Getting Compensation for Loved Ones Lost Because of Negligence
Minnesota Statutes section 573.02 states that a wrongful death is a death that is “caused by the wrongful act or omission of any person or corporation.” In this case, a wrongful act can mean negligence or even an intentional act. Negligence can occur in many different forms depending on the situation that caused the death.
If your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to get compensation for their loss. The experienced attorneys at Sand Law in Minneapolis can help.
Causes of Wrongful Death
When it comes to wrongful deaths caused by car accident, negligence can mean someone was texting while driving, drinking and driving, speeding, driving recklessly, or just not paying attention. These acts, while one may think they’re harmless, can cause an accident, and even someone’s death.
With commercial trucking accidents, negligence can take a lot of forms, and there are often multiple liable parties involved in these accidents. Negligence could be performed by the driver in the same way a passenger car driver causes an accident. But it could also be the fault of the trucking company for overscheduling a driver, not performing maintenance on their trucks, or even not completing necessary safety checks. It could also be the fault of the truck loaders or truck manufacturers in some cases.
Slip and falls can also lead to deaths, most commonly in elderly people. In slip and fall cases, negligence could be forgetting to clean up a spill, or not clearing the sidewalks of snow or ice in the winter seasons. Parking lot hazards are another large reason that slip and falls occur. If a business doesn’t maintain their parking lot, they may be liable for any injuries that occur because of the poor maintenance.
Wrongful death can also be caused by medical malpractice. When it comes to medical malpractice, there are many things that can be considered negligent. The wrong medication may be prescribed, or the wrong dosage may be prescribed. They may have discharged the patient too early, or even misdiagnosed their medical issue. Sometimes, a surgical error may even occur, causing death.
In all of these cases, wrongful death can occur because of someone else’s negligence. If someone you love has passed away because of an injury that you believe may have involved negligence, it’s important to speak with an attorney experienced in wrongful death as soon as possible.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim can be filed by a few different parties in Minnesota, including
- surviving spouse
- or siblings
When it comes to filing a wrongful death claim, you can claim for the losses that the deceased person suffered. You may also claim for any pain and suffering that you experienced as a result of their death.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim consists of four separate elements: negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
- Negligence: When proving your case in court, you must be able to prove that negligence occurred and therefore resulted in the death of your loved one. This negligence must have directly caused their death.
- Breach of Duty: You must also prove that the defendant in your wrongful death lawsuit breached their owed duty to the deceased. It’s the duty of a motor vehicle driver to drive carefully, and the duty of a shop owner to make sure the parking lots and interiors are safe. It’s the duty of a doctor to ensure their patient receives the best care. Proving that this duty exists and was breached is a key factor in winning your case.
- Causation: In addition to proving that negligence was a factor, and duty was breached, it also must be proved that both of these things led to the death of their loved one.
- Damages: The death of your loved one must also have generated damages that can be claimed in court, such as hospital bills, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Receiving Compensation for Wrongful Death
The person who files the wrongful death claim is eligible to receive compensation for both economic and non-economic damages that the victim may have incurred before they passed away. They may also claim damages for pain and suffering that they experienced because of the loss of their loved one.
Economic damages can include medical bills (including any hospital visits, surgery costs, prescriptions, or ambulance rides), loss of income, any in-home care that may have been necessary, and any other charges that they incurred directly because of their accident.
Non-economic damages focus more on how the injury changed their life before they passed away and how them passing away has affected your life. These damages are calculated into pain and suffering compensation.
How Long do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death lawsuit are different depending on the state you live in, but in Minnesota you have three years after the date of their death to file the lawsuit. There are very few exceptions to this law, and the court will be very unlikely to hear your case if more than three years has passed since their death.
Contact a Minneapolis Wrongful Death Attorney
If someone you love has passed away because of someone else’s negligence in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or even because of medical malpractice, our experienced attorneys here at Sand Law are ready to help you. Our years of experience will help to ensure you get the compensation and the justice that you deserve for your loss. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at 651-291-7263.