When a motorcyclist or passenger dies in a fatal Michigan motorcycle accident due to the fault of another motorist, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver. These lawsuits seek settlements for the loss of the family member. Typically, a family member is appointed as the personal representative to file the case.
Number of Bikers Killed in Michigan Motorcycle Accidents
In 2014, there were 2,860 motorcycle crashes in the State of Michigan. This amounted to 1% of the total number of traffic crashes in Michigan. A total of 107 bikers wered killed in motorcycle accidents.
Of the total number of crashes, 88.8% of bikers were "going straight ahead" just before the crash. This statistic proves that in motorcyclist was not at fault in the majority of the accidents. These crashes are typically caused by motorists pulling out in front of a biker or striking a motorcycle from the rear. Drunk drivers caused 29% of the accidents that killed bikers and their passengers in Michigan.
How to Start a Fatal Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Michigan
The first step in starting a motorcycle accident wrongful death lawsuit is to choose the best attorney for your case. Our lawyers will start the case investigation immediately and open the probate court estate so that a personal representative appointed by the court. This is required in any case involving death or permanent incapacity. The personal representative can act on behalf of the estate.
Most of the time, the surviving family members agree on the person who should fill that position. If the family cannot agree for any reason, then a probate judge will select the person most suitable for that role. That person has the legal authority to move forward with the case.
The personal representative then selects the attorney to handle the case for the estate. That attorney works with the personal representative, but is acting on behalf of all family members (the estate) during the entire process. Although the Personal Representative can agree upon a settlement, the presiding judge must still make the determination if the settlement is fair and in the best interests of the estate. A hearing is held in open court to make this determination.
The probate judge also makes the determination as to which family members will receive a share of the settlement and the amount of the share. Most times, the family members agree on these amounts. If the family does not agree, then a hearing is held and the presiding judge makes the determination as to who gets a share and how much each person receives from the settlement. The settlement money is then disbursed according to the judge's determination.
What is the Compensation in a Michigan Fatal Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Compensation in a Mihcigan motorcycle wrongful death suit includes money for the sloss of ociety of companionship by the family members due to the death of a loved one. Damages also include money for the pain and suffering endured by the victim from the time of the accident until death. This can be substantial if the accident victim suffered in the hospital for a period before passing away, but are also significant even in cases involving almost instantaneous death.
Additional compensation is paid for the loss of financial support to the family resulting from the death. This can include loss of earnings going into the future and othe types of economic support. We hire an economist expert witness to determine the amount of these damages to claim in the lawsuit.
Settlements for Michigan Motorcycle Death Lawsuits
Motorcycle accident wrongful death cases often result in substantial settlements and jury verdicts for the family. The insurance company for the negligent driver pay the settlement. The owner of the vehicle will also be sued and there is often additional insurance coverage for that claim. If the driver and the vehicle were not insured, an uninsured motorists claim can often be filed. Our motorcycle accident attorneys will investigate all possible sources of insurance to obtain the highest possible settlement available to the family.
Free Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Consultation
Call us to tell us about your case. You can meet with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at our office, your home, or in a hospital. Our legal team will investigate your case and assist you with all of your motorcycle accident insurance claims. We will also get you the maximum possible motorcycle accident settlement for your injury case.
We will represent you under our No Fee Promise, which means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement. We will pay to open the probate estate, pay all filing fees, hire all expert witnesses, file your lawsuit, and do everything possible to win your case. If your case is unsuccessful for any reason, you owe us nothing. We put that in writing for you.
Contact Our Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
It is important to get started on your case as soon as possible after an accident. We will begin our investigation of the case and take care of all of the probate court matters for you. We will also file all of the claims for medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses for you so you do not have to worry about those matter.
Call our award winning motorcycle accident lawyers today at (800) 606-1717 to start on your wrongful death claim.