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Wrongful death is the most devastating outcome of negligence. When someone dies as a result of someone else’s carelessness, recklessness, or intent to harm, the family members left behind may not know how best to carry on. One way they can seek justice is with a wrongful death lawsuit in Minneapolis. A lawsuit can lead to compensation and closure in the face of tragedy. The compassionate attorneys at Knutson + Casey can help.
If you recently lost a loved one, we first want to give you our heartfelt condolences. Members of our team have experienced similar losses and know how hard it can be to stitch your family back together after something or someone cuts a life short. We then want to give you our best recommendations for your legal options. We can investigate the death of your family member and help you pursue a just and fair settlement or verdict. With 25-plus years of personal injury experience in Minneapolis, we’re the legal team you need.
According to Minnesota Statutes Section 573.02, wrongful death is any death the “wrongful act or omission” of someone else (or a corporation) caused. A wrongful act can be intentional or negligent. You can file a civil wrongful death claim on top of criminal charges if someone’s intent to harm killed your loved one. In many ways, a wrongful death claim is like a personal injury claim your loved one could have filed had the accident not resulted in his or her death. The case seeks to assign liability for the accident and compensate surviving family members for the decedent’s losses as well as their own. Common causes of wrongful death include:
Knutson + Casey has represented clients in several wrongful death suits. We have the experience and expertise to help you sort through even the most complex case. The cause of death doesn’t matter – we want to hear from you and listen to your story. While not every death is wrongful, many are and deserve legal attention. Our team can help you navigate state and local wrongful death laws and pursue compensation via settlement or a trial.
As in any other state, Minnesota has laws setting a statute of limitations for pursuing a wrongful death claim. Here in Minnesota, you will have three years to file a wrongful death claim, beginning from the date the individual died. After three years, courts typically refuse to hear wrongful death cases. In the past, the only exceptions made to the statute of limitations have been regarding murder convictions where the family could make wrongful death claims outside the statute of limitations after the conviction.
Every state abides by different wrongful death laws when it comes to pursuing a lawsuit. Only certain people can file for wrongful death, within time limits and other restrictions. Speak to an attorney about your particular case before making a decision to file or not file on your own. Use this brief overview of Minnesota’s laws to get an idea if you are eligible to pursue a claim:
You don’t have to work through Minneapolis wrongful death laws alone. Self-representation can hurt your chances of receiving the best settlement or verdict possible. It also means taking on a burden of responsibility that you don’t have to accept. Pass this burden onto capable lawyers who make it their careers to assist families experiencing wrongful losses of life. Knutson + Casey is here to take your calls whenever you’re ready to discuss your situation.
A common question we receive from new clients at Knutson + Casey is, “How much is my case worth?” While there is no formula that can tell you how the courts might decide to compensate your losses, there are certain types of damages you can seek compensation for in a wrongful death lawsuit. A conversation with one of our experienced attorneys can give you a more accurate depiction of the potential value of your case. Here are damages you could receive through a wrongful death civil claim:
To receive these damages, the plaintiff or trustee must prove to the court that the family has suffered these losses. An experienced wrongful death attorney can make this part of the legal process easier with evidence gathering, eyewitness interviews, medical documents, police reports, and expert witness testimony. At Knutson + Casey, we work hard to secure the best possible results for our clients. With many million-dollar cases in our firm’s history, we are confident in our abilities.
A successful wrongful death case hinges on the ability to prove four essential elements. Without the presence of any one of these elements, the case will likely not be heard as a wrongful death suit.
Pecuniary loss, or financial injuries, refers to the damages incurred by the loss of financial support, loss of services, or a future loss of inheritance, medical costs, and funeral expenses. The surviving dependents of the deceased are within their rights to gain compensation for damages associated with pecuniary loss.
The aim is to calculate the income the deceased would have earned throughout the rest of his or her natural lifespan, adjusting for illness. To calculate pecuniary loss, considerations include the age and health of the deceased, in addition to earning potential and remaining life expectancy. In the case of surviving minor children, courts usually add the loss of parental guidance.
After discussing damages for the initial wrongful death claim, it is sometimes necessary to address survival actions. Often grouped with wrongful death claims, survival actions are simply personal injury claims that could have been made on behalf of the deceased if he or she had survived. The law refers to survival actions as such, because their terms survive the death of the individual and can result in damages.
Survival actions may include conscious pain and suffering experienced on the part of the deceased as well as lost wages experienced until the point of death. Lost wages are only applicable if the de-ceased died long after the incident that led to death. However, conscious pain and suffering damages due to injuries preceding death can be pursued regardless of the amount of time that passed. Of-ten the jury considers the degree to which the deceased was conscious, the severity of the pain he or she experienced, apprehension of death, and the duration of the suffering.
Wrongful death lawsuits aren’t just about the money. They’re about seeking justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. They also place liability with the responsible party, shedding light on issues within an individual, corporation, or system that could prevent similar deaths from occurring in the future. As the surviving family member of a victim of wrongful death, it is within your rights and power to bring a claim against one or more involved parties. Come to Knutson + Casey, your hometown attorneys, for help with these cases in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Part of what makes our firm so successful throughout Minnesota is our people. Our attorneys are not only licensed and bonded – they’re caring, compassionate professionals who take the time to get to know each client they represent. You and your family need an ally during this difficult time. You need a confidant to listen to your story and tell you the best action to take in the aftermath of an untimely and tragic death. Knutson + Casey wants to fill this position in your life. If we believe you have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, we’ll help your case from beginning to end.
If you’re ready to speak with someone about your loved one’s negligence-related death, call (763) 259-3642 or contact us online. We offer free initial consultations so you can talk to an attorney at no cost or obligation.
If circumstances prevent you from coming to our office for a meeting, we’ll come to your home, hospital, or another location. Our primary goal is to help you and your family – we can do so with aggressive legal representation. Call today to discuss your potential wrongful death case in Minneapolis.