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Michigan Fatal Car Crash Law: What You Need To Know

February 20, 2023 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan Fatal Car Crash Law: What You Need To Know

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car crash in Michigan, an experienced wrongful death attorney will help protect your and your family’s legal rights to compensation, No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits, and other economic damages. Alcohol, drugs and speeding are the leading causes of deadly crashes.

What percentage of car crashes are fatal in Michigan?

In 2021, less than 1% of car crashes were fatal in Michigan. There were a total of 282,640 reported motor vehicle crashes in the state of Michigan in 2021 and 1,068 of them involved fatal crashes.

How many deadly crashes in Michigan happen per year?

In 2021, there were 1,068 deadly crashes in Michigan, resulting in the deaths of 1,131 people – up from 985 in 2019.

What is the leading cause of deadly crashes in Michigan?

The leading causes of fatal car crashes in Michigan are: (1) driving under the influence of alcohol; (2) driving under the influence of drugs; (3) speeding; (4) distracted driving; (5) cell phone use while driving; and (6) drivers running red lights.

How many deadly crashes are caused by alcohol in Michigan?

There were 336 alcohol-involved deadly crashes in Michigan in 2021, resulting in 357 alcohol-involved fatalities. That means more than one-third of all deadly auto accidents (336 of 1,068 or 31.5%) and all crash-related deaths (357 of 1,131 or 31.6%) were caused by one or more persons who had been drinking.

Are drugs a factor in fatal car crashes in Michigan?

More than 24% of all deadly crashes in Michigan in 2021 involved a drugged driver. There were 259 drug-related deadly automobile accidents, resulting in 275 deaths.

Does speeding cause deadly crashes in Michigan?

In Michigan in 2021, excessive speed was a contributing factor in 21% of all deadly motor vehicle crashes, accounting for 237 of 1,131 auto accident fatalities for the year.

How many deadly crashes in Michigan are caused by distracted drivers?

There were 59 deadly crashes involving a distracted driver in Michigan in 2021, which is 5.5% of the total number of deadly auto accidents in the state for that year.

How often is cell phone use a factor in fatal car crashes in Michigan?

Nearly 2% of all deadly crashes in Michigan in 2021 involved a driver using a cell phone.

Can a deadly crash be caused by someone running a red light?

There were 25 people killed in fatal red-light-running auto accidents in Michigan in 2021, which accounts for 2.2% of all Michigan traffic-related fatalities for the year.

Where is a deadly crash most likely to occur in Michigan?

More than thirty-one percent (31.3%) of Michigan fatal car crashes in 2021 occurred at intersections. Additionally, 636 of the 1,068 fatal crashes in Michigan in 2021 occurred on county and city roads.

What should you do after a Michigan fatal car crash?

As soon as it is practical, you should talk with an experienced Michigan wrongful death lawyer to find out how to protect your legal rights to compensation, economic damages and No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits which are paid out to the dependents of persons killed in auto crashes.  

We recognize that hiring a lawyer at a time of loss and grieving is difficult, but in addition to assisting with No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits, your lawyer can make sure a possible defendant is on notice so that critical evidence is not intentionally destroyed. For example, a trucking company might destroy important records once six months have passed (as they would otherwise be allowed to do under federal motor carrier safety administration regulations), or a truck’s electronic data recorder (black box) can be intentionally overwritten.  In Michigan, if the fatal car crash involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist, some auto insurance policies have strict notice periods when a claim must be made by, or the coverage can be lost entirely.  And if the deadly crash involves a government vehicle, there are strict notice periods that must also be complied with or the potential cause of action is lost and can be dismissed if a lawsuit is later filed.  

Your lawyer will also help you recover the best possible settlement in your case. In doing so, he or she will protect you from insurance adjusters who are notoriously bad at divulging all of the No-Fault insurance benefits a family may be entitled to and/or miscalculating how much of those benefits will cover funeral and burial expenses, replacement services, social security benefits, disability benefits, and pension compensation.

Your lawyer will also help to ensure that your settlement reflects the full value of your case by preventing the insurance company for the at-fault driver from misrepresenting or hiding additional liability insurance coverage and/or personal assets of the negligent driver. Making sure that the full extent of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage and assets are known will have a significant impact on the amount of your settlement.

What insurance claims can you file after a fatal car crash in Michigan?

When you and your family have lost a loved one in a deadly crash in Michigan, you may be able to file an insurance claim for the following: (1) wrongful death against the at-fault driver; (2) No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits; and (3) uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Suing for wrongful death after a fatal car crash in Michigan

You and your family may be able to sue the at-fault driver for the deadly crash that took your loved one’s life. This is called a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act, it allows you to seek damages for pain and suffering, loss of financial support and loss of society and companionship.

What No-Fault benefits can you recover after a deadly crash in Michigan?

When a person loses his or her life in a deadly crash in Michigan, his or her dependents can seek No-Fault “survivor’s loss” benefits which help replace the financial support their loved one would have provided had he or she not lost his or her life in an auto accident. 

Need legal help? Contact the lawyers at Michigan Auto Law now

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car crash in Michigan and you would like to talk with a lawyer about whether you and your family can take legal action, you can call us toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death car accident attorneys. We will answer your questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages, auto No-Fault insurance survivor’s loss benefits, and settlements in cases like yours. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced injury attorney by visiting our contact page or chat feature on our website. 

(Source: Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, “2021 Quick Facts”; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Fact Sheets, 2021, “Alcohol,” “Speeding,” “Cell Phone Use,” “Driver Distraction,” “Drugs,” “Red-Light Running; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Statewide, 2021, Crash, “Highway Class”)

Michigan Fatal Car Crash Law: What You Need To Know

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