John Alexander is an Oakland County personal injury attorney practicing in the area of Wrongful Death. John Alexander has successfully represented families in Wrongful Death lawsuits for over 31 years.
Michigan has a law known as the Wrongful Death Act. This law allows families to bring a claim for money damages against the person or corporation that has wrongfully caused the death of that family member.
By way of example, a driver of a vehicle may have lost their attention or have been distracted and crashed into another vehicle and caused the death of one or more occupants of the other vehicle; a loved one may have been given the wrong medication in a nursing home and died; a family member may have died in a preventable construction accident; or a police officer may have mistakenly shot and killed someone. These are only some examples of potential wrongful death suits.
In these real life examples, the family member should not have died but for the mistake of someone else. If a family member is a victim of a wrongful death the first step is to open an estate in probate court. The estate is similar to a corporation and the surviving family members are the shareholders.
Then a civil lawsuit for money damages may be filed in either a state circuit court or federal court. If the family is successful, they will receive money damages to cover funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, lost income or support, and the loss to the family unit.
No amount of money will erase the tragic outcome of a death to a family member. But Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act is the legal systems attempt to right a wrong and provide some financial support to the surviving family members.