A wrongful death occurs when someone loses their life due to the negligent or careless acts of another. When this happens, the deceased’s estate and dependent survivors may be eligible to file a claim against the responsible party and collect compensation for resulting damages.
Unfortunately, it’s not always straightforward for every case filed. Navigating the process can be challenging to begin with, especially for plaintiffs without proper legal support.
To prove wrongful death you must use tort law and show that the defendant acted with negligence. First, you’ll need to establish that the accused party owed the deceased a duty of care, such as driving safely. Then, you need to prove the former breached this duty, such as driving while intoxicated or speeding.
Next is to prove that this incident was the actual cause of death. Finally, you need to quantify all the economic and non-economic damages caused by this loss.
What should I do after a wrongful death in Detroit?
If you suspect or can prove wrongful death, the best thing to do is seek the guidance of a lawyer who specializes in wrongful death cases.
Your attorney will first investigate to gather more evidence and then inform you of all the available options so you can make informed decisions. They can also represent you in the courtroom, reducing the workload of a lawsuit.
Who’s responsible for the losses suffered in a wrongful death?
The negligent party or parties who caused the accident leading to your loved one’s death should be responsible for all losses you and other survivors incur from this tragedy.
When something like this happens, it’s reasonable and fair to want justice. The first thing you need to do is file a claim with the defendant’s insurance company. Here, explain liability, damages suffered, and the amount you seek to recover. If the insurance company or responsible party refuses to act, you and your lawyer may file a lawsuit.
What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is the official civil action brought against a party held liable for causing a fatality through negligence.
Depending on the amount your damages are worth, sending a demand letter first may lead to faster compensation. However, wrongful deaths often involve a lot of damages, amounting to a high settlement. This is one of the reasons you may need legal support to ensure you get the amount your family deserves.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Only the party listed as estate administrator on the deceased’s will is qualified to file a wrongful death claim in Detroit. If the case does not involve a will, the probate court appoints a personal representative to represent the survivors.
The court may then divide the lump sum awarded among eligible survivors. Even if you’re not designated as the personal representative, talk to your lawyer if you believe you’re due compensation.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Detroit?
You have up to three years from when wrongful death occurred to file a claim. This is the statute of limitations the civil court gives you to gather evidence and present your case.
Can I file a wrongful death claim with an ongoing criminal case in court?
Yes, you can file a claim for your loved one’s wrongful death even if there’s an ongoing criminal case for the same.
Criminal cases only result in penalties like a prison sentence and hefty fines. A civil claim is the only way to cushion your loved ones financially during this difficult time.
How much can I recover from a wrongful death claim?
The amount you’ll recover after filing a wrongful death depends on the extent of damages suffered.
First, identify all the damages with a monetary value like burial and funeral expenses, wages lost, damage to property, and any medical bills the decedent incurred before passing. Next are the noneconomic damages like pain and suffering before death, loss of love and spousal companionship, psychological distress, and so on.
In some cases, you may even be due punitive damages.
Ask a Detroit Wrongful Death Lawyer about Your Case
Each wrongful death case is different. Some circumstances, like the cause of the accident and types of damages left behind, may differentiate your case from others.
If you suspect any form of negligence and carelessness in your loved one’s death, talk to a wrongful death lawyer to evaluate the incident and help you take action. Our team is ready to discuss your claim through a free consultation.
Call Pazner Law at 313-822-2244 or simply fill out the contact form below to discuss your case.