Minneapolis Wrongful Death Attorney
The unexpected loss of a loved one can be a traumatic experience for family members, especially when the incident may have been prevented. While contacting a lawyer during this difficult time may not be a priority, having legal representation can be an important part of the recovery process. At TSR Injury Law, our Minneapolis wrongful death attorneys are prepared to protect your legal rights. We have many years of experience helping Minneapolis area residents recover the compensation they are eligible to receive following the loss of a family member.
To speak with a lawyer about your potential case, call (612) TSR-TIME. We offer a free consultation to answer your questions and can help to determine if you are eligible to take legal action on behalf of your loved one. You are under no obligation to use our services and should you decide to hire us, there are no upfront fees.
Call us today at (612) TSR-TIME . We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
How Minnesota Defines a Wrongful Death
According to Minnesota Statutes section 573.02, a wrongful death is defined as the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. This type of legal action requires proof that negligence was involved in your loved one’s death, and that it has caused you and your family members harm.
Wrongful death claims can be caused by different types of fatal accidents, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents – Deadly car crashes are typically caused by the negligent behavior of a driver, such as excessively speeding, operating a vehicle while distracted, recklessly ignoring traffic laws, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks can be especially catastrophic, because of their massive size and weight, causing passengers in smaller vehicles to sustain serious injuries or death. Driving while drowsy, intoxicated, or carrying an oversize load are common factors involving truck driver negligence.
- Slip and falls – Some fatalities are caused by slip and fall accidents. This type of tragic death may occur because of a wet or slippery floor, uneven surfaces or a faulty handrail. A property owner who fails to live up to the duty to maintain the reasonable safety of his or her premises - or warn visitors of known hazards - may be held liable for a wrongful death.
- Work-related accidents – High-risk occupations, such as construction or manufacturing jobs, have more frequent instances of work-related injuries and even death. For example, construction workers are regularly exposed to heavy machinery, broken or worn parts, fall risks and electrical failures.
- Motorcycle accidents – Motorcycle accidents often occur when drivers follow too closely or fail to notice motorcyclists when changing or merging lanes. Motorcyclists are also vulnerable to accidents caused by defects on the road or other types of hazards, such as road debris or wet conditions.
- Medical malpractice – The majority of health care providers are highly skilled and properly trained to treat patients, but medical mistakes can still happen. When a doctor or hospital fails to follow proper procedures, provides a faulty diagnosis or delays treatment, those responsible may be held accountable in a claim.
If you lost a family member in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior, having an experienced attorney on your side can help to determine if you have a valid case and if so, explain the legal options that may be available to you to pursue financial compensation.
Our legal team is here for you. Call (612) TSR-TIME.
Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Claim?
Minnesota law dictates who may file a wrongful death claim. These individuals may include the surviving spouse and children as well as the parents, grandparents and siblings of the deceased person.
In most instances, eligibility is based on a hierarchy. If the deceased was married, the spouse can bring a claim, including any children the deceased had at the time of death. If the deceased was married but had no children, his or her parents or grandparents could pursue a claim. Brothers and sisters of the deceased may file a claim as long as there is not a spouse still living - or any surviving children, parents or grandparents. In some cases, a trustee may even be appointed to file a claim on the family member’s behalf.
Determining who can pursue a wrongful death action in any case can be complex. This is why anyone considering legal action should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. TSR Injury Law is well-versed in Minnesota wrongful death laws and how they may apply to your particular situation.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
In a wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove the same elements of negligence found in a personal injury claim in order to seek compensation for the losses you and your family have endured, such as:
- Duty of care – You must establish that the other party owed your loved one a duty of care, meaning he or she had a legal obligation to prevent injury or death. For example, in a wrongful death case caused by a motor vehicle accident, the other party had a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely on the road.
- Breach of duty – You must show that the other party breached the duty of care owed to your loved one. Perhaps the other party failed to act as a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances by driving carelessly and causing the accident that led to your loved one’s death.
- Causation – You must establish that a causal or direct link exists between the other party’s breach of duty and the loss of your loved one. In other words, had the other party not acted negligently, your loved one would not have died. Proving this element can be difficult without a qualified attorney by your side.
- Damages – You must show that the untimely death of your loved one resulted in damages, such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost income and other related losses.
The ability to meet these requirements can quickly become difficult and confusing for anyone who does not handle these types of claims on a daily basis. Our Minneapolis wrongful death lawyers have the legal knowledge, skills and resources needed to fight for your best interests. We are ready to handle all aspects of the claims process.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling (612) TSR-TIME.
Damages Determined in a Wrongful Death Case
Damages in a wrongful death case are awarded to help compensate the pain and suffering of the decedent, as well as the harm the family experiences following the unexpected death of their loved one.
There can be several factors the court considers when determining the amount of damages awarded to the decedent’s survivors. This may include considering the type of relationship that existed between the family member or trustee and the deceased, as well as looking at details about the deceased person’s life at the time of death, like:
- Past earnings
- Potential future earnings
- Past contributions
- Life expectancy at the time of death
- Overall health prior to the accident
A wrongful death case may include compensation for economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses for the care, treatment and hospitalization the deceased required before death
- Reasonable funeral and burial costs, including cremation services and grave markers
- Loss of income, wages and benefits the deceased would have earned if still alive
- Loss of services or goods provided by the deceased, such as an allowance or inheritance
- Pain and suffering the deceased endured from the point of injury and leading up to his or her death
- Loss of companionship, care and affection suffered by the surviving family members
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Each state has a deadline for filing a wrongful death claim, which is often referred to as the "Statute of Limitations". Failure to file within time specified for a specific lawsuit may result in the dismissal of your case and your ability to recover damages.
In Minnesota, the statute of limitations generally gives survivors three years from the date of death to file a claim against any liable party or parties. However, that deadline could be earlier or later because each case is unique. In short, a different deadline may apply for you, and it will depend on the circumstances of your loved one’s death. Do not leave this opportunity to get some type of justice for your loved one to chance.
If you have any questions about the statute of limitations or are unsure if your time to file has passed, we encourage you to reach out to our firm today. We can review the details of your situation and determine the options that may be available for your specific claim.
Contact a Minneapolis Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one unexpectedly can be a devastating experience for family members, relatives and friends of the victim. It can be even more difficult if the fatality was the result of reckless or negligent behavior from another individual or as a result of a product malfunction. At TSR Injury Law, our Minneapolis wrongful death attorneys are ready to review the details of your claim and to help recover the damages you may be eligible to receive. We can answer any questions you may have, handle the legal paperwork and protect your interests.
Schedule a risk-free consultation with a lawyer at our firm today. There is no obligation to pursue legal action and there are no upfront fees if you hire us. We only get paid if we recover compensation for your case. Our law office is conveniently located less than 10 minutes from Centennial Lakes Park and we are ready to help you today.
Learn more about your rights by calling (612) TSR-TIME.