A person in suit and tie standing next to a wooden casket.


John N. Elliott, Michigan wrongful death lawyer, will fight for you if you lost a loved one due to an accident, medical malpractice or negligence, or an intentional act of another. Losing a loved one is an unbelievably difficult and tragic experience, especially when their death is unexpected and due to someone else’s careless, reckless, or malicious behavior.

After their passing, the idea of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible person or entity may feel daunting. However, our compassionate Michigan wrongful death lawsuit lawyer can help.

Wrongful Death attorney John N. Elliott will work tirelessly to assess the facts, gather necessary evidence, and build a claim on your behalf.

We will then file a wrongful death lawsuit to get you and your family the highest possible settlement for your case.

The Best Wrongful Death Attorney in Michigan

Our award-winning Michigan wrongful death lawsuit lawyer is the best choice for your case.

Wrongful Death Lawyer John N. Elliott represents Client’s statewide.

A wrongful death lawsuit arises when someone dies as a result of someone else’s negligence — this includes individuals, businesses, or other entities.

After a person’s passing, state law allows the decedent’s surviving family members to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties and request compensation, typically with the help of a Michigan wrongful death lawyer.

Regardless of whether the conduct of a person, company, product manufacturer, trucking company, or other entity was intentional, there are still grounds for a legal claim and a wrongful death case. Our skilled Michigan wrongful death lawyer helps people seeking a wrongful death claim investigate the facts and determine negligence.

The term “wrongful death” refers to a civil lawsuit seeking compensation by family members for the death of a loved one. Death can be either accidental or intentional. Cases can be brought against individuals, businesses, companies, product manufacturers, trucking companies, and other legal entities responsible for the death.

When a patient dies due to the negligence of a medical provider, like a doctor, hospital, or nursing home, a wrongful death lawsuit can also be filed for the loss.

A Michigan wrongful death lawsuit can be filed for accidental and intentional deaths of a loved one, but the majority of cases are filed based upon claims of negligence. Examples of these personal injury cases include the practice areas of:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck crashes, and pedestrians and bicycle riders hit by cars.
  • Medical malpractice negligence lawsuits.
  • Nursing home negligence and abuse.
  • Poisonings and drug overdoses.
  • Boating accidents
  • Construction accidents and dangerous premises.
  • Fires, explosions, and electrical injuries.
  • Recreational activity accidents, like snowmobiling, boating, jet skiing, hunting, & swimming pool accidents.

Death cases for intentional deaths can be filed in addition to the related criminal proceedings that seek terms of imprisonment instead of monetary compensation.

To succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must present the case that a person or entity was negligent, careless, reckless or intentionally caused the death of a person. For example, if a driver ran a red light and caused a fatal car accident,this would be clear evidence of negligence. Or, if a patient died due to medical malpractice this would be the basis for a death claim.

If the death was caused intentionally, the evidence must support that claim. This type of claim has the same burden of proof as all other personal injury lawsuits. Wrongful death attorney John N. Elliott will perform a complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death case to make this determination.

If a suit is filed, deposition testimony of the parties and eyewitnesses will be taken to prove liability for the death. Often times, an additional and independent investigation will be performed by a law enforcement agency.

The Michigan wrongful death statute provides for the family members of the loved one to file a lawsuit for compensation for accidental deaths, fatal accidents, or intentional acts. Lawsuits can be brought by a parent, spouse, sibling, child, grandparent, or grandchild. In some cases, a more distant relative like an aunt or uncle can also file the case.

If the decedent left a will, any person named in it as an heir of the estate may also have a right to file a lawsuit, usually with the help of a skilled Michigan wrongful death lawyer.

Before filing the claim, the family member or heir must first be appointed the personal representative of the decedent’s estate — often times, the family will agree on who will be appointed to this position. This person will represent the interests of all family members of the case and work with the Michigan wrongful death attorney.

First, a family member hires an experienced Michigan wrongful death lawyer to investigate the facts to determine the grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The next step is to get a personal representative appointed by the probate court to file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate, which comprise the other family members and heirs.

This procedure is done through the probate court in the county where the decedent last resided, had property, or in the county where the death occurred. The Michigan Wrongful Death Act — MCL § 600.2922 — provides the requirements for filing a case, including:

  • What family members can file a claim, and who has priority;
  • The legal procedures for providing notice to the other family members that a claim has been filed and their legal rights in a case;
  • The types of damages and compensation that can be sought and obtained;
  • The legal requirements for filing a case, as well as those to settle a case; and
  • The manner in which the settlement or claim proceeds are distributed to the surviving family members.

This procedure is usually done through the probate court within the county where the decedent last resided. The estate can also be opened where the death occurred, or where the lawsuit will be filed within the state.

Regardless of the circumstances, a Top Rated Michigan wrongful death lawyer will help the family member or members understand their legal standing and begin the process of filing a claim.

The Law Office of John N. Elliott handles the probate process aspect of the case as well, if you hire us to represent you for the wrongful death lawsuit.

Once the personal representative is appointed by the court, Michigan wrongful death attorney John N. Elliott will file the lawsuit for all death claims in the circuit court.

The lawsuit is a legal document, called a Complaint, which is filed at the courthouse and provides notice of the legal basis for the claims. The wrongful death Complaint and an accompanying Summons are then served on the defendants by a process server and litigation begins.

The length of time for a wrongful death case from start to finish depends on a number of factors. Certain types of cases might take longer, like medical malpractice, than other case types like auto accidents.

Also, some judges allow longer periods of time for the parties to take depositions and do their investigations than other courts. Death cases that have more complex issues take longer than cases with more straightforward facts and issues. In most cases, the trial judge will require representatives from all parties to attend a mediation or settlement facilitation.

The parties and their attorneys will meet with an experienced mediator who will attempt to negotiate a settlement. These events are often successful in reaching a settlement before the case goes to court for a trial.

There are no written guidelines for determining the amount of a death claim. If the case is not settled by the parties, a jury will determine the monetary amount to be awarded. There is no “average” settlement amount because each case has its own unique set of facts and circumstances.

Our experienced Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyer will work to get you the maximum settlement. Non-economic losses include the loss of emotional support, comfort, companionship, society, moral support, and consortium due to the death of the loved one. This damage considers the loss to each family member of the victim. They also include compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering from the time of injury through the time of the death. Economic losses caused by the death of a loved one is also a factor.

Economic damages include the recovery of the loss of earnings including past, present, and future losses. Other claims are for the loss of financial support and loss of work benefits, like health insurance and a pension. The family is also entitled to the reimbursement of funeral and burial expenses.

Michigan law determines how the settlement is disbursed. The primary beneficiaries are spouses, children, and parents if they survived the deceased loved one. Yet, grandparents and other blood relatives may also be entitled to settlement money depending upon the circumstances.

Funeral expenses are reimbursed to the family member that paid for the burial before other money is distributed to the heirs. Further, another family member, like an adopted child of the decedent and people named in a Last Will and Testament, may also be entitled to a share of the settlement.

Under IRS rules, any lawsuit settlement proceeds that a court awards for physical illness or injury are non-taxable. This rule includes settlements in wrongful death cases since the damages are determined by a court’s finding that a third party is liable for the physical illness or injury that resulted in death.

Of course, it is strongly recommended that you discuss your settlement share with your accountant or tax preparer. This is the best way to make certain that you do not have to pay taxes on your funds.

Under Michigan law, the time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit is based upon the type of case. These deadlines, called the statute of limitations, are not the same for every case. For example, a case involving a car accident has a three-year deadline. Also, most negligence cases in Michigan must be filed within three years of the date of the incident. For deaths caused by intentional acts, like an assault or police shooting, there is a two-year deadline.

To file a lawsuit involving medical malpractice or nursing home negligence, there is generally a two-year deadline. However, you may have up to five years from the date of death to file your case in certain circumstances. It is best to contact our wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loved one passes to get started on a case.

Waiting too long could bar you forever from receiving a settlement. It is best to contact our wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loved one passes to get started on a case. Waiting too long could bar you forever from receiving a settlement.

It does not cost anything to hire Michigan wrongful death lawsuit lawyer John N. Elliott. We do not charge any fees to start your case and we only get paid a percentage when you receive your settlement check as part of a contingency fee agreement.

Contact Michigan Wrongful Death Attorney John N. Elliott Today

Call us now at (248) 451-9600 to tell us your story. Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyer John Elliott is ready to help you and eager to get started on your case immediately. He will explain your legal rights, the chances of winning your case, and how he will help you win the highest possible settlement.