What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan?

What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Michigan?

by / Monday, 25 November 2013 / Published in Tips
Woman holding red rose in front of casket

If a close family member has been killed as a result of someone else’s negligence, then you, depending on your relationship with the victim, may have a cause of action against the person that killed your loved one.

Let’s break down the statute:

600.2922. Wrongful death

Sec. 2922. (1) Whenever the death of a person, injuries resulting in death, or death as described in section 2922a1 shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another, and the act, neglect, or fault is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages, the person who or the corporation that would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured or death as described in section 2922a, and although the death was caused under circumstances that constitute a felony.

The 1st part of this section describes the type of injuries that are compensable: neglect or the fault of another where death would not have occurred but for the negligent act.

(6) In every action under this section, the court or jury may award damages as the court or jury shall consider fair and equitable, under all the circumstances including reasonable medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses for which the estate is liable; reasonable compensation for the pain and suffering, while conscious, undergone by the deceased during the period intervening between the time of the injury and death; and damages for the loss of financial support and the loss of the society and companionship of the deceased.

This part of the Michigan wrongful death statute provides damage awards:

  • Reasonable medical expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Burial expenses
  • Reasonable pain and suffering that occurred while conscious
  • Financial support
  • Loss of companionship

How do I know if I am close enough in relation to the decedent to sue in a Michigan wrongful death cause of action?

(a) The deceased’s spouse, children, descendants, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and, if none of these persons survive the deceased, then those persons to whom the estate of the deceased would pass under the laws of intestate succession determined as of the date of death of the deceased.

(b) The children of the deceased’s spouse.

Look to the statute. It’s very clean who is eligible to sue for a Michigan wrongful death claim.

Goodwin & Scieszka is a personal injury law firm in Southfield, Michigan. We’ve been fighting for our clients for over 30 years:

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