There is an inherent risk to traveling in a motor vehicle, even if you are a very careful driver. For many people, the worst-case scenario after a crash is the potential for someone they love to die. Sadly, that nightmare becomes reality for thousands of families every year.
If someone else causes a crash that claims the life of your loved one, you may find yourself wondering what options and rights you have.
Thankfully, Michigan law provides for wrongful death claims by surviving family members. The spouse, children, descendants, parents, grandparents, siblings or executor of the estate of the deceased have the right to seek compensation for wrongful death.
State law defines wrongful death as any death that results from a wrongful act or negligence. Crashes caused by distracted or impaired drivers likely fall under this category. Cases of reckless driving, excessive speeding or traveling the wrong way on a road could also result in a wrongful death claim.
That means if someone else caused a crash that killed your loved one, you may have the option of holding them financially accountable. Even if there isn't enough evidence or reason to bring criminal charges, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide you with a form of justice.
You may be able to seek compensation for lost wages, lost support from your loved one, medical expenses and funeral costs. You can also seek compensation for the pain and suffering of your loved one if they didn't die immediately after the crash. Educating yourself about state laws and the specifics of the crash can help you determine if a wrongful death lawsuit would be appropriate in your case.