Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death case means a death caused by the actions or negligence of another person. The death could be a result of an accident, medical malpractice, or consuming a defective product. The most important thing is that the death was not as a result of natural causes and that someone is at fault, either deliberately or otherwise.

It is possible that if the person had not died, they may have been able to present the claim as a personal injury claim and demand some form of compensation. In the event of the person passing away, then their family members can present the claim before the court as a wrongful death claim and seek their rightful compensation.

Some of the common ways in which a wrongful death can occur include:
  1. Auto accidents
  2. Injuries sustained from slips and falls
  3. Complications from medical malpractice
  4. Job accidents, and so forth

Filing a Claim

Under Michigan law, a representative from the family has to file a claim for compensation as that is the only way it can be entertained. Anyone not related to the family may not be able to file the claim as the law stipulates it has to be someone with family ties.

Normally, the family would get together to decide who they want to be the representative, but it is usually the heir or the first child of the deceased that is appointed to fill the position. If the child is under the legal age, then another family member can take up the task on their behalf. Any representative chosen must be recognized by the court.

When the representative has filed the claim, he has a period of 30 days to let the other family members know that he has filed the claim. Once that has been done, they have another 60 days to present their claims on what and how they have suffered as a result of the death of the person, giving them a chance to recover compensation. But the laws in the state also stipulate who is entitled to compensation and they include the children, spouse(s), parents, grandparents, siblings, and any other person mentioned in the will. Besides these people, no other person should be entitled to any compensation from the lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations

A wrongful death case has a limit of three years in which it can be entertained by the court and which they can award compensation to the plaintiff. Any case brought outside the three years would be thrown out by the court, although the limitation is given by the cause of death.


In a wrongful death case, many types of payments under one compensation may be awarded depending on the person and the reason, and they are to be paid by money alone. The compensation awarded by the court can be used to cover various things.

Hospital bills and funeral expenses of the deceased can be covered with this compensation. It is possible that the deceased could not clear their bill before passing away, or that the family members could not do so on their behalf. Even if they did so, the money spent has to be regained. This is even more important if another family member was injured in the accident and had to be treated.

Money also has to be used to replace the property that got damaged in the process of death. If it is an auto accident, then the car has to be replaced, or if any property was affected in the process.

If the person was working, then the wages they earned would be cut short due to their death. Money has to be paid to make up for the lost wages at least up to some time in the future.

The spouse of the deceased would also be entitled to loss of consortium and loss of companionship. This is money given due to the untimely death of a spouse.

There is also the pain and discomfort the death of the person caused to the family members. That also has to be paid for too.

In calculating the compensation to be given, a lot of things have to be taken into consideration by the court and the defendant party, including:
  • Medical expenses spent before and after the death
  • Lost wages
  • Insurance settlement
  • Discomfort caused by the death
The wrongful death claims law is put in place to ensure that the family members of the deceased do not suffer as a result of the untimely death of their person. To pursue a claim, it is necessary to have a wrongful death lawyer as they can help calculate your compensation and also help with legal proceedings. You can also learn more about your rights and what you stand to gain from the claim by getting in touch with a competent attorney.