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When Is an Accident Considered Wrongful Death?

  • Losing a loved one in an unexpected accident is tragic. As someone close to the situation, you may want someone to blame for what happened. Unfortunately, many fatal accidents in Michigan occur with no explanation, and no one to blame. But there are some fatalities that result because of negligence. When you can identify negligence as the cause of your loved one’s death, it’s possible to file a legal claim.

    An accident in Grand Rapids is considered wrongful death when negligence directly causes the fatality. Unlike a homicide, a fatality like this isn’t typically premeditated. When negligence causes a fatality in a wrongful death accident, the death is a tragic accident.

    In these situations, you can still hold the at-fault party financially responsible in civil court and seek justice. A Grand Rapids wrongful death lawyer from Christensen Law can help you with your case.

    Negligence Must Be Present

    In order to determine whether negligence caused your loved one’s accident, you must investigate. With the help of the police and your legal team, you can gather evidence from the scene of the accident and use that evidence to pinpoint who’s at fault. 

    A negligent driver may cause a fatal accident if they’re driving under the influence or speeding. A property owner can also be negligent if they don’t remove a spilled liquid from a walkway and the fatality results from a fall. If a defective product causes the fatality, then the manufacturer may have been negligent when creating the product.

    The Negligence Must Directly Cause the Fatality

    When investigating the scene of the fatal accident, the police must use evidence to determine how the victim died. After connecting the dots of the case, it can be determined whether negligence directly caused the death. 

    For example, if a car accident victim died from their vehicle colliding with a speeding driver’s, then negligence caused the fatality. However, if the car accident victim died from a heart attack in the car before the collision, then the speeding driver may not be fully liable for the death.

    How to Calculate Damages for Your Family

    Once you can prove negligence was involved in your loved one’s accident and that negligence directly caused your loved one’s death, you can calculate the damages your family has suffered to recover a settlement.

    Your economic damages may include things like funeral expenses and lost income from your deceased family member. Your non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and more.

    Reach Out to a Grand Rapids Wrongful Death Attorney

    It can be difficult to grieve the loss of a loved one when you know someone else caused the fatality. Although a settlement won’t erase what happened, it can heal some of your financial suffering. With a lawyer by your side, you can spend the time needed to grieve while they negotiate for you in court.

    If you’re ready to schedule a free consultation with a Grand Rapids wrongful death lawyer from Christensen Law, call 248-213-4900. You can also visit our website for more information.