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Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions

 

When is a death considered “wrongful”?
When it’s caused by someone else’s action or inaction. For example, a wrongful death could be the result if a person:

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How is a wrongful death claim different from a “survival action”?
A wrongful death claim is filed for compensation for the losses of surviving family members. Michigan law also has a provision for a “survival action”, which means compensation paid for the deceased person’s injuries, that lead to their death. Typically, both types of suit are filed together.

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Who can pursue a wrongful death claim?
In the “common law” that we in the U.S. inherited from England, there was no provision for surviving family members to sue the party responsible for a wrongful death. So over the years, each state has enacted its own laws to fill this gap.

In Texas, there’s a two-year statute of limitation. If the situation involves medical malpractice, then sometimes it can be extended, for instance:

  • When the relevant person is a minor or otherwise legally incompetent
  • If the victim of medical malpractice couldn’t possibly have known of the malpractice until some later date

It would be wise to consult a Michigan wrongful death attorney as soon as possible, so as to be in the best possible position to file suit within the allotted period. Bear in mind that potential witnesses move, memories fade, sometimes people become incapacitated or die. Time is of the essence.

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What kind of compensation is obtainable in a wrongful death lawsuit?

For the spouse:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental anguish
  • The financial value of probable intangible services they would have received from the deceased

For a child:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental anguish
  • The financial sum the deceased would probably have paid for the child’s maintenance,
  • The value of the services the deceased would probably have given to the child for education and training

For the parents:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental anguish
  • The value of probable future financial contributions an adult child would have made to them
  • The value of a minor child’s future services up until the child’s age of majority:
    • Less the cost of the child’s maintenance and education while a minor
    • Plus the value of any financial contributions the child might reasonably have made to the parents after reaching the age of majority

In some cases, a claimant might be entitled to:

  • Compensation for loss of inheritance, and
  • Punitive damages.

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How is it decided what a person’s future earnings would have been?
This can seem fairly complicated. Future earnings are calculated from a life expectancy table, developed statistically. The earnings at the time of death are multiplied by the number of expected remaining years of earnings, up until the expected retirement date.

Retirement benefits are calculated up until the expected time of death, according to the life expectancy table. When a total figure is arrived at, that amount is then reduced to “present value”, which is an amount considered to equal the full amount if it’s conservatively invested

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Is there anyone who cannot be sued in a wrongful death claim?
Yes, other family members can’t be sued.

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What happens when someone dies while on a cruise?
If the ship was within the territorial waters of a State, then that State’s wrongful death law will apply. But if the ship was more than 3 miles from any U.S. shore, what applies is the Death on the High Seas Act.

This would mean there’s no compensation for pain and suffering, but only for the amount of money the deceased person would have contributed to the survivor’s support and well-being.

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My mother died in the nursing home and it seems she wasn’t properly cared for. Do I have any recourse?

Yes, probably. If you suspect mistreatment or neglect, waste no time in documenting and reporting it. An experienced wrongful death attorney can do this for you, and have it submitted to all the necessary parties.

Nursing home neglect would include such things as:

  • Deficient personal hygiene
  • Lack of appropriate food, clothing and shelter
  • Lack of appropriate medical care
  • Failure to prevent falls
  • Failure to prevent or treat dehydration

Nursing home abuse would include such things as:

  • Open wounds, bruises or cuts
  • Broken bones
  • Unexplained falls
  • Untreated or poorly treated bedsores
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Injuries because of too much restraint or lack of restraint

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Jay Trucks & Associates, in Flint Michigan, are wrongful death attorneys who have successfully represented thousands of bereaved people and collected millions of dollars on their behalf. We are strong advocates for the bereaved and tough negotiators with the insurance industry. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Experienced. Dedicated. Compassionate.

Since 1979, Jay Trucks & Associates has been dedicated to fighting for those who have been injured. Whether you have been injured in an accident, on the job, or denied Social Security Disability, you can count on our experienced attorneys to be dedicated to your case and focused on getting you all of the money you deserve.

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We’ve settled thousands of cases and recovered millions for our clients.
At Jay Trucks & Associates, we've worked hard over the past few decades to fight for our clients to get them all of the money they deserve. Whether it was for an auto accident, injury, workers' compensation, or Social Security Disability case, our experienced attorneys have helped our clients fight for their rights and get their lives back on track.
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The Jay Trucks & Associates’ office staff was amazing. Shelly and Sarah kept me informed and up-to-date, and were very compassionate and caring. The office and attorneys handled both my worker’s compensation and Social Security Disability claims. Nice job, with the positive conclusion to both. (The only thing I would have wished for was a sped up timeline, but that was on the Defendants and not Jay Trucks’ office.) Thank you again for all your help and assistance.

H. Alexander
Jay Trucks & Associates, PC: Michigan's Lawyers for the Injured
Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. serves clients across the State of Michigan in injury, workers' compensation, and Social Security Disability cases.
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Jay Trucks & Associates, PC
600 Pine Street
Clare, Michigan 48617
Phone: 800-762-8623
Fax: 989-386-7470
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The information provided on this website by Michigan personal injury attorneys, Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. is offered for informational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal Personal Injury advice. Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. does not seek to represent you based upon your visit or review of this website. This Website may be considered advertising under the rules of the State Bar of Michigan. You should not make legal hiring decisions based upon brochures, advertising, or other promotional materials. Past results obtained by this law firm do not guarantee future case results. Our experienced attorneys serve the entire state of Michigan, handling injury, accident, workers' compensation, and Social Security Disability cases. Contact personal injury attorneys, Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free initial consultation at 800-762-8623.