Minnesota’s New Survivorship Statute Allows Survivors to Seek More Compensation

dice with new law written on themEffective May 20, 2023, there are two big changes in wrongful death claims in Minnesota. First, a personal injury claim can continue after the victim dies (even if the death was not caused by the original claim). Previously, the law stated these cases end when the victim passes away, other than a claim for unpaid medical bills.  Second, there is now a claim for the pain and emotional distress suffered by the decedent when they die.

Minnesota’s new Survivorship Statute also amends existing law to say that recovery in these cases is for “all damages suffered by the decedent” that resulted from the injury that occurred prior to death. This change applies whether the victim’s death was caused by the accident or by some unrelated cause.

This means these lawsuits may be able to include compensation for non-economic damages, which may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Fear

Before this change to the law (573.01 Survival of Causes Subdivision 1. Death action.), wrongful death cases could only include pecuniary losses that resulted from the death if the death was caused by the same incident. Pecuniary losses are economic losses, such as medical costs and lost wages as well non-economic damages sustained by surviving family members.  The previous law did not recognize damages for the person that actually died, nor did it allow for surviving family members to seek non-economic damages if the death was unrelated to the original injury incident.  The new law does.

Another change with this new law is the time limit for pursuing a case when someone dies from a cause unrelated to the injury. Legal action must commence within three years of the date of death and no more than six years from the date of the injury. These same rules apply to claims in which the victim died because of the injury. It is also important to note there is no statute of limitations for claims involving victims of murder.

These are all monumental changes that apply to all future causes of action and any claims that were pending as of May 20, 2023. Unfortunately, this change is long overdue, as Minnesota is the last state in the nation to adopt this type of law. A total of 49 states have had the same statute, or something similar, since 2008. It is long past due that Minnesota recognizes a modern wrongful death action.

This was not a Democrat or Republican issue, as the bill that was voted into law had bipartisan support.

How This Affects Insurance Companies

In the past, insurance companies often tried to delay the legal process when the victim had a potentially fatal injury. This was particularly common in nursing home abuse cases.

Insurers did this because they knew that once victims died, a significant portion of their claims died with them. That meant insurance companies would have much less financial liability.

However, the new law means delaying the process is no longer an effective strategy for insurance companies.

It is important to note this does not mean insurance companies will immediately offer full compensation to claimants. Insurance companies are still going to fight hard to avoid accountability and pay out as little compensation as possible.

That is why victims need an experienced attorney to manage their case. At TSR, we have been helping injured victims for decades. We have extensive knowledge of the many aspects of the legal process, including relevant laws.

In fact, TSR Partners Rich Ruohonen and Jenny Olson discussed the new law in a Zoom webinar on June 21st, 2023. The webinar, titled “The New Survivorship Law and What You Need to Know”, was put on by the Minnesota Association for Justice (MNAJ). It covered how personal injury lawyers and their staff can adapt law firm procedures to accommodate the new law.

Rich Ruohonen regularly speaks about personal injury litigation and has written several articles on the subject. He is also a past president of the MNAJ.

Can This New Law Help You? Call TSR Injury Law Today to Find Out How

While recovering compensation cannot erase what occurred, it does provide some amount of justice for the victim’s loved ones. This is particularly true when claimants can seek compensation for ALL of the damages that occurred.

TSR Injury Law has been a tireless advocate for the injured in Minnesota for decades. Our firm has obtained more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients. We are ready to help you and there are no upfront costs.

Contact us to schedule your free legal consultation. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What Qualities Should You Look For When Selecting a Lawyer For Your Minneapolis Car Crash Claim?

touchscreen with legal icons

Car crashes can cause many injuries that are expensive to treat. Even minor injuries you do not consider a big deal can prevent you from working, which can create significant financial hardship.

To make matters worse, many vehicle crash victims who file claims on their own have a hard time recovering fair compensation. That is why you need to find a qualified attorney to take on the insurance company on your behalf.

If you are searching for a Minneapolis car crash lawyer, there are several traits you should look for. If a lawyer has these traits, you can feel confident that they will be able to secure a favorable result.

The licensed attorneys at TSR Injury Law possess these qualities and are ready to assist you after a crash. Our attorneys take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees.

Call today to schedule your free legal consultation: (612) TSR-TIME.

What Traits or Qualities Should You Look for in a Car Crash Lawyer?

There are many specific qualities to look for when seeking a car crash lawyer. The first thing people may do is an online search, which is a great place to start. However, there are specific traits you should look for in this search that can impact the outcome of a case.

Relevant Experience

You want a lawyer who has handled cases like yours and avoid lawyers that learn as they go. In other words, has a lawyer handled similar cases to yours and been successful?

For example, say you were catastrophically injured in a rollover crash. A lawyer who has handled other catastrophic car crash injury cases will be more than qualified for your case. They will know if there are additional product claims, as well as the best way to prepare for defenses of these crashes. A qualified lawyer will also have a better understanding of the injuries cause by your specific crash versus other types of accidents.

You can visit the case results page of the TSR website to learn more about the kinds of car crash cases our firm has handled and the compensation we have recovered. We have been representing crash victims for decades and have secured over a billion dollars for their pain, suffering, lost wages and medical expenses.

A Proven History of Results

You want an attorney who has a track record of success because these attorneys are more likely to recover the compensation you need. Hiring an attorney with a proven track record should also make you feel more confident in the outcome of your case.

Prepared to Represent You in Court

Another critical trait to look for is how much experience an attorney has taking cases to court. While most car crash cases are resolved through a settlement, you do not want a lawyer who only settles. Insurance companies know which lawyers are only willing to resolve cases through a settlement. This can have a negative impact on the amount of compensation you receive. Insurance companies are less likely to offer full compensation to these attorneys because they know there is no possibility of a lawsuit.

Extensive Legal Knowledge

You do not want just any lawyer handling your case. You want one whose practice is focused exclusively on car crash/personal injury cases.

You would not hire a real estate lawyer to handle your divorce, so why hire a lawyer for a car crash claim who doesn’t specialize in personal injury? Each legal practice area is unique – the legal processes, case law, insurance coverages, deadlines, standards of proof and many other aspects can vary significantly by area of the law.

Lawyers who have experience with cases like yours will have extensive knowledge about the many unique aspects of them and how they can vary depending on the case. This knowledge helps them to ask the right questions and take the appropriate steps to gather evidence, evaluate your damages and negotiate for maximum compensation.

Positive Reviews From Clients

One of the most reliable predictors of future performance is past performance. That is why it is important to read about what past clients have to say about working with an attorney.

Past clients can tell you what it is like to work with an attorney and their law firm. Was the attorney easy to contact? Did the attorney answer the victim’s questions? Did the client feel the attorney was fighting for them and the case was in good hands? These are all important things to consider when determining which law firm will best represent you.

One of the most important things an attorney can do for the victim is to help put his or her mind at ease. In their reviews, some clients talk about how they felt less stressed or anxious about the case because of how their attorney was handling things.

While it is important that the attorney you choose has a lot of positive reviews, it is OK if there are some negative reviews. Everyone is not going to be satisfied with their lawyer. You should be concerned if the negative reviews all have something in common. Also note if the negative reviews have a response. Sometimes people write reviews that were not actually clients of the firm or were unhappy that the lawyer gave them an honest, but frustrating, feedback of the merits of their case.

Visit the testimonials page of the TSR Injury Law website to see what past clients have to say about our services. We have received hundreds of five-star reviews.


Injured victims want an attorney who understands they have been through a traumatic event. They want to know the attorney cares about what they have experienced and is committed to securing a positive result. Experienced, successful law firms often receive reviews in which clients talk about how their cases were handled with compassion.

Resources to Manage Your Case

Will the attorney be able to bring in expert witnesses, if necessary? Does your lawyer have the staff and financial resources to thoroughly investigate the crash?

When lawyers do not have all the resources necessary to manage a case, they may try to take shortcuts, which could hurt your chances of recovering full compensation.

When you meet with a lawyer, ask him or her about what it will take to win your case. Ask the lawyer about the resources and staff that will be brought in to manage your case.

If you were meeting with a realtor and he or she was late, you might think about finding another realtor. That is because it can be tough to have confidence in someone who is late or disorganized. If someone fails to act in a professional manner, he or she may be more likely to miss deadlines or forget important details.

The same logic applies to personal injury lawyers. The legal process is complex, and you need strong evidence to prove a car crash case. Lack of professionalism makes it hard to trust that your case is being taken seriously and is being given the attention it deserves.

Meeting with a lawyer should offer clues about professionalism. Is the office organized? Was your lawyer able to answer your questions? Was their communication clear and easily understandable? Disorganized offices and the inability to answer questions may be bad signs.

Commitment to the Legal Profession

Lawyers who have been recognized by legal associations have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their clients, community and to their legal profession. That means they are going to go the extra mile to achieve the results their clients deserve. TSR attorneys have been recognized by organizations like Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Some lawyers also have leadership positions in prominent legal organizations. For example, partner Charles Slane has been elected president of the Minnesota Association for Justice. Partners Steve Terry and Rich Ruohonen have also been past presidents of this organization, with partner Jenny Olson scheduled to be President in a few years.

TSR lawyers are often asked to teach other lawyers, which is another indication of high achievement and legal competence. Most recently, in February 2023, partner Nate Bjerke taught a group of lawyers at a Minnesota CLE seminar.

Availability to Address Your Questions and Concerns

Your lawyer should always be available to answer your questions and address your concerns. Client testimonials are typically a good indication whether or not a law firm possesses these qualities.

If a lawyer is not available, it becomes harder for victims to feel that their case is being taken seriously. Taking too long to respond to an email or phone call could also indicate a lack of organization.

TSR Injury Law is Ready to Help You. Call to Learn More

Car insurance companies know how to manipulate and mislead crash victims into accepting lowball settlement offers.

The good news is you do not have to sit idly by and let them get away with it. You can hire an experienced lawyer to advocate for your best interests.

At TSR, our legal services come with no upfront costs. What this means is our services carry no financial risk for our clients.

We are here to help you seek full compensation. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What Happens if You Get Into a Crash With Someone Driving a Rental Car in Minnesota?

clipboard with rental car agreementCar crashes are difficult enough without the extra wrinkle of the at-fault driver’s vehicle being a rental car. When victims find out, they may have a lot of questions about seeking compensation for their damages.

Is the rental car company responsible? Does the at-fault driver’s personal insurance apply to the crash?

If you got hit by a rental car in Minnesota and you have questions about the legal process, call TSR Injury Law to find out how we may be able to assist you. Our experienced attorneys have successfully recovered millions for victims of motor vehicle crashes.

Helping crash victims at no upfront cost. Call TSR: (612) TSR-TIME.

Can the Rental Car Company be Held Liable?

Victims of rental car crashes often want to know if they can sue the rental car company for damages. With rare exceptions, you will not likely be able to sue the rental car company for damages.

One of the possible exceptions would be if the crash was caused by poor maintenance of the rental car. In this case, the rental car company is responsible for maintenance of the vehicle, the driver is not.

There are numerous examples of maintenance issues that could cause a car crash, such as:

  • Underinflated tires
  • Problems with steering
  • Wheels that are out of alignment

However, the rental car company cannot be held liable unless you can prove the crash was caused by a maintenance issue. You must also prove the rental car company knew or should have known about the maintenance issue and failed to address it.

This type of case is complicated, which is why you need a licensed Minneapolis car accident lawyer managing the process on your behalf.

Can You Seek Compensation From the Rental Car Driver’s Personal Insurance Policy?

Minnesota requires all auto insurance policies to extend liability coverage to rental cars. This means you should be able to seek compensation from the liability insurance of a rental car driver’s personal insurance policy.

Your lawyer must prove the driver of the rental car was at fault for the collision. This means your lawyer must establish the driver was negligent and directly link this negligence to the cause of the accident.

Filing a Claim Against the Rental Car Insurance

Rental car companies offer additional insurance when you rent a car. This may be another avenue for recovering compensation after a crash with a rental car.

The question is, which insurance policy takes priority? If the rental car driver already has personal insurance, do you seek compensation from that policy first?

These are important questions that can be answered by an experienced lawyer. TSR Injury Law’s attorneys have extensive knowledge about seeking compensation after a Minnesota car crash. We know how to determine what insurance policies apply to the situation and which policy to seek compensation from first.

Using Your Own Car Insurance After a Rental Car Crash

Minnesota requires all drivers to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.  PIP provides compensation to the policyholder no matter who is at fault for the collision. That means you can seek compensation for your medical costs from your own insurance policy. It does not matter if the at-fault driver was in a rental car or not.

What You Should do After a Crash With a Rental Car

There are several steps you should take after a crash with a rental car to help protect your claim for compensation.

1. Call 9-1-1 Right Away

No matter what type of crash or how minor you consider your injuries to be, it is always recommended to call 9-1-1. That way the police will come out, secure the scene, investigate the crash and complete a report. The police report is often a vital piece of evidence for crash victims who are trying to prove a collision was caused by another driver’s negligence.

2. Exchange Information With the Other Driver

After calling 9-1-1, you will need to wait at least a few minutes for the police and other first responders to arrive. While you are waiting, you can exchange information with the driver of the rental car, including:

  • Name and contact information
  • Insurance information
  • Name of the rental car company
  • Driver’s license number
  • Name of the driver’s personal insurance company

3. Collect Evidence About the Crash

Another step you can take while waiting for the police to arrive is to start gathering evidence. For example, you can take pictures of:

  • Your vehicle
  • The rental car
  • Injuries that are visible to the naked eye
  • Landmarks that help identify the location of the collision

If there are any witnesses, ask them for their contact information. Your lawyer can get in touch with them later to ask them about what they saw.

The most important thing to remember is to not gather evidence if you are seriously injured. While it can be very helpful to your attorney to gather evidence right after the crash, your health and safety is most important.

4. Get Treatment For Your Injuries

You should never wait to seek medical treatment after a crash. You do not want your injuries to worsen or possibly become life-threatening.

Many crash victims make the mistake of assuming their injuries are not that bad. Then they wait to seek treatment, their injuries get worse, and it becomes much harder to recover compensation. Waiting to seek treatment also gives the insurance company a reason to claim you were not injured in the crash.

Contact TSR Injury Law for Help After a Rental Car Crash

The legal process after a car crash can be a lot more complicated than victims realize. Trying to handle this on your own can be overwhelming. You should think about hiring a lawyer to guide you through each step.

Crash victims have been turning to TSR Injury Law for decades and we have secured millions in compensation on their behalf.

We know you may be concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer. However, we work on contingency, which means no upfront fees.

Learn more by calling us at: (612) TSR-TIME.

Why Do Most Car Crashes Happen So Close to Home?

sunset on neighborhood roadMost drivers are not that concerned about getting into a crash close to home. They assume there is much less risk because they are in a familiar area.

Research shows these assumptions are often false, as a large percentage of crashes happen when drivers are only a few miles away from home. It’s important to note that drivers can be just as reckless close to home as they are anywhere else.

TSR Injury Law dives into the statistics and some of the reasons why so many car crashes happen close to drivers’ homes. If you were injured in a car crash in Minneapolis, our Minneapolis-based car accident attorneys may be able to help you.

More than $1 billion recovered. No upfront fees. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What Percentage of Car Crashes Happen Close to Home?

Research has revealed that a large percentage of car crashes happen when drivers are close to home.

According to a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Trauma Acute Care Surgery, 77.1 percent of the car crashes that were studied happened within 10 miles of the victim’s home. Another 87.6 percent happened less than 20 miles from the victim’s home. Researchers studied more than 10,000 injury incidents, including 1,644 traffic incidents.

Most Americans do not drive more than 10 or 20 miles from their homes each day. The average American drives just 29.2 miles per day, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that more than 50 percent of all car crashes happen within 25 miles of drivers’ homes.

Another study from 2020 also seems to back up the idea that car crashes happen close to home. Dolphin Technologies found that 25 percent of car crashes happen within the first three minutes of a trip, with another 14 percent of crashes happen within the first six minutes of a trip.

In other words, there is a high risk of a crash on short trips in the car. Many of these trips are likely to begin at home or somewhere close to home.

Dolphin Technologies produces telematics devices that get installed in vehicles. The findings cited above are from a study of 3.2 million trips that involved 40,000 people between 2018 and 2019. There were 1,986 crashes during these 3.2 million car rides.

Another important data point from the Dolphin Technologies study is that the risk of a crash significantly increases for trips that last more than 40 minutes. Some of these drivers may have been coming home from work or from somewhere far away from their home. As they get closer to home, drivers tend to relax, often causing them to drive in a more negligent manner.

Why Most Collisions Happen Within a Few Miles of Home

There are many reasons why so many car crashes happen so close to victims’ homes.

Drivers Tend to Relax

It is only natural to feel more comfortable when you get closer to home. You are on familiar roads, and you know exactly where you are going.

Becoming relaxed and overconfident can lead to dangerous behavior behind the wheel. For example, drivers may speed, not pay as much attention to the traffic around them, or fail to stay in their lanes.

Drivers Get Tired

Drivers may be coming home from work or from a long drive, which means they may be tired. This is especially true if the crash happens at night or early in the morning.

Drivers often do not realize how tired they are and how dangerous it is to drive while drowsy. They may fall asleep at the wheel or forget to pay attention to other drivers on the road. Fatigue can impair reaction time and judgment and drivers tend to get into a trance because they have driven the route so many times before.

Even though it would be better for tired drivers to pull over and rest, many drivers try to push through their fatigue, which can be very dangerous.

Drivers Often Get Distracted

When drivers relax, they may be more likely to give in to distractions. They may start looking at their phones or sending text messages. They may look away from the road because they are eating or drinking something or playing with the car stereo.

Some of the other distractions include personal grooming, adjusting the position of the driver’s seat, and looking at distractions outside. Drivers’ concentration may drift away from the road due to a song or podcast playing on the stereo.

Drivers May be Intoxicated

People who have been drinking often decide to get behind the wheel when they only have a short distance to drive. They may think a crash is less likely to happen because they do not need to be on the road that long and they are in a familiar location. However, alcohol makes it much harder to operate your vehicle safely, even if you have taken the same route countless times before.

Drivers Often Speed

It is easier to speed in residential areas because speed limits are much lower than they are on most other roads. You may be in a rush to get to work, or you may be itching to get home from a long day out of the house. Drivers are also more likely to speed when they feel comfortable, particularly when driving in an area that is very familiar to them, often times speeding without even realizing it.

Drivers May Not Account for Residential Traffic and Parked Vehicles

The intersections and streets around your home can easily become congested with traffic. You are also more likely to encounter parked cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. People often become frustrated with this traffic, which can lead to speeding, reckless lane changes, tailgating and other dangerous behavior. Drivers may also get distracted and forget to watch for pedestrians or parked vehicles.

How Do I Avoid a Collision When I Am Close to My House?

One of the most important steps to preventing a collision close to your home is to acknowledge the risks. Research suggests you may be less safe the closer you get to home.

That means you need to take the same precautions you would when you are driving anywhere else:

Get Set Up Before You Go So You Can Focus on Driving

One of the most important steps to take before your trip is to set things up so you can stay focused on driving. For example, eat before you get in the car and get your music or podcast set up so you do not need to fiddle with it out on the road. You can also adjust the air conditioning beforehand, so you do not need to take a hand off the wheel while your car is in motion.

Finish up phone or text conversations before you leave. You should never text and drive. Phone calls while behind the wheel can also be dangerous, even if you do not have the phone in your hand.

Focus on Driving

When your car is in motion, your entire focus should be on driving. Keep your eyes on the road, keep both hands on the wheel and concentrate on being a safe driver. It is easy to lose focus by thinking about something else that is going on in your life, whether it is positive or negative. However, this can be dangerous.

While being an attentive driver is important no matter where you are, it is particularly important in residential areas.

Watch for Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Pets and Parked Cars

Drivers are conditioned to watch for other cars, but you also need to keep an eye out for pedestrians, children, people walking their dogs and bicyclists. This should be much easier to do if you are not distracted by your phone, stereo, or something else.

Obey the Speed Limit

Speeding makes a car crash much more likely to occur. You have less time to slow down to avoid a crash and you may make an evasive or risky maneuver that leads to a collision. For example, you may swerve to avoid a rear-end collision and then hit a parked vehicle or a pedestrian.

Speed limits are lower in residential areas for a reason. There can be a lot of activity and you do not want to hit a pedestrian or bicyclist at high speed as it could cause severe or fatal injuries. There are often stop signs and speed bumps and if you are going too fast you could blow through a stop sign or damage your car by going over a speed bump at a high rate of speed.

Do Not Drive if You Are Tired or Drunk

No matter how short your trip, you should never get behind the wheel when you are drunk or drowsy. Driving while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol is incredibly dangerous, as your judgment, reaction time and vision can be severely impaired. This often leads to reckless actions that make a dangerous collision much more likely.

If Possible, Walk Instead of Drive

This is not always possible, but when it is, walk to your destination or go for a bicycle ride. This is beneficial to your physical health, and it is one less car trip, which means one less opportunity for a crash. If you are tired, maybe the trip can wait until later or even the next day. While fatigued, walking may be less dangerous than driving, but both can still be risky.

Have Questions After a Minnesota Car Crash? Call Us Today

Drivers often let their guard down when they are in a familiar area, or because they are tired, distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. No matter the reason, when drivers are negligent and they cause crashes that injure others, those drivers should be held accountable.

Our firm has been holding negligent drivers and liable insurance companies accountable for decades. We represent crash victims at no upfront cost. That means there is no risk in finding out how we may be able to assist you after a crash caused by another driver.

Call us today: (612) TSR-TIME. We seek full compensation for Minnesota crash victims.