Sadly, it is sometimes necessary to appoint a guardian for person that has been severely injured in an automobile accident in Michigan. Oftentimes, a guardian is necessary because the adult victim has suffered a traumatic brain injury that has temporarily or permanently caused the victim to be incapable of making day-to-day decisions for them selves. Michigan law defines an “incapacitated individual” one “who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause, not including minority, to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions.” Mich. Compiled Laws 700.1105. Other times, the appointment of a guardian is necessary because the car crash victim is less than 18 years old and needs an adult to stand-in-the-place of the minor in the eyes of the law. When a negligent motorist causes the death of an auto accident victim, then the Probate Court will appoint a personal representative for the estate of the deceased victim. Michigan Probate Courts appoint guardians and personal representative under the rules and procedures found in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC); however, it is the Michigan Circuit Courts that conduct trials for establishing damage awards for the injured or deceased accident victims.
It is important that the attorney you choose is experienced in both the Probate and Circuit Courts litigation. An experienced lawyer can greatly assist grieving family members in choosing a guardian that will best represent all of the victim’s needs. Additionally, in the case a wrongful death caused by a negligent driver, an experienced trial attorney can guide the family’s selection for a personal representative that will be the best trial witness to represent the deceased victim’s family in the lawsuit.