When you lose a loved one in a tragic car accident, your world is upended. You may feel like you are downing in grief and don’t know how to move forward. At some point, you also may face another harsh reality: losing your loved one is going to have a serious financial impact on your family too. You may have relied on your spouse’s income. Or your brother or sister lived with you and contributed toward paying the mortgage and other bills.
What to know about wrongful death lawsuits
If another driver’s negligence caused the accident, your family may want to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. With a wrongful death lawsuit, your family can receive damages for your loved one’s untimely death. The damages will compensate your family for the emotional and financial loss of your loved one.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit and is separate from any criminal case that the state of Michigan may bring against the other driver. Surviving spouses, children, siblings, grandparents and more can file wrongful death lawsuits in Michigan.
Recovering damages in a wrongful death lawsuit
In order for your family to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, you will have to prove two things:
- That the driver who caused the accident that killed your loved one was negligent, reckless or deliberate when they caused the crash. Your loved one didn’t cause the accident.
- That your family has suffered measurable damages because of your loved one’s death.
The type of damages your family may receive in a wrongful death include the following:
- Payment of reasonable hospital and medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and income to cover what your loved one would have earned if they survived the crash
- Compensation for the pain and suffering of your loved one before they died due to the accident
- Compensation for the emotional pain and suffering your family has experienced because of your loss
- Costs related to the damage of your loved one’s vehicle
If you lost a loved one in a tragic vehicle accident, caused by someone else’s negligence, you should consult a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal attorney can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit to help you recover damages from the loss of your loved one.