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Michigan Fatal Car Accidents Lawyer

Automobile accidents are unfortunate occurrences in Michigan and across the United States made worse when the accident results in death. The family of a person killed in an accident can file a wrongful death action against the at-fault party and receive compensation.

Statistics for fatal car accidents in Michigan

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 37,133 fatal accidents in our nation in 2017. Figures from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and the U.S. Department of Transportation indicate that in that same year, there were 937 fatal accidents and 1,028 deaths in Michigan. In Wayne County, which includes Detroit, there were 145 fatal vehicle accidents during the same period.

Of the fatal crashes in Michigan in 2017:

  • 34.2 percent involved at least one drinking driver, bicyclist or pedestrian
  • 21.3 percent involved drinking but not drugs
  • 10.8 percent involved drugs but not alcohol
  • 12.8 percent involved both drugs and alcohol

Of the 1,530 drivers involved in those fatal crashes, 19.3 percent were under age 25, and 7.9 percent were under 21. Moreover, 178 of the deadly accidents involved pedestrians, 133 involved motorcycles, and 23 involved bicycles.

The most dangerous accidents

Some accidents are more dangerous than others, increasing the odds of death:

  • Head-on collisions between vehicles or between a car and an object
  • T-bone or side-impact accidents
  • Rollovers
  • High-speed crashes
  • Under-ride crashes where the front of a car goes under the rear of a large truck

Causes of fatal accidents

Although driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs poses is a significant contributor to deadly motor vehicle crashes, other factors increase the risk, such as:

  • Distracted driving (talking or texting)
  • Driving while fatigued or falling asleep
  • Speeding or driving too fast for the weather conditions
  • Failing to obey traffic lights or stop signs

RECOVERING COMPENSATION FOR A FATAL ACCIDENT

A spouse, child, or estate of a person killed in an auto accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for the decedent’s death.

The plaintiff must establish negligence, which requires proof that that the at-fault party owed a duty and that violation of that duty caused the death. Evidence supporting a negligence claim can include:

  • Blood or breath alcohol test results showing the at-fault party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Mobile device records showing the at-fault party was talking on the phone or texting at the time of the accident
  • Video footage of the accident from a traffic camera, dash camera, or surveillance film from nearby businesses
  • Statements from witnesses who saw the accident or who observed the conduct of the at-fault driver before, during, or after the accident
  • Accident reconstruction based on skid marks, damage to the vehicles, and other facts

Types of damages, comparative fault, and statute of limitations

Michigan imposes certain restrictions on wrongful death lawsuits involving car accidents.

The compensation the estate may recover includes both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of income and financial support. Non-economic damages include the decedent’s pain and suffering before dying as well as family members’ emotional distress and loss of consortium and companionship.

Under Michigan’s modified comparative fault rule, any responsibility the decedent had for the accident reduces the estate’s recovery by the percentage of that fault. If the decedent’s fault is found to be greater than 50 percent, the estate cannot recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

There is only a limited amount of time to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The estate has three years after the accident to file the claim.

Contact an experienced car accident lawyer

After a fatal car accident, injured persons and the estate of those killed in the crash should seek legal counsel. The at-fault party’s insurance company is not on your side and does not have your best interests in mind.

If someone you love died in an automobile accident caused by another party’s negligence, contact the experienced and compassionate lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C. Call us today at (866) 430-5556 for a free consultation and to learn how we will fight for you, your family, and the memory of your loved one.

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I will always recommend Mr. Watkins and Sommers Schwartz.

After meeting Mr. Watkins in person and working with him during the proceedings, I realized that the words in his website bio were true. He is a FIGHTER for his clients. No matter what time of day I called, he immediately returned my call. I am glad I made an EXCELLENT decision in selecting him.

You were kind enough to listen.

When it seemed that we would not be able to get anyone to listen to us regarding the details of our accident and any potential merit to a legal case, you were kind enough to listen, and subsequently bring this matter to a positive resolution.

Mr. Watkins is extremely competent and professional.

Mr. Watkins is extremely competent and professional. I would recommend him in a heartbeat!

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Mr. Watkins and his team were excellent to work with. Mr. Watkins is a very competent and trustworthy attorney. I am very pleased with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend attorney Kenneth Watkins.

Impeccable ethics and an unparalleled work ethic.

Tad Roumayah helped me seek a settlement with my former employer to my satisfaction. He is a man of integrity, who has an exceptional knowledge of the law. Impeccable ethics and an unparalleled work ethic make him an outstanding attorney who is capable, meticulous, and diligent.

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Mr. Thompson gave me excellent advice.

Mr. Thompson consulted with me about a specific legal issue and gave me excellent advice as always. He also represented my son after he was hit by a car and also did an excellent job.

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