Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act What You Need TO Know

The Michigan wrongful death act allows the family of a person who was killed in an accident to sue the at-fault driver for the damages the deceased could have sued for if he or she had survived. A recovery may include compensation for the pain and suffering, economic damages and loss of companionship.


Who can sue under the Michigan wrongful death act?


The personal representative of the deceased estate has the legal authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the deceased’s behalf. However, the personal representative could be a family member of the deceased.


What damages are allowed under the act?


The Michigan wrongful death act allows damages to cover:

  1. “reasonable medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses for which the estate is liable”;
  2. “reasonable compensation” for “pain and suffering“; and
  3. loss of the deceased’s financial support, society and companionship. (MCL 600.2922(6))


Who is entitled to damages under the Michigan wrongful death act?


The act explains that the following people may be entitled to damages under a settlement or judgment:

  1. the deceased’s spouse, children, descendants, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters;
  2. children of the deceased’s spouse;
  3. “devisees” under the deceased’s will. (MCL 600.2922(3))


When must a lawsuit under the act be filed?


There is no specific wrongful death statute of limitations. Therefore, the general Michigan Civil statute of limitations for personal injury claims applies: A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within 3 years of the death of the accident.


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If you believe you might have a case, it is crucial you contact a qualified attorney immediately.


We can arrange a virtual appointment, in-person appointment at our office, or even travel to your home to meet you and your family.


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