When an auto accident turns fatal, your family doesn’t just need to file an auto insurance claim. You need an experienced wrongful death lawyer who can help you get the compensation you need to move on.
After a loved one dies in an auto accident the family of the deceased has some tough decisions to make, including how to pay for everything. While a motorist’s Michigan no-fault auto insurance provider is required to cover some of the expenses, it won’t help you and your family make up for the loss of a companion and provider. For that, you will need to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Collecting Wrongful Death Benefits
Some of the expenses that result from a fatal auto accident are obvious, like medical expenses, funeral fees, and burial costs. Others can seem more abstract. Rather than just paying your bills, your wrongful death lawyer is trying to make sure you and your family are compensated for the loss of your loved one.
Certainly, no amount of money will ever replace a spouse, parent, or child. However, there are ways in which a monetary damage award can make the process easier. Damage awards for loss of financial support can help ease the burden of one less income in your house. Loss of companionship awards can soften the blow of losing a spouse and help pay for you to receive the care and support you need in your time of grief.
Often, these awards are based on the deceased’s age, health, and occupation prior to the accident. Your wrongful death lawyer will sit down with your family and help you put values on these emotional issues.
Fault in Wrongful Death Cases
The big question when a car crash turns fatal is who caused the accident? While no-fault law requires your insurance company to pay regardless of whether you or your family member were responsible for the crash, a wrongful death action is different. Under traditional negligence law, your wrongful death lawyer will have to show that the person you sued was the at-fault driver. If the deceased was the one who was negligent, you may be out of luck. Where both parties were somewhat to blame (such as when one car was speeding but the other ran a red light), the judge or jury in your wrongful death lawsuit will have to “apportion” the fault and you could only be entitled to a percentage of the total damages.
Your wrongful death lawyer will review police reports, accident reconstruction simulations, and may even hire an expert to figure out what happened during the crash. If the other driver was at fault, all of that evidence will help the judge or jury decide how big an award your family should receive.
The team at Christensen Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan have been handling wrongful death lawsuits for over twenty years. They have the right balance of compassion and expertise to make sure your family is supported and compensated during this difficult time.