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Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyer

The unexpected death of a loved one is a tragedy no one can prepare for. What makes matters worse is when another person is to blame for the death. A wrongful death claim arises when someone dies as a result of a negligent act of another. We understand no amount of money could possibly replace the loss of a loved one, but a wrongful death claim may give a family the monetary resources they need to survive after the loss.

At Buchanan Firm, we understand what you are going through because we have handled hundreds of medical malpractice wrongful death claims over the years. So, we begin each wrongful death case with a conversation. We carefully listen to your story and will review medical records if we believe a medical error caused the death of your loved one. If it is determined negligence caused the death, our Michigan med mal lawyers will work tirelessly to secure fair and just compensation for your family.

And, through it all, our experienced team regularly communicates with you, so you have additional peace of mind.

What Are Common Medical Errors that Result in Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death medical malpractice can happen in many different scenarios. However, the most common include:

  • Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are two of the most common (and often most damaging) types of medical malpractice. 40% of medical malpractice involve a misdiagnosis or a missed or delayed diagnosis. Not having the proper diagnosis for an injury, disease, or illness can cause serious, severe, and even deadly consequences in certain circumstances.
  • Surgical Errors: While there is no guarantee in any medical procedure when healthcare professionals follow patient safety rules, surgical problems are significantly reduced. While surgeons are not responsible for complications or bad outcomes, surgeons are responsible when they violate a patient safety rule, failing to act as reasonable healthcare professionals.
  • Brain Injuries: Brain injury can occur from a lack of sufficient oxygen or blood flow to the brain and can be a result of medical errors such as: failure to properly monitor vital signs during surgery, giving excess pain medication that slows or stops breathing, or from medical errors made at a hospital during a child’s delivery and birth.

 Other common medical malpractices that can result in wrongful death include:

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Michigan

The Buchanan Firm team will be with your family through every step of a wrongful death lawsuit and will work tirelessly for your family. Below is a brief outline of the major steps of a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Investigate the claim – First, the Buchanan Firm wrongful death team will review medical records and consult with medical experts to determine if the death was a result of medical negligence. If it is determined medical malpractice caused the death of a loved one, the Buchanan Firm team will enter into a contractual relationship with the family and have the Probate Court appoint a personal representative.
  • Send Notice of Intent to file a claim – The Buchanan Firm team will prepare and send out a lengthy letter to the negligent healthcare providers, per Michigan law.
  • File the lawsuit — After the mandatory Notice of Intent waiting period, a wrongful death lawsuit will be filed with the Circuit Court.
  • Gather evidence — Evidence is gathered in many different ways, including investigators, depositions, interrogatories, document requests, and more.
  • Challenge the other side’s defenses — The other party will defend the case to avoid liability. The Buchanan Firm team will challenge those defenses to protect rights to recovery.
  • Negotiate a favorable settlement — Many wrongful death lawsuits are settled before trial, however, you should not accept a low settlement offer just to avoid trial. Our team will make sure you receive just and fair compensation for the loss of your loved one.
  • Represent you at a jury trial — If the liable party refuses to make an appropriate settlement offer, the Buchanan Firm team will present your case at a trial, which involves strict rules of evidence and procedural requirements.

The Personal Representative in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The Michigan Wrongful Death Act requires an appointment of a personal representative in order to pursue a wrongful death case. Most of the time, the personal representative is chosen from those listed in the will, or a surviving spouse.  The personal representative’s role is to work with the wrongful death attorney to handle the claim and make decisions on behalf of the deceased individual’s estate.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The wrongful death statute in Michigan is clear on the damages surviving family members can recover in a wrongful death claim.

The damages a family can recover will vary from case to case and depends on specific losses from the death.  The following are the damages a court or jury may award if considered fair under the circumstances:

  • Reasonable medical expenses
  • Reasonable hospital expenses
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
  • Reasonable compensation for the pain and suffering while conscious
  • Damages for loss of financial support
  • Damages for loss of society and companionship

The Grand Rapids injury attorneys at Buchanan Firm hire economists to fully evaluate damages to ensure maximum recovery in a wrongful death claim.

Count on the Experienced Wrongful Death Team at Buchanan Firm

If your loved one recently died and you believe it was because of an error by a healthcare provider, call us. We offer a free, confidential evaluation and provide you with immediate answers. Our compassionate team knows what you and your family are going through, and will help you find answers amidst the tragedy. We will work tirelessly on your case, at no additional cost. We are in it to win it for you and your family.