Waseca Personal Injury Attorney
Whenever one party causes injury or economic harm to another through negligence, the injured party can seek compensation for the resulting damages through a personal injury claim. Residents of Waseca, MN need to know their legal options after sustaining injuries caused by negligence.
If you or a relative recently sustained injuries or other damages due to the harmful or negligent actions of another party in Waseca, MN, contact Knutson + Casey to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your options for legal recourse.
Why Choose Knutson + Casey?
- Knutson + Casey has more than 20 years of experience representing clients in Waseca and throughout Minnesota in a variety of case types.
- We believe in providing the resources of a big city firm with the atmosphere of a small-town firm; we get to know every client personally in every case we take.
- Not every client will want to go to trial; we will work towards a satisfactory settlement if doing so is in our client’s best interests, or arrange mediation or arbitration for alternative resolutions if necessary.
- Our firm offers free consultations to help potential clients determine the legal implications of their situations; this helps them make informed decisions before making any financial commitments.
What Is a ‘Personal Injury’ Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit’s goal is to make the plaintiff whole again. A plaintiff can claim compensation for any and all measurable damages resulting from another party’s negligence or intentional harmful actions. Personal injury lawsuits can also arise from criminal acts. For example, the perpetrator of an armed robbery and assault will face criminal charges from the state, and the victim can file a civil claim for recovery. A criminal case seeks to ensure justice for wrongdoing, whereas a civil claim intends to help a victim recover his or her losses resulting from another party’s negligence, disregard for the safety of others, or criminal actions.
Is Hiring a Lawyer Necessary in Waseca, MN?
A personal injury case may seem very simple at first. For example, if another driver rear-ended your vehicle, you would likely assume he or she is entirely to blame for the incident. The reality is that even seemingly simple personal injury cases can become very complicated rather quickly. A defendant may refuse to accept liability or attempt to shift blame to the plaintiff. There could be multiple defendants or multiple plaintiffs, or both, in a personal injury case. An attorney can help a client navigate these issues and offer the best chance of success with the lawsuit.
Damages Available in a Waseca Personal Injury Claim
Plaintiffs can secure several types of compensation from a successful personal injury claim.
- Medical expenses for immediate and future medical costs
- Lost income for time missed from work and lost future income due to disability
- Property damage repayment for repairing or replacing the plaintiff’s personal property damaged or destroyed by the defendant’s actions
- Pain and suffering compensation for the plaintiff’s physical pain and emotional distress
- Punitive damages are also possible if a jury decides to punish a defendant for criminal activity or egregious negligence.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury law hinges on the concept of negligence, or one party’s failure to use reasonable care in a given situation. The plaintiff in a personal injury claim has the burden of proving that the defendant owed a duty of care in the situation in question and failed to meet that duty in some way. This breach of duty could be a specific action, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, or inaction when another reasonable person in the same situation would have taken appropriate action.
The plaintiff must also provide clear evidence of his or her damages. The plaintiff’s attorney will help gather evidence that proves the extent of the financial losses resulting from the defendant’s negligence, which can include:
- Medical expenses, such as hospital bills, ambulance fees, surgery costs, and any costs for necessary long-term care after an injury.
- Lost income. If a plaintiff had to miss work during recovery, he or she can claim the wages lost during this time as economic damages. If the defendant’s negligence resulted in a permanent injury that limits the plaintiff’s future ability to work, the plaintiff’s attorney would likely consult with a financial expert who can provide a reasonable estimate of the plaintiff’s future losses.
- Property damage. If the defendant’s negligence caused any damage to the plaintiff’s personal property, such as a home or vehicle, the plaintiff can claim the cost of repairing or replacing these items.
Minnesota also allows plaintiffs in personal injury cases to claim non-economic damages for their physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological suffering resulting from a defendant’s negligence. Different courts use different methods for calculating pain and suffering damages. Some may use a per diem rule that awards a set amount for each day the plaintiff spends in recovery while others may multiply a plaintiff’s medical expenses by a certain amount.
First Steps After a Personal Injury in Minnesota
An injured person’s priority after a personal injury should be his or her personal wellbeing. See a doctor as soon as possible after any type of personal injury. If possible, try to record as much information as possible about the scene and circumstances of the incident. This can include witnesses’ names and contact information, the damage to your vehicle or personal property if in a car accident, and photos of your injuries if possible. Once you secure medical care, your next step should be to contact a personal injury attorney to help you determine your options for legal recourse.
A Personal Injury Case Timeline
Some personal injury claims may seem straightforward at first, but these claims can take weeks, months, or even years to reach conclusions. Minnesota places a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, so a plaintiff has two years from the date of an injury to take legal action. Some damages may not be immediately apparent, and some injuries may not immediately manifest noticeable symptoms, so the statute of limitations would start on the date the plaintiff discovered the harm in these situations.
Many personal injury claims never reach trial. It is in both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s best interests to wrap up the matter as quickly as possible, so a personal injury claim will proceed through settlement negotiations before going to trial. If the two sides can reach an agreement, the case ends there. If settlement negotiations are unfruitful or the defendant contests the plaintiff’s claim, the case proceeds to trial.
Every personal injury claim is different, and even seemingly open-and-shut cases can take a long time to reach conclusions. Hiring the right attorney to represent your interests will make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. The attorneys at Knutson + Casey have helped Waseca residents and clients all over Minnesota secure compensation for their personal injury claims. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence, our team can help you determine the types of compensation you could secure from a lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation for your Waseca, MN personal injury claim.