After the death of a loved one, you may be consumed with grief and sorrow. No amount of money can make up for such a devastating loss. However, you may face various practical challenges as well, such as how to pay a mortgage or how to support your kids. At the Neumann Law Group, Traverse City, Detroit, and Grand Rapids wrongful death lawyer Kelly Neumann can help families bring wrongful death claims arising out of tragically fatal accidents caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct. She is an experienced injury attorney who gains personal satisfaction from vindicating the rights of victims and their loved ones throughout the West Side of Michigan.Pursuing Damages After a Fatal Accident
A wrongful death in Michigan is defined as a death that is caused by the fault, wrongful act, or neglect of another party. Generally, you can bring a wrongful death claim in a situation in which the victim could have sued for personal injuries, had he or she not died. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits, and they are independent of any criminal charges associated with the same set of events. A higher standard of proof ("beyond a reasonable doubt") will apply to a criminal case. This means that you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit even if criminal charges have been dismissed or have resulted in no conviction. However, in some cases, findings made in a criminal case can have a bearing on the civil case.
In Michigan, the personal representative of the decedent's estate, often a family member, must file the wrongful death claim. He or she has 30 days to notify family members of the action. Then, they have 60 days to notify the estate about their damages as a result of the decedent's death. The victim’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, anyone who is left property in the decedent's will, and children of the decedent's spouse may be entitled to recover damages.
In many cases, the victim’s estate must prove the elements of an ordinary negligence claim, but it depends on the circumstances that gave rise to the decedent's death. For example, if the wrongful death lawsuit is based on medical malpractice, the estate would need to establish that the health care provider being sued breached the standard of care that would have been followed by a reasonably prudent medical professional of similar training under the same circumstances. This standard of care can vary by geographic region and personal details of the patient, such as age, gender, and health.
Damages that can potentially be recovered in a wrongful death case often include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, future lost income, loss of care and companionship, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. The damages award is used to pay off medical, funeral, and burial expenses before it is distributed to family members.Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Traverse City, Detroit, or Grand Rapids
The loss of a loved one is devastating. Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Traverse City wrongful death attorney Kelly Neumann is committed to pursuing justice for the families of those who have died due to negligence or intentional misconduct on the West Side of Michigan. An accident lawyer who grew up in Grosse Point, she has earned many verdicts and settlements worth millions of dollars over the years. The Neumann Law Group can represent injured individuals in Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, Saginaw, Flint, Midland, Muskegon, Holland, Ann Arbor, Warren, Dearborn, Petoskey, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Call us at (231) 221-0050 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.