What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Everything You Need to Know


When a family member dies because of a person’s or entity’s negligence or misconduct, the decedent’s Estate can make a wrongful death claim or file a lawsuit for losses such as loss of society and companionship; medical expenses; and funeral expenses. A suit of this kind seeks monetary compensation on behalf of the Estate’s interested parties. A claim or lawsuit also seeks monetary compensation on behalf of the deceased’s physical pain and suffering, such as conscious pain and suffering the deceased endured.

If you believe a loved one is the victim of wrongful death, don’t wait. Our Traverse City, Michigan-based personal injury lawyers are ready to assist you. Call 231-929-0500 or submit an inquiry online today.

Civil or Criminal Charges?

Although a wrongful death case is a civil case, there may be a criminal component if the negligent party committed a crime resulting in the deceased’s death, such as operating a vehicle while impaired. Typically, the civil case follows the completion of any criminal case.

Michigan Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Michigan law defines wrongful death as, “[a] death caused by any wrongful act, neglect or fault of another.” Michigan also considers a pregnant woman suffering a miscarriage due to a “wrongful or negligent act” as grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Experienced wrongful death attorneys such as those at Dingeman & Dancer, PLC know the specifics of the laws of our state and can advise you about your rights.

The First Steps in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit will typically involve these early steps:

  1. A friend or family member of the deceased contacts a reputable law firm specializing in wrongful death representation. Dingeman & Dancer, PLC has decades of experience conducting wrongful death lawsuits and can determine the merits of your case and walk you through each necessary step.
  2. The firm advises you on the types of documentation necessary to vet your case. This usually includes a copy of the victim’s Death Certificate, medical records, accident report, and documentation of expenses.  
  3. Your attorney instructs you to appoint a representative who will act as the point person for communication between all involved parties.
  4. The accident or incident resulting in death is fully investigated.
  5. Your attorney continues to build your case, working to file all materials with the court and achieve the highest settlement or judgment possible.

It’s important to note that the process to bring about a case may vary. Wrongful death attorneys in Michigan (or the state where the death occurred) will be most suited to assisting you as you navigate the legal process. Working closely with a firm you trust is key to a favorable outcome. At Dingeman & Dancer, PLC, we have over 30 years of experience with personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our team of attorneys is caring and compassionate. We will work with you to reach a desirable outcome for you and your loved ones.

Wrongful Death Settlements or Judgments

There are many factors that contribute to the size of a wrongful death settlement or judgment. Ultimately, each settlement or judgment will be different based on the nature and circumstances of the death. While it can be hard to imagine assigning a dollar value to the life of a loved one, know that our team will work diligently to help you achieve the highest possible settlement or award.

 Find a Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a very distressing process. To better serve our clients, we remove the financial barrier to legal representation by offering our services on a contingency basis. Our fees are based on a percentage of our client’s recovery.

Choose Dingeman & Dancer, PLC to represent you and your loved ones. When you call us, you get us. Call 800-626-0050 or request an appointment online.