Not every attorney has the experience, skill and reputation to handle a wrongful death case. After all, there is no greater time of need for a respected, aggressive, and intelligent attorney than when a loved one is killed by the negligent or criminal act of another person. After the shock, grief and anger begin to subside, you may find yourself asking:
“What is a ‘wrongful death’?”
“Wrongful death” is a legal term for a civil lawsuit in which damages are sought against another person who caused a death. The lawsuit is typically filed by close relatives of the victim against the other party, either directly or against the company, business or other entity that caused the death. The lawsuit seeks monetary compensation for the surviving family member(s) of the victim.
“Who can bring wrongful death cases?”
The person who files the wrongful death case must be appointed by the probate court. This is called the “personal representative or Plaintiff.” This person is usually a close relative of the victim, such as a parent, child, or spouse. Occasionally, the court will appoint a trustee or administrator. Note that a civil lawsuit is different from a criminal prosecution, where the State (through a prosecuting attorney) brings charges. Often the criminal case and wrongful death civil case proceed at the same time and are structurally very similar.
“Are there any good trial attorneys in Ann Arbor equipped to handle our wrongful death case?”
The Geherin Law Group (GLG Michigan) is a personal justice law firm in Ann Arbor that handles criminal and civil litigation, including representing family members whose loved one is killed by the “criminally-negligent” behavior of others. To us, it’s personal. That’s more than our slogan – we fight every day both in and out of court to bring justice to families who have suffered the most tragic type of personal legal crisis—the wrongful death of their family member. We take on insurance companies who refuse to pay people what they deserve following a wrongful death. We sue bars/restaurants who over-serve patrons who in turn kill innocent bystanders. We also file actions against companies and businesses who were responsible for hiring a negligent employee.
Attorney Dan Geherin is a former Prosecutor and board-certified trial attorney. Put simply, you don’t become a board-certified trial attorney like Dan unless you have a long and verifiable track record of success in the courtroom. In fact, only 5% of attorneys nationwide are board-certified, including only 12 other Attorneys in the State of Michigan (effective 2018).
Why is trial experience so important for a wrongful death attorney? Because the insurance company will stall and will fight against a fair payment; because the insurance company and its attorneys need to know that the plaintiff’s attorney will fight aggressively for a client, or otherwise that attorney will never earn the respect he/she needs to successfully represent clients. And, because a proven track record of victories in the courtroom proves that the attorney knows the law, knows how to fight to help his/her clients, and can be the difference between a fair and equitable settlement or no payment whatsoever.
An attorney who typically drafts wills, or files divorces, or works on real estate deals, does not have the trial experience, criminal prosecution background, or specialized training to handle a high-stakes wrongful death case. Instead, families devastated by the loss of their loved one should look for an experienced criminal justice attorney, and ask these questions:
- “Do you have experience with both criminal prosecutions and wrongful death cases?”
- “Do you know the various investigators/officers/experts involved with this investigation?”
- “Are you willing to go to trial if the offending parties won’t make us whole after a death?”
Dan has completed 200+ trials. He was born and raised, practices and lives in Ann Arbor. He has appeared before every judge in the county. He does not accept every Wrongful Death case – only those that have resulted from “criminal negligence” and which can benefit from his unparalleled mix of criminal and civil courtroom experience. But when he does take on a case, he works tirelessly and aggressively to achieve the justice that a devastated family deserves.
Need a strong, experienced, intelligent and caring wrongful death attorney in Ann Arbor? Please call the personal justice attorneys of GLG Michigan at (734) 263-2780 or just send us an email at info@GLGMichigan.com
. We offer free telephone or office consultations; we offer contingency agreements where we don’t collect a dollar unless you do; and we only accept cases where we feel confident in bringing clients the justice they deserve.