A wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by the relatives of the person killed in the Michigan accident. A probate estate must be opened and a personal representative, usually a family member, is appointed. Quite often, the family will agree on who should be appointed as the personal representative. When the family cannot agree on this appointment, a court hearing will be held and the probate judge will determine who is best suited for that appointment. After this complete, the personal representative can hire a Michigan lawyer to file the wrongful death lawsuit.
The personal representative does not determine which family members will receive shares of the settlement or even how much each person will receive. Rather, the probate court judge or circuit court judge assigned to the case will make that determination if the family members cannot agree on the distribution of the settlement proceeds.