Finding an attorney who has wrongful death claims experience is critical to your case. The entire process of a wrongful death claim can be very challenging. You do not have to go through this alone. You should know what to expect during this difficult time so that your focus will be on the healing process while an experienced attorney handles all other details for you.

The Process

First, within three years of the date of the person’s death, you must file a claim against the at-fault party. The claim is filed with the probate court in which the estate of your deceased family member was opened.

After filing, all interested parties are given notice and an opportunity to appear before the judge for a pre-trial conference. At this meeting, issues such as damages, liability, and legal defense will be discussed.

If no settlement or resolution comes out of this meeting, discovery will begin immediately. During this process, either side may request medical records, police reports, accident reports and hire experts to testify on their behalf during the trial about who was at fault for causing the death of your loved one.

Also, during this time, each side should be interviewing witnesses who might be called to testify during the trial.

Once discovery is completed, the case will either go to mediation or trial, depending on whether or not there has been an out-of-court settlement.

The ideal thing is to get with an attorney who handles wrongful death claims. You should never attempt to collect damages by yourself, even if you think your case is easy enough to handle on your own. 

The Steps a Lawyer Will Take to Represent You and Your Case

These are the first things an attorney will do to represent your case. 

  • The attorney will take the time to get to know you and your situation.
  • They will walk you through each step so that nothing is done without your knowledge.
  • They will help you determine who caused the death of your loved one, and their experience can be beneficial in negotiations or during court if a trial becomes necessary.

No one expects something like this to happen, but when it does, the last thing anyone should have to worry about is what happens next when they should be focused on healing.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is the legal term for a fatal accident caused by another person’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. The injured party may file a wrongful death claim if they were directly and personally affected by the wrongful death and suffered some loss as a result of it.

Some Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Slip and falls on private property
  • Defective products like airbags or car parts (ex: faulty seatbelt)

You may be entitled to compensation such as funeral expenses, medical bills related to your injuries, lost wages due to missing work after the accident, pain, and suffering experienced after witnessing the tragic event before it happened. Compensation will never be able to bring your loved one back, so the goal of any wrongful death claim is to obtain some payment for all that was taken away from you prematurely 18 wheeler accident lawyer San Antonio.

It’s important to understand that there are strict time limits in place when filing a wrongful death claim. The amount of compensation owed may increase or decrease depending on how quickly action is taken after the accident, and it’s best to seek legal advice right away if you feel like you may want to file a claim for your family member’s wrongful death.

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases in Michigan

Michigan is a no-fault state for wrongful death claims. This means that it is possible to file a claim even if negligence was not involved in bringing about the death of another person. Certain conditions must be met for this type of claim, but they are primarily common law rules codified by Michigan statute.

Wrongful death can occur due to an accident or some other untoward incident. The purpose of filing such a case would be to obtain compensation from the party deemed at fault for your loss and suffering related to the circumstances surrounding your relative’s passing away. If negligence was involved, it does not necessarily mean that someone committed a crime or will face criminal charges.

The attorney you choose to represent you and your interests will do so on a contingency fee basis. This means they will not charge you until the case is resolved with either a verdict or settlement and only take their legal fees from the recovery amounts. If there is no recovery because of some failure on your part as the plaintiff, such as failing to prove negligence in court, there are no attorney’s fees incurred by you at all.

This article will explore four specific cases involving wrongful death claims in Michigan, including how each occurred and why they were important enough to make headlines locally or around the state. They all went through appeals processes where new evidence was presented, or arguments were made that had not been made before. Not all of them were successful, but each is an example of how the process can work and what may be required to meet your goals in such a case. https www twitch tv activate You might see these cases come up again later if you decide to file one yourself.

When it comes to wrongful death claims, any number of things could give rise to the filing deadlines imposed by state law expiring and rendering your claim null and void. Two particular examples involved medical malpractice cases. Another was a police pursuit that resulted in someone’s death due to reckless driving. One last case came about because of mercury poisoning from eating contaminated fish caught locally.

Before we begin looking at these six specific cases, keep the following information in mind:

  • You should not wait too long after suffering loss or tragedy before filing a claim; the law imposes strict time limits on when you must file your paperwork, or else risk having your case rejected, or worse, being legally barred from filing in the future.
  • You should have as much evidence in hand as possible to support your allegations against the defendants who claimed to be at fault for causing your loss. As noted above, if negligence can be shown in court, you are well on your way to achieving the outcome you want.
  • Each of these cases has its own set of circumstances that led them to become news stories. These examples are not meant to cover every type of situation involved in wrongful death claims in Michigan under common law rules.

Rita Flenniken v. Weyauwega Star

Two women, 38-year-old Rita Flenniken and 14-year-old Kim Lyle were riding in a car driven by 17-year-old Crystal Niles when another vehicle being chased by police hit it. The two passengers were injured but survived the crash, while the driver died at the scene. Charges are still pending against the surviving girls for fleeing and eluding police.

The family of Crystal Niles filed suit for wrongful death damages against everyone involved in chasing their daughter before she crashed into the other vehicle, including based on state negligence claims. The father based his claim on violating his daughter’s constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable seizure. He argued that because no attempt was made to pull over once, Crystal refused to stop her vehicle, pursuing her constituted an unreasonable seizure.  

While other cases involving similar circumstances may provide precedents for this case to rely upon, none were identical enough to prove that the outcome would be the same. That means everything possible could happen according to evidence about how Crystal acted during the chase; whether witnesses saw signs of reckless driving or something else could convince a judge.  

Sara Jiron v. Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital

This medical malpractice lawsuit came about because of misreading test results, leading to incorrect treatments at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital. Three-year-old Sara Jiron was brought into the emergency room with complaints of stomach pains, but her test results indicated that she had kidney stones. She was given an antibiotic to treat what doctors believed were bacterial infections when it became a virus. She experienced further complications, which led to her death about five days after being brought in for treatment.

The jury found in favor of the plaintiff with damages set at $16 million in actual costs and another $64 million in punitive damages for a total award of $80 million. The hospital is currently appealing this amount on various grounds, citing medical malpractice laws under Michigan state law regarding limitations on awards if more than one professional committed negligent acts leading to harm. They also argue that the evidence did not meet the required standards to prove malpractice and allege that some prejudicial errors were made during the trial.

Sara’s case is considered a landmark in medical malpractice cases because it is believed that punitive damages on this scale had never been awarded for such a claim before. This may be due to Michigan’s law limiting awards on these grounds. In contrast, lawsuits involving actions committed by government entities are not limited. Private citizens face caps on how much they can win on these types of claims. The ruling has implications throughout the state, although it could lead to higher insurance premiums if decided against the hospital being sued.  

David Dennison v. City of Taylor & Melvindale Fire Department

The fatal fire that killed eight people resulted from the City of Taylor’s fire department choosing to fill up their tanker truck with water instead of foam, even though it would have been cheaper. 

As a civil rights case, the plaintiffs could claim damages for pain and suffering and wrongful death. The jury found no malicious intent on the part of the firefighters who ran into technical issues when loading foam into their tanker truck. However, they did find fault in the decision not to buy a less expensive option that would have saved lives and money. That means that damages awarded include reimbursement for financial losses from being forced to repair or replace damaged property. 

The jurors voted 11-1 to award $2 million in actual costs and another $100 million in punitive damages.

Cooper Engineering v. Durocher

Plaintiff Sandra Cooper sued defendant Keith Durocher for his part in what she alleges was a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice. She contends that he failed to raise concerns about another doctor’s choice to prescribe large doses of medication, which led to the person dying of pulmonary hypertension and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. Judge Paul Paruk dismissed all but one claim before trial where the negligence occurred based on allegations that follow-up tests were not done during the course of treatment after high blood pressure showed up in lab results, but before any medical professional changed their prescribed dosage or treatment plan. You can get your best java training in Bangalore.

Sandra Cooper seeks $8 million in actual costs and $26 million in compensation for pain and suffering and punitive damages. She also goes by the name Sandra Harris-Cooper but has since remarried. 

Ingham County Circuit Court v. Arthur Hrbek

The defendant was convicted of homicide by negligent driving, which injured the plaintiff’s husband, Luis Vega, who died a few days later from internal bleeding from a ruptured spleen after being brought to Sparrow Hospital. The jury awarded him over $6 million in damages, with most going toward reimbursing him for his property losses and medical bills instead of going to his wife directly. This case went to appeals court because of the defendant’s claim that the plaintiff did not provide enough evidence to support his claims.

Nancy Kaffer v. Adam Bednarek, James O’Meara and Carl Marlinga

This wrongful death civil suit was filed in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by Nancy Kaffer against Adam Bednarek, a former Michigan State Trooper, James O’Meara, an ex-Ingham County Prosecutor, and Carl Marlinga, who was Ingham County’s Prosecutor at the time of Samara Herring’s death. In November 2011, O’Meara announced that he would resign from his job as a part-time fill-in judge because of allegations that he used tax money for his personal use. This came up in the course of Ms. Kaffer’s lawsuit, where she argues that O’Meara and Marlinga knew about “prosecutorial misconduct” yet failed to act on it. She demanded $100 million in actual costs, $100 million in punitive damages, as well as legal fees. Some of these cases will automatically end up in appeals court due to the significant amount requested. Many win the cases but not with the amount desired. 

What Is Awarded to Surviving Family Members in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The State of Michigan awards surviving family members in wrongful death claims loss-of-society to support, love, affection, comfort, and guidance, as well as the protection that would have been provided by their deceased loved one. These awards can be requested to help with funeral expenses, mental care for the family after the death of a spouse or child, injuries suffered from an accident caused by another party’s negligence, or to compensate them financially. The losses claimed are considered special damages. Special damages for this claim cannot exceed $250,000 per person.

Who is Allowed to File for Wrongful Death Claims and Why?

In Michigan, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. In some cases, this can include a surviving spouse or child. If no personal representative is appointed at the time of filing, then a family member may file on behalf of the estate during probate proceedings. A representative of the estate must file for wrongful death claims in Michigan to avoid any conflicts that might arise after the settlement between creditors and beneficiaries.

The Legal Process of Wrongful Death Claims in Michigan

In a wrongful death claim, the deceased person’s estate must file a complaint with the circuit court where the incident occurred within three years of the date of death. Once this happens, a summons is issued and a copy delivered to each defendant or their attorney. The complaint must state facts showing that the defendants were negligent, that it directly caused injuries suffered by the deceased person, and that these injuries resulted in death. After filing, an affidavit from each plaintiff is filed verifying any loss-of support, services, or guidance they may have received from their loved one. You can get your best react js training in Bangalore.

 This creates a presumption unless rebutted by some evidence to show otherwise. A case management conference must be held within twenty days of service to discuss preliminary issues such as identifying the parties to the claim, evaluating limitations on discovery, and setting deadlines for reporting information. Discovery must be completed within three months of this conference. A scheduling order with pre-trial deadlines is issued after that point. If the case settles, then only preliminary approval needs to be given by both sides before an Order of Confidentiality can be entered by the court. This means all settlement negotiations are confidential unless ordered otherwise by a judge or agreed upon by both parties in writing.

Finding an Attorney to Handle Wrongful Death Claims

An experienced wrongful death attorney will help ensure your legal rights are protected, and all available compensation is received from responsible parties.

An experienced wrongful death attorney will help ensure your legal rights are protected, and all available compensation is received from responsible parties. It can be challenging to know where to begin when searching for an attorney, so knowing what to look for when hiring the right lawyer is vital before starting this process.

Step One: Determine Your Eligibility

First, research if you are eligible to file a lawsuit in Michigan. The State of Michigan has specific rules in place that govern who can sue and receive compensation in wrongful death cases. For example, only immediate family members may file a claim in most cases. If there isn’t an immediate family member still living after the accident, they may designate someone in writing to file on their behalf. It is essential to have a lawyer who can help you understand these rules for your claim to get filed correctly.

Step Two: Hire an Attorney

After understanding if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, hiring an experienced and skilled attorney at law is the next step. Some wrongful death claims can take years of litigation before being resolved. It is crucial that the attorney hired has experience with this type of case and has successfully won similar cases in the past. This should get done before even speaking with an attorney. Make sure they understand what’s involved and ask how many cases like yours they’ve handled recently. If they don’t bring up this number right away, make sure you do, or you could miss out on this vital question.

Step Three: Contact the Lawyer

After confirming you are eligible for a wrongful death claim and hiring an experienced attorney, it is time to set up a consultation with that lawyer. A good lawyer will be able to meet your needs even if they can’t take your specific case. For example, some cases may be too small or have additional complications that would make them unfit for their firm, but they might know someone else who would be able to help you better. While these cases aren’t ideal, getting connected with another lawyer is better than walking away empty-handed, since the goal of hiring the first attorney was to get more compensation through litigation. Another reason to do consultations before committing yourself entirely is to feel for the lawyer and their office environment. Are they organized? Are they attentive? Are they helpful? These are all things to consider when deciding whom you want to work on in your case.

Step Four: Follow Their Advice

Once an attorney is hired and committed to your case, it’s essential that you follow their advice explicitly. They know how to handle these cases and will use this knowledge to provide clear and concise advice about what needs to be done to win compensation at trial or resolve the matter outside of court. It’s also essential when hiring an experienced attorney that you tell them everything, even when it isn’t pleasant; doing so gives them more information when planning a litigation strategy. For example, if someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death, make sure you tell them.

Step Five: Get Ready

When all of these steps are followed, the attorney will start working on the case. This means gathering necessary documents, assembling any physical evidence they might need to win at trial or with a settlement, and many other vital actions that require their attention. Keep in mind that legal fees are usually due upon hiring an attorney, so it is essential to discuss this before hiring anyone. Some attorneys allow monthly payments, which can be helpful if money is tight, but there should be some discussion about payment upfront, so you aren’t surprised by how much you owe down the road. It can also help significantly if you update your lawyer with any new information as time goes on, so they aren’t constantly starting over. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to ask them directly. It’s essential to be prepared when deciding on this magnitude to make sure you know all of your options without fear or regret later.

Lawyers in Michigan handle wrongful death claims by administering evidence and finding mistakes in the defendant’s case. This usually results in an out-of-court settlement, forgoing trial proceedings altogether.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims in Michigan

How Long Does It Take for a Wrongful Death Claim to Be Settled?

It is difficult to determine how long it will take for wrongful death claims to settle in Michigan because each case has unique circumstances. The average time for these cases can range from one to two years after all required discovery is completed. Still, it may be longer depending on the progress of settlement negotiations between both sides and their attorneys.

What Happens When a Wrongful Death Claim Goes to Trial in Michigan?

A trial on wrongful death claims in Michigan cannot occur until all liability issues have been resolved. There are three phases involved: the first phase determines if the defendant was negligent; the second phase establishes damages; and finally, if negligence were found, then the third party would be liable for any injuries and losses suffered by survivors as a result of that negligence.

Who Decides How Much Compensation an Estate Will Receive in a Wrongful Death Settlement?

The amount of compensation for wrongful death settlements in Michigan is determined through negotiations between the plaintiffs and defendants. The parties may choose to have a judge decide how much they will receive, especially if there is no agreement on the amounts involved. Suppose there were children or other dependents who expected future support from the deceased party. In that case, that loss must be compensated separately, and damages could include funeral and burial expenses as well https www twitch tv activate

What Are Some Common Types of Damages Claimed By Families of Deceased Persons in Wrongful Death Claims?

Common types of damages claimed by families include mental anguish; medical costs; lost wages; diminished earning capacity (how far the decedent’s salary was likely to increase over time); counseling services; loss of support, services, and guidance the decedent would have provided to survivors; funeral expenses; pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death; distress or disappointment in not fulfilling life’s dreams.