If you recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, the law may entitle you to compensation. Though no amount of money can undo the damage or erase your grief, it can help you cover any costs associated with your loved one’s death, as well as financial challenges that may have arisen since his or her passing. However, Michigan Legislature is strict about who can file and who can collect compensation. To better understand your rights, review Section 600.2922, which details Michigan’s wrongful death laws.

Per the law, the only person who may bring a wrongful death claim in Michigan is the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. Within 30 days of the filing of the complaint, the representative must provide notice of the complaint to any person who may recover under such an action. He or she must do so in a manner that meets the rules of the probate court.

If you are not the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, that does not mean you cannot recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. Section 600.2922 further details who may recover damages under such an action.

For a person to recover damages, he or she must be a survivor of the deceased and suffer emotional and/or economic loss as a result of the untimely death. Eligible survivors include the deceased’s spouse, children, parents, grandparents, descendants, sisters and brothers. If the deceased has no such survivors, then any person who would have inherited the estate based on the laws of intestate succession may recover compensation. If the deceased was a widow at the time of his or her death, and if the deceased spouse had children, the children of the deceased’s spouse may also recover compensation.