unattended, or falls off ladders.
  4. Product liability claims against manufacturers and distributors of defective products.
  5. Poisonings and drug overdoses, as well as recreational accidents involving boat accidents, jet-skiing, hunting, and swimming accidents.
  6. Fires, explosions, and electrical malfunctions.
  7. Dog bites or dog mauling.
  8. Police brutality.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Michigan

The individual or individuals who represent the deceased’s estate can file for a wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, within 30 days of filing, you or a representative must serve a copy of the lawsuit to any individuals who can collect damages.

Those who may be entitled to collect damages include:

  1. The deceased’s spouse, children, descendants, parents, grandparents, siblings, and, if none of these persons survive the deceased, then those persons to whom the estate of the deceased would pass to under the laws of intestate succession.
  2. The children of the deceased’s spouse.
  3. Those persons who are devisees (someone who receives real property) under the will of the deceased.

How Much Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?

Each wrongful death case is unique. When we use the term “damages,” we are referring to both economic and non-economic compensation. Depending on your case, you could be qualified to collect such damages from persons or entities responsible for the death of your loved one.

There are many categories of available damages in wrongful death claims. These types of damages include:

  1. Your loved one’s medical expenses. This includes any medical care, even if the treatments lasted a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.
  2. Ambulance costs.
  3. Funeral expenses.
  4. The decedent’s pain and suffering.
  5. Lost wages of the decedent during the time from the accident until the death.

Additionally, you may be entitled to collect damages/receive compensation if:

  1. You depended on the future support of the decedent.
  2. You experienced loss of care, comfort, guidance, and companionship that the decedent provided.
  3. You felt sorrow, pain, and anguish after the decedent’s death.

Punitive & Exemplary Damages

In addition to non-economic and economic damages, there are also punitive and exemplary damages.

Punitive damages, which punish defendants for their conduct, are unavailable under Michigan law, but may be available under federal law.

Exemplary damages may be awarded if the conduct was voluntary, inspired feelings of humiliation, outrage, and indignity, was malicious or reckless, and is otherwise not compensated.

Working with a wrongful death attorney can help you better understand what types of damages you may be able to recover.

Start Your Wrongful Death Case Today With Giroux Trial Attorneys

Our wrongful death attorneys at Giroux Trial Attorneys have been helping clients fight to win compensation since 1989. Our compassion for you is real. We understand the grief that you are experiencing now, and want to help you move forward. Contact us for a free case evaluation. If you cannot come to us, we can arrange to come to you. Call us at (248)-564-3618 or fill out our form online to schedule an appointment.

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