May 8, 2019

Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case? 6 Things to Consider

The death of a loved one can cause a lot of grief, but the medical malpractice lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. in Michigan can help you get compensation if you feel you have a wrongful death case. Although monetary compensation cannot replace your loved one, it can help to lessen the burden on your family.

What qualifies as a wrongful death?

Wrongful death claims are civil cases brought against someone responsible for someone else’s death. The victim’s family members can seek justice and recover compensation for the appropriate damages.

6 things to consider before filing a claim

1. Was someone killed in an incident involving the defendant?

There are different types of death after which a wrongful death case can ensue: an unintentional killing, as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, or deadly car accidents caused by negligence. If the death of your family member falls into one of these categories, it may be possible to file a claim. However, there are other factors to consider.

2. Did the defendant owe a duty of care to your relative?

Duty of care is a legal term which basically means they were held accountable by law to act responsibly and reasonably.

3. Did the defendant breach their duty of care?

Meaning, did he or she fail to act as a reasonable and responsible person, in direct relation to the incident with your relative? If the defendant was the primary caregiver or a medical professional, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss whether the person breached their duty of care.

4. Did the defendant’s negligence or actions lead directly to the death of your loved one?

It is not enough that the defendant was negligent or acted irresponsibly. Proving negligence, especially for medical malpractice cases can be complicated and confusing to do. Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice are well versed in the pr0cess and can help you get to the bottom of your situation.

5. Only monetary damages can be recovered

This means, that the person you are filing a claim against cannot be put in prison because of the claim. They must be found guilty in a criminal proceeding rather than civil court.

Wrongful death damages include the loss of the deceased person’s expected income, any medical bills stemming from the accident before the victim passed and the funeral and burial costs. In addition, family members may be compensated for the loss of their loved one’s companionship, love and affection.

6. The guidelines for filing a wrongful death case vary from state-to-state

In Michigan, only certain people may collect if your case was successful: The spouse, a child, a grandparent or grandchild or a child of the person’s spouse. If none of these people are still alive and no will was drafted, the collection is free to anyone who was deemed eligible to inherit the estate.

From the time of death, you have three years to file a wrongful death claim in Michigan. Within 30 days of filing the claim, all family members are contacted and asked for any damages they suffered due to the death. They have 60 days to submit their damages. Otherwise, they will not be included.

wrongful death case

You are not on your own

To decide whether a wrongful death case is warranted ask yourself if the victim would have filed a claim for personal injury if they were still alive. But remember that you do not have to file a claim or face the defendant alone. The attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. are experienced in wrongful death cases and can help you make informed decisions about what to do next and provide legal support and guidance during this emotional period. Call 1-866-MICH LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless a recovery is made.

Ms. Barry is studying Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. She has won multiple awards both for her persuasive and creative writing and has written extensively on the topics of medical malpractice law, personal and birth injury law, product liability law. When she’s not researching and writing about these topics, she edits a literary magazine and tutors students at Penn’s writing center.

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