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Every year, more than 90,000 people die in the United States as a result of unintentional injuries. In fact, accidental injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Wrongful death is the legal term used when someone causes the death of another person. Thus, a death caused by the negligent, careless, or intentional act of another person or corporation is considered a wrongful death.
What Are Some Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a devastating event that can occur due to a variety of causes, including:
- Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful death. Accidents may occur due to negligence, reckless driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Defective products, such as faulty medical devices, dangerous drugs, and automotive parts, can cause fatal injuries to consumers. Manufacturers can be held liable for wrongful death if they produce and distribute a defective product.
- Medical malpractice is another common cause of wrongful death. It occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide an adequate standard of care, resulting in injury or death to the patient. Examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and medication errors.
- Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners to maintain safe premises for visitors. If a property owner fails to fix a known hazard on their property, such as a broken staircase, and someone dies as a result, they can be held liable for wrongful death.
- Workplace accidents can result in serious injuries and even death. Workers in hazardous occupations, such as construction, mining, and manufacturing, are particularly at risk of experiencing fatal workplace accidents.
It's important to note that every wrongful death case is unique, and the specific causes and circumstances of the case will need to be thoroughly investigated to determine liability. If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, it's essential to seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney who can help you understand your legal options and seek justice for your loss.
The Purpose of a Wrongful Death Claim
The goal of this type of a wrongful death claim is to seek compensation for those family members who have lost a loved one in order to help defray medical costs and provide financial support.
Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover compensation for the following damages in a wrongful death claim:
- Medical expenses incurred prior to death
- Loss of past and expected income/wages
- Funeral expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of society and companionship
Since the laws regarding these types of cases can be very complex, it is extremely important to seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death lawyer who can protect your rights and those of your loved ones.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Michigan law, a wrongful death lawsuit may only be filed by the personal representative of the deceased's estate. This is usually a family member, but may also be someone appointed by the probate judge.
While the personal representative must be the one to file the lawsuit, any damages from the wrongful death claim will be awarded to the surviving family members in the following order:
- The deceased's spouse and/or children
- The deceased's parents
- Any surviving children from the spouse of the deceased
- Anyone else to whom the deceased left property
Hiring an Attorney for a Wrongful Death Claim
If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, it's crucial to hire an experienced attorney to help you navigate the legal process and seek justice for your loss.
Here are some key reasons why hiring an attorney is essential for a wrongful death claim:
- Knowledge and expertise: Wrongful death claims can be complex and involve a deep understanding of the law and legal procedures. An experienced attorney can provide valuable knowledge and expertise in navigating the legal process, investigating the case, and negotiating with insurance companies.
- Emotional support: Dealing with the loss of a loved one is an emotionally challenging experience. An attorney can provide compassionate support and guidance throughout the legal process, offering a shoulder to lean on during this difficult time.
- Investigative resources: In order to build a strong case, it's often necessary to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. Attorneys have access to resources and investigative tools, including expert witnesses, accident reconstruction specialists, and medical professionals, to help build a strong case.
- Skilled negotiation: Insurance companies will often try to settle a wrongful death claim quickly and for as little money as possible. An experienced attorney can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your loss.
- Litigation experience: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, a wrongful death case may go to trial. An experienced attorney can represent you in court, presenting a compelling case and fighting for your rights.
When hiring an attorney for a wrongful death claim, it's important to choose someone who has experience in this area of law and who has a track record of success. You should also look for an attorney who is compassionate, responsive, and dedicated to helping you seek justice for your loss.
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Grewal Law has been amazingly empathetic and forward-thinking through this very emotional and trying time.- Anonymous
At Grewal Law PLLC, we understand that there is nothing more difficult than losing a loved one unexpectedly. The impact of such a loss is not only emotionally difficult, but it is also financially devastating for many families. Our wrongful death lawyers in Michigan can handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on healing.
We offer compassionate, personalized legal counsel and can fight tirelessly for justice and recovery on behalf of you, your loved one, and your family.
Manvir (Mick) Grewal Sr. Founder and Managing Partner
Scott Weidenfeller Attorney; Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Team Leader
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