If your loved one passed away due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful behavior, it might take time before you are ready to take legal action against the responsible parties.
Unfortunately, the Saline wrongful death statute of limitations restricts the time for family members to seek justice in civil court. However, our skilled negligent death attorneys at Charles Boyk Law can explain these laws and help you pursue justice on behalf of your departed loved one.
How to File a Wrongful Death Action
After your family member’s death, a Probate Judge will appoint a personal representative to manage their estate by gathering the individual’s assets, paying their debts, and distributing any money left over to their heirs.
A decedent with a viable will might specify the person they chose to be their estate’s representative. Usually, a Judge will honor a decedent’s choice. However, if your family member died without a will, a Judge may appoint a spouse, parent, adult child, or other relative to be the administrator of their estate. In some cases, a Judge may appoint an attorney to serve as a representative.
A personal representative is responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if an administrator does not have legal training, they may not understand the time limits that apply to these claims. Luckily, an experienced attorney in Saline can help you understand how to file a suit that complies with the statute of limitations for negligent death.
Timeframe Depends on Type of Misconduct
Michigan has no statute of limitations that applies explicitly to wrongful death cases. Instead, you must file a claim within the time frame applicable to the type of wrongdoing that led to your loved one’s death. This rule still applies despite the time it takes to designate a personal representative and issue the documents necessary to perform their duties.
For example, many wrongful death actions allege that a party’s negligence led to a deceased’s fatal injury. According to Michigan Consolidated Laws §600.5805(2), if the action is based on negligence, an estate’s representative must file a lawsuit alleging injuries resulting in death within three years of the loved one’s passing.
When a death results from alleged medical malpractice, a personal representative may have to comply with a shorter timeframe. A medical malpractice claim must commence within two years of discovering the alleged negligence. However, a personal representative can file a notice of intent to sue for medical malpractice, which adds 182 days to the statute. An attorney in Saline is familiar with the statute of limitations when filing a wrongful death lawsuit and can help ensure a claim is handled accordingly.
Possible Extensions Available
Sometimes, an individual may file a lawsuit and pass away due to their injuries before their claim a judge resolves their claim. If the statute of limitations is still running, the estate’s personal representative must “convert” the lawsuit to a wrongful death lawsuit. An administrator has two years from the date of their appointment to do so.
In Michigan, it may be possible to “extend” the wrongful death statute of limitations in certain circumstances. However, you should consult an attorney in Saline about whether an exception to the statute of limitations is applicable.
Discuss Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitations with a Saline Attorney
When it comes to wrongful death cases, there are many procedural rules and complexities around filing such a claim. Professional assistance may be necessary to fully understand a case’s various time limits and legal parameters.
A local attorney is familiar with the Michigan wrongful death statute of limitations and is here to guide you through the proceeding legal processes. Schedule a free consultation with us today.