Do I Have a Case for Medical Malpractice in Minnesota?

Do I Have a Case for Medical Malpractice in Minnesota
Do I Have a Case for Medical Malpractice in Minnesota?

You go to the doctor or hospital hoping to receive proper medical care and treatment for your injuries or illnesses. You place a lot of trust in medical care providers, then you learn a negligent medical professional harmed you further.

If this has happened to you in Minnesota, you may have a case for medical malpractice, but how can you determine whether you have a case and get help holding the medical provider accountable?

Various factors determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim, so consult an experienced Minnesota medical malpractice attorney for a complete review of your case and advice on your options.

What Is Medical Malpractice in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, medical malpractice refers to any action or failure to act committed by a healthcare professional that falls short of providing proper care to patients.

Just because a doctor made a mistake or a surgery did not have the desired outcome, that does not automatically justify the situation as medical malpractice. Instead, the key element of medical malpractice is whether the medical provider violated an accepted standard of care.

Healthcare providers can violate the standard of care by failing to do something the standard requires or doing something that directly violates the standard.

Some examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Failure to diagnose
  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Surgery on the wrong body part or the wrong patient
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Emergency room errors
  • Lack of informed consent to a medical procedure
  • Failure to provide adequate care to the patient
  • Failure to adequately follow up with the patient
  • Birth injuries

Other scenarios can constitute medical malpractice as well, so have an attorney evaluate your claim to help you determine if you can pursue compensation.

How Prevalent Is Medical Malpractice in Minnesota?

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) reports that 3,396 adverse action reports and 268 medical malpractice payments were issued in Minnesota in 2023. The NPDB also claims the average medical malpractice payout is nearly $310,000 with more than 12,000 medical malpractice claims filed annually on average.

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?

Minnesota’s civil courts will only grant compensation to plaintiffs whose attorneys can prove the actions of a healthcare provider constitute malpractice.

As such, your lawyer needs to demonstrate:

  • You had a patient-doctor relationship with the defendant, and they owed you a professional duty of care.
  • The physician breached that duty or the accepted medical standard of care through their actions or inaction.
  • The physician’s breach of duty caused your injuries or illness.
  • You suffered compensable damages as a result.
  • In Minnesota and most other states, plaintiffs must provide testimony from independent medical experts to corroborate the claim and assert that the medical provider's negligence or deviation from the standard of care caused the patient harm. 

    What Damages Can I Receive for Medical Malpractice?

    In a medical malpractice case, if your attorney can establish that a healthcare professional or institution breached the standard of care and harmed you, they can help you recover damages.

    The specific types and amounts of damages awarded can vary based on the jurisdiction and the specifics of your case, but some common examples include:

    • Economic damages: These damages cover your tangible financial losses. They may include medical expenses, hospital bills, costs of rehabilitation or therapy, lost income or loss of future earning capacity, and any other out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the malpractice.
    • Non-economic damages: These damages compensate you for difficult-to-quantify intangible losses. They can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement or disability, and loss of consortium (if the malpractice affected your spousal relationship).
    • Punitive damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages. These damages punish the healthcare professional or institution for particularly reckless or egregious behavior. Punitive damages are less common and typically require a showing of willful misconduct, malice, or a conscious disregard for the rights and safety of the patient.

    Although some states cap the compensation you can receive from medical malpractice, Minnesota does not.

    To determine damages in a medical malpractice case, consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney for help. They can fully assess your claim, identify the compensation you can pursue, and accurately calculate the amounts you need for your current medical care as well as any medical treatment you will need in the future.

    What’s the Process of Obtaining Medical Malpractice Damages?

    The process of obtaining medical malpractice damages typically involves:

    Consulting an Attorney

    An experienced medical malpractice attorney will evaluate your case by reviewing your medical records, documenting the details of the incident, and assessing the potential damages you may recover.

    Investigation and Gathering Evidence

    If the attorney determines that your case has merit, they will investigate. This may involve obtaining additional medical records, consulting medical experts to evaluate the standard of care, and collecting other evidence that supports your claim of medical negligence.

    Filing an Insurance Claim

    Most doctors carry medical malpractice insurance, so your attorney will first file a claim with the healthcare provider's insurance company. Your lawyer may also negotiate with the insurer to get a fair settlement that will cover all your injuries and losses.

    Filing the Lawsuit

    If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may file a lawsuit. The lawsuit will outline the details of the alleged malpractice, the damages you seek, and the parties involved.


    After your lawyer files the lawsuit, the discovery phase begins and both sides exchange relevant information and evidence. Your attorney will request documents, interrogatories (written questions), and depositions (sworn statements) from the defendant and other relevant parties. The defense will also gather evidence and request information from you.

    Expert Opinions and Pre-Trial Proceedings

    Medical malpractice cases often require expert opinions to establish the standard of care and demonstrate that the defendant breached that standard. Your attorney will work with medical experts who can provide professional opinions regarding the defendant's actions. Pre-trial proceedings, such as settlement negotiations, mediation, or arbitration, may also occur during this phase.


    If the case proceeds to trial, both sides will present their arguments, evidence, and witness testimonies to a judge and/or jury. Your attorney will advocate for you and present a compelling case to establish the defendant's negligence and the damages you suffered.

    Verdict and Damages

    If the jury or judge finds in your favor, they will render a verdict and award you damages. The damages you receive will depend on the specifics of your case, the evidence presented, and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction.

    Post-Trial Options

    After the trial, either party may file post-trial motions and appeals. If the court found in your favor, the defendant may choose to settle the case rather than go through an appeal.

    The process can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the complexity of the case. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will explain each step and navigate the process effectively.

    Can I Receive Compensation for Defective Medical Devices?

    Yes. If your injuries resulted from a faulty medical device or dangerous medication, you may seek compensation from the product’s manufacturer and others along the supply chain.

    These can include:

    • The manufacturer of the product or medication, such as Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca
    • Entities responsible for distributing or selling the product
    • Pharmacists who dispense dangerous drugs

    In some cases, you may also hold your doctor or healthcare provider liable if they prescribed a dangerous medication or advised you to use a known defective medical device without first informing you of the risks involved. 

    How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Minnesota?

    According to Minnesota’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice, you have four years from your injury to file a legal action against a health care provider alleging that they committed malpractice, a serious error or mistake, or failed to cure you or provide an accepted standard of care.

    Contact an Experienced Minnesota Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

    Russell Nicolet - Attorney for Side-by-Side ATVs in Wisconsin & Minnesota
    Russell Nicolet, Minnesota Medical Malpractice Lawyer

    You and your family have suffered greatly because of a medical provider's negligence, and you deserve full compensation for the pain and suffering they caused. Successfully navigating a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit requires in-depth legal knowledge and an understanding of Minnesota’s civil courts and highly complex and challenging procedures.

    Thus, you need to have an attorney help you with your claim to increase your chances of getting the favorable results you seek. Contact an experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney near you today for your free consultation.