Who Can File for Wrongful Death in Michigan?

Who Can File for Wrongful Death in Michigan? Attorney Grand Rapids, MI

In the state of Michigan, the personal representative of the decedent's estate is responsible for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit.

If your loved one recently passed away as the result of another person's negligence, call our wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.

We can help you prove that the other party neglected their duty to the decedent to exercise reasonable care.

Continue reading to learn more about how to file a claim for wrongful death from our attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Damages for wrongful death can include:

  • Decedent’s pain and suffering before death
  • Medical bills incurred before death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Services decedent would have provided
  • Loss of consortium (love, comfort, companionship, etc.)

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

The decedent’s estate is responsible for filing a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. Typically, a personal representative appointed by the decedent will bring about a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members. However, the probate court will choose a personal representative if the decedent died without leaving a will.

Personal Representative

A personal representative is someone the decedent appointed in their will to settle his or her estate. If you’ve been appointed as a personal representative, we recommend contacting a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to help you through the process of bringing a lawsuit.

As the personal representative, it’ll be your responsibility to list every surviving family member eligible to recover damages. These family members of the deceased may include their spouse, children, and parents.

Siblings may also be eligible to recover damages if they depended on the decedent for services or support. Our wrongful death attorney can help you make sure you don’t miss anyone and prepare you for the next steps.

What Happens During Intestate

If the decedent didn’t leave behind a will (a condition called intestate) or appoint a personal representative, the probate court will choose an appropriate person. Typically, this person is the surviving spouse.

However, the court will work through a list of descending kin until a surviving family member can be appointed. Family members may also volunteer for the role of personal representative.

Statute of Limitations

Michigan law gives you 3 years from the date of death to bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit. While 3 years may seem like a long time, it’s important to remember that it takes awhile for the legal system to get moving. Fortunately, a wrongful death attorney can help you beat any deadlines so surviving family members get the compensation they deserve.

You’ll need to prove that the other party’s negligence caused the decedent’s death. Fortunately, our wrongful death attorney can help you gather the evidence needed to win. To show negligence, you need to prove that the defendant owed a duty to the decedent to exercise reasonable care. Check out the other elements of a wrongful death lawsuit below.

You must show the following to prove wrongful death:

  • Defendant owed a duty to the decedent to exercise reasonable care
  • Defendant breached duty
  • Defendant’s breach of duty caused death
  • Defendant could have foreseen harm
  • Defendant’s breach of duty caused actual damages

Request a Consultation

Jerry M. Beurkens can help you win compensation for lost earnings, loss of consortium, and other damages. To request a consultation with our wrongful death attorney in Grand Rapids MI, call Beurkens Law at (616) 459-5344.

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This blog post has been updated.

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