Michigan Car Accident Death Laws: Know Your Legal Rights
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car crash, the Michigan car accident death laws allow you to recover wrongful death compensation and monetary damages from the at-fault driver who caused your loved one’s death. The laws also allow you to recover survivor’s loss benefits for lost financial support.
An experienced wrongful death attorney can guide you through your legal rights to recover compensation, economic damages and No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits.
Your recovery under Michigan’s wrongful death laws may also include compensation and damages for pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of your loved one’s companionship and/or guidance as a parent.
Our Car Accident Settlement Calculator can also help show you what your family’s Michigan wrongful death case may be worth.
How many people die in car accidents every year?
In the United States, there are 42,795 people who died in car accidents in 2022. This was a .3% drop from 42,939 in 2021. It was the second highest number of motor vehicle crash deaths in the last 12 years. It is a nearly 32% (31.7%) increase over the 32,479 people who lost their lives in crashes in 2011.
How many people die in car accidents every year in Michigan?
In Michigan, there are 1,123 people who died in car accidents in 2022. This was down from 1,131 in 2021. It was the second highest number of traffic fatalities in the last 10 years. The number of people who have lost their lives in car crashes in Michigan in 2022 increased by 18% from 951 in 2013.
What is the leading cause of death in car accidents?
The leading causes of death in car accidents are: (1) driving under the influence of alcohol; (2) driving under the influence of drugs; (3) speeding; (4) distracted driving; (5) using a cell phone or mobile electronic device while driving; and (6) drivers disobey red lights.
Can you sue the at-fault driver for your loved one’s car accident death in Michigan?
In Michigan, if your loved one or family member was killed in a car accident, you and your family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This lawsuit must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The proceeds from the lawsuit will go to your loved one’s dependents.
Under Michigan law, only the personal representative of the estate – that is, the personal representative of the person who died in a motor vehicle crash – has the legal authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is officially designated by a probate court judge. The personal representative can and often is a family member of the deceased.
What compensation and damages are available for car accident death in Michigan?
In Michigan, wrongful death compensation and damages can be recovered by the family of a person who lost his or her life as a result of a car accident death. A lawsuit under Michigan’s wrongful death act against the at-fault driver needs to be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
The wrongful death damages and compensation that can be recovered include:
- “[R]easonable medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses for which the estate is liable” (MCL 600.2922(6))
- “[R]easonable compensation for the pain and suffering, while conscious, undergone by the deceased during the period intervening between the time of the injury and death” (MCL 600.2922(6))
- “[D]amages for the loss of financial support and the loss of the society and companionship of the deceased,” including “loss of service,” “loss of gifts or other valuable gratuities,” and “loss of parental training and guidance.” (MCL 600.2922(6); M Civ JI 45.02 Wrongful Death – Damages)
Who is entitled to compensation and damages after fatal motor vehicle cras in Michigan?
In Michigan, when fatal crash occurs, wrongful death compensation and damages may be payable to the deceased person’s spouse, children, descendants, parents, grandparents, siblings and devisees under the deceased person’s will. (MCL 600.2922(3))
No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits after a car accident death in Michigan
In Michigan, the family members and other dependents of someone who lost a loved one in a motor vehicle crash may be able to recover No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits to help compensate for or offset the loss of financial support that their deceased loved one had been providing prior to his or her death.
What do No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits pay for?
No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits will help pay for the following after a fatal crash: (1) the “contributions of tangible things of economic value” that the deceased person previously provided; and (2) the cost of paying someone else to perform the services previously done by the deceased. (MCL 500.3108(1))
Survivor’s loss benefits can be claimed by the deceased person’s spouse (so long as they were living together at the time of the deceased’s death), children under the age of 18, other dependents whose dependency can be supported by “the facts as they exist at the time of death,” and those who are “physically or mentally incapacitated from earning.” (MCL 500.3110(1), (2) and (3)
Are funeral and burial expenses covered after a car accident death in Michigan?
The funeral and burial expenses that your deceased loved one’s estate is liable for after a car accident death may be paid for through a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. (MCL 600.2922(6)) No-Fault benefits may pay up to $5,000 for expenses not otherwise covered. (MCL 500.3107(1)(a)(ii))
Lost a loved one in a motor vehicle crash in Michigan? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law now
If you have lost a loved one to car crash in Michigan and you would like to talk with a wrongful death lawyer about whether you and your family can take legal action under Michigan’s car accident death laws, call now (855) 781-7747 for a free consultation attorneys. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website.
Michigan Auto Law is Michigan’s largest and most successful law firm that specializes exclusively in helping people who have been injured or who have lost loved ones in auto accidents. Our secret? Our attorneys deliberately handle fewer cases than other personal injury law firms. This allows us to focus more time and attention on our cases.
Unlike other law firms, our attorneys are never too busy to promptly return phone calls and answer questions. We have more than 1,800 5-Star reviews that reflect this care and attention to detail.
More importantly, this client-focused approach leads to better and faster settlements for our clients. Michigan Auto Law has recovered more million-dollar settlements and trial verdicts for motor vehicle accidents than any other lawyer or law firm in Michigan. We’ve also recovered the highest ever reported truck and car accident settlement in the state.
Call now so we can start making a real difference for you.
(Source: NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts, Crash/Stats, “Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2022,” published in April 2023; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, “At-a-Glance,” 2013-2022)