All parties must agree to a settlement. The insurance company will try to settle for what they believe a jury will award. Their view is often much lower than reality. The Plaintiff's attorney should be trying to settle the case at what he thinks the case is worth. His/her view is often much higher than the insurance company's. Both must come to an agreeable figure, for a settlement. If the parties can not agree to what is fair the case will proceed to trial where a jury will determine what is fair.
The first thing your Uncle needs to do is hire a local personal injury attorney. A lot of your answers depend on Mi law. Even though your cousin wasn't working the biggest part of your Uncle's claim is the loss of his son. Yes, economics do help, but your Uncle needs to quit talking to the insurance company and get counsel. If he already has an attorney, that attorney is in the best position to answer your questions.
Each state has its own laws relating to wrongful death cases. It can be quite complex. Your Uncle's lawyer should be advising him on the merits of the case, what can be recovered and the reasonableness of any pending offers.
You should contact an attorney who handles these claims for a free consultation. It's difficult to know what a reasonable settlement value might be without knowing more about the case, but often an attorney is able to negotiate a much larger settlement than someone without representation. I would also discourage you from posting any more specific details about your cousin's situation in a public forum like this, as you never know who might be reading them.
My office provides a free consultation and case evaluation to all potential auto accident claimants, and many other attorneys on this site do the same. You and your family have my condolences for their loss. I hope this helps. Take care.
My discussion with you regarding the question you posted on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is my response to your question to be considered legal advice. While I do my best to provide helpful responses given the factual scenario presented, proper analysis of any matter requires a more in-depth conversation than what is practical on Avvo. If you are a member of the military, or if an immediate family member of yours lost his or her life while fighting for our country, I am proud to offer a 10% discount on my fee.
A lot of facets to this question. Does he have an attorney? If not he should get one immediately. If so, the question should be addressed to the attorney.
There are services available that help evaluate damages in cases by reviewing prior verdicts and settlements. You can research this online.
Always consult an attorney IMMEDIATELY as there are time limitations on filing a lawsuit.
Valuation of a case depends on a lot of factors, including his work capacity and age. It might very well be less than 1 million, but 50,000 seems too low, even without knowing all the facts.
This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
If you do not have a skilled attorney on your side, they will attempt to lo ball the family and pay far less than fair value. Do not attempt to handle this alone! Get an attorney here on AVVO.
My answer to you question does not constitute legal advice. Only an in person or telephone consultation will result in an attorney/client relationship. Call me at (313)402-0853 to discuss your matter further.
Michigan is a conservative jurisdiction unfortunately. A wrongful death action is governed by the Wrongful Death Act, MCL 600.2922. Briefly, the act provides that a personal representative files suit on behalf of the decedent and all members who are defined by the statue as having a relationship sufficient to allow them to make a claim. While financial support, marital status and the other factors you mentioned do have bearing on the value of a case, they are not the only factors. The family members able to make a claim under the WDA can suffer a compensable loss based upon the close nature of the relationship. If a settlement is agreed to by the personal representative of the estate, each family member is entitled to present a showing to the court prior to entry of an order of distribution of the settlement amount. Also, there are statutory obligations that the personal representative owes to the members of the class of persons entitled to make a claim.
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