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Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.

Michigan Fatal Car Accident Lawyers: Auto Death Lawsuits

Our Michigan fatal car accident lawyers help families who have lost a loved one in a fatal auto accident.  Fatal injuries occur in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. The surviving family members may be entitled to significant No Fault insurance benefits due the death.   If a negligent driver caused the fatal car accident, it can give rise to a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit.

Michigan Auto Accident Death Statistics

In 2014, there were 876 motor vehicle related fatalities in Michigan.  This number was the lowest for the preceding five year period, including a decrease in deaths from 951 in 2013.  The highest number of deaths occurred in the age range of 25-34 years old, which totaled 147 deaths.  Alcohol involved crashes contributed to 27.5% of all fatal crashes. 

The majority of deaths involved passenger cars and station wagons.  Fatalites for non-drivers or passengers included bicyclists (21), pedestrians (148) and motorcyclists (107).  The majority of deaths occurred in males for auto accidents (65%) and motorcycle accidents (90.7%).  The month of July had the highest number of deaths.

No-Fault Insurance Benefits After a Michigan Fatal Car Accident

Under the Michigan No Fault insurance laws, the family members of the victim of the fatal car accident can receive specific benefits, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.  For example, if an insured driver dies as the result of the auto accident but was determined to be at fault for the accident, the family members can often still receive these insurance benefits.  These survivor's loss benefits include:

  • Payment of funeral expenses
  • Payment of medical expenses
  • Lost wages for three years
  • Replacement services for three years

There are strict procedures and time deadlines that apply when seeking benefits after a fatal car accident.  If you miss a deadline, your claims may be lost forever. 

It is important to hire an experienced fatal accident attorney immediately after the accident. The negligent driver will often deny fault and blame the victim for the accident. As such, it is essential to start the investigation as soon as possible so that independent witnesses and evidence can be gathered to prove and win the case.

How To Start A Car Accident Death Lawsuit

After a fatal car accident, the family of the victim can file a lawsuit under the Michigan Wrongful Death Statute. Typically, a fatal car accident lawsuit is brought by the family member of the person killed in the accident.  However, a guardian or another family representative can also bring the claim. 

Our attorneys will immediately open a probate estate to have a personal representative appointed by the court.  This person is the family representative in the case and works directly with our lawyers, but other family members also have input in all aspects of the case.  We file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver and owner of the motor vehicle in the circuit court.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits After A Michigan Fatal Car Accident

In an auto accident death lawsuit, the family of the decedent can sue the negligent driver and owner of the vehicle for significant money damages.  These include claims for loss of society and companionship, loss of income, loss of services, loss of support, and other monetary claims.  If the decedent was employed  or looking for a job at the time of the death, our economist experts will project the loss of earnings over the lifetime of the victim.  This lifetime loss of earnings is often a substantial part of the settlement.

A claim can also be made for the pain and suffering endured by the victim from the time of accident until death.  This amount is determined by the jury and it depends on the facts of the case.  In a recent Michigan trial, the jury awarded the family the amount of $ 5 million for less than three seconds of pain and suffering in a case involving a commercial bus striking and killing an innocent pedestrian. 

How Much Are Michigan Auto Accident Death Settlements?

Every case is different and there are no guidelines for determing the fair settlement amount for a case.  The factors that go into determining the amount of the settlement include the degree of fault of the negligent driver.  A jury can reduce an award if the accident victim was partially at fault for the accident.  The reduction is based upon the percentage of fault assigned to the victim.

A major factor is always the amount of insurance coverage available for the claim.  Some drivers and vehicle owners have large policy limits and others have the minimum coverage allowed under Michigan law.  There may be multiple policies that can apply to a single accident as well as umbrella policies (additional coverage providing higher limits) for the loss.  Additionally, there may be underinsurance coverage on the decedent's own insurance policy that can be used to get a higher settlement.

Our experienced auto accident attorneys will investigate all potential coverage to help guarantee that you will receive the highest possible settlement.  People who try to settle their case without an attorney are not aware of all of the available types of coverage and just accept what they are told by the insurance company adjuster.  This can be a very costly mistake.

Examples of our Fatal Michigan Car Accident Settlements

Our expert fatal car accident lawyers have won top settlements and jury verdicts for our clients.  Below are examples of auto death cases handled by our law firm.

  • $1,350,000 Settlement for a Waterford pedestrian struck by a truck on the shoulder of a road.
  • $1,000,000 Judgment against a negligent driver for hitting a bicyclist in a Detroit suburb.
  • $  900,000 Settlement in an Eaton County, Michigan auto accident wrongful death settlement
  • $  850,000 Settlement for a fatal Macomb County motorcycle accident.
  • $  500,000 Settlement for a I-94 roller over accident near Port Huron, Michigan.

Free Michigan Car Accident Book

If a family member was the victim of a fatal car accident in Michigan, you should order our FREE book, "The Ultimate Michigan Car Accident Handbook" by Lawrence J. Buckfire. It sells for $14.95 on Amazon but we will send it to you for FREE. The book will teach you in plain English the legal rights that family members can pursue after a fatal car accident.

Our No Fee Promise For Michigan Fatal Car Accident Cases

We will represent you in your fatal car accident case under our NO FEE PROMISE. This means that you will not be charged any legal fees whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement or recovery for you. You have absolutely no obligation for legal fees unless we win your case. If we do not obtain a settlement for you, you owe us nothing!

Michigan Fatal Car Accident Lawyer Review

"After our son was killed in a car crash in Grand Ledge, we contacted the law firm of Buckfire & Buckfire. Our son’s case was handled in a dignified and professional manner. At the end, we received a substantial settlement and justice for our son. "
About Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.
Date published: 08/04/2016
5 / 5 stars     

Contact a Michigan Fatal Car Accident Lawyer

For more information regarding your rights after a Michigan fatal auto accident, call us now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our wrongful death lawsuit lawyers about your case, or simply submit this contact form and we will get back to you quickly. If a loved one has been involved in a Michigan fatal car accident, you should contact our office immediately and speak with a Michigan fatal car accident lawyer so that we can start working on your case.

 

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