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Minnesota Wrongful Death Attorneys

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Suddenly losing a loved one constitutes a major traumatic experience for families. The emotional distress of losing a partner, parent, child, or another loved one gets compounded when the loss also brings financial hardship. Expenses for medical treatment, lost household income, and other costs increase the stress for those grieving a tragic loss. Finally, knowing a loved one would still be alive if not for the negligence of another also adds to the trauma that families face after the death of a family member.

Minnesota law provides a pathway for eligible surviving family members to seek compensation for damages in civil court by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the loved one’s death. Money will not take away the grief or return a loved one to their family and friends. However, compensation for damages after a wrongful death can provide some financial relief for the economic and non-economic losses related to the death of a loved one.

If you are mourning the loss of a family member, you might qualify to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit depending on your relationship with the deceased. Contact the experienced and compassionate Minnesota wrongful death lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation to discuss the circumstances of your loved one’s death and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation.

Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Advocates for Families After They Lose a Loved One

The skilled legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has ample experience in the settlement, negotiation, and litigation of personal injury claims, including those involving wrongful death. The firm’s commitment to client advocacy and seeking justice has led to the recovery of millions of dollars in jury awards and settlements for clients.

We cannot guarantee a specific financial outcome for your wrongful death claim because each case involves unique facts and circumstances. A wide range of factors impact the value of the claim and whether a client receives maximum compensation. However, the dedicated Minnesota wrongful death lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers pride themselves on building the best case possible and diligently pursuing maximum compensation for their clients.

Minnesota’s Definition of Wrongful Death

Many deaths come without warning, often long before the deceased had the chance to live a full life. Not all tragic and sudden losses qualify as wrongful death. Like many other states, Minnesota defines wrongful death as a death resulting from a wrongful act or omission of any individual or business.

Minnesota law also holds that a wrongful death only takes place if the decedent had grounds to bring a lawsuit against another party for their injuries had he or she survived them. The simplest way to think of a wrongful death lawsuit is a post-mortem personal injury lawsuit in which someone takes legal action against the party responsible for death on behalf of the deceased.

In most states, the family or a personal representative of the estate of the deceased files a wrongful death claim; however, Minnesota requirements differ from other states. Under Minnesota law, the surviving spouse or next of kin must petition the court to appoint a trustee to bring the lawsuit against the allegedly responsible party. The trustee constitutes the only party who can file a lawsuit on behalf of a decedent; family members cannot directly bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Minnesota. The trustee also oversees the distribution of compensation from any settlement or jury award.

Eligible Family Members in Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In Minnesota, only certain family members have the legal right to petition the court for a trustee to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Broadly, family members who have lost companionship and financial support after losing a loved one can file a wrongful death claim.

This includes:

  • Current surviving spouse
  • Children
  • Parents of the deceased, if no children exist
  • Siblings of the deceased when there are no surviving parents or children
  • Parents who have lost a minor child

When more than one family member wants to file a claim, they must join together in one case. In the event a survivor does not want to file a claim, a lawyer can help create the proper documents for that individual to relinquish his or her right to any portion of a settlement or awarded damages.

Various Scenarios Lead to Wrongful Death

Negligence and intentional harm that falls under the umbrella of a wrongful act or omission lead to fatal injuries in many scenarios. Below, we discuss some common situations that frequently give rise to wrongful death claims for eligible surviving family members:

Traffic Accidents

Most wrongful deaths occur during traffic crashes. Passengers and drivers in cars, trucks, and other commercial vehicles face potentially fatal injuries when a severe accident occurs on Minnesota roads. The same is true of bikers, cyclists, and pedestrians involved in traffic accidents. Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety collects and records data about traffic crashes throughout the state.

That agency reports:

  • More than 350 people die in traffic accidents each year on Minnesota roads.
  • The vast majority of fatal crashes in Minnesota occur with non-fixed objects, such as other vehicles, pedestrians, or animals.
  • More than two-thirds of fatal crashes occur on clear days.
  • Despite Minnesota’s long, snowy winters, less than one-quarter of fatal crashes occur on wet, snowy, or icy roads.
  • Most fatal crashes occur during daylight hours.
  • More than 60 percent of fatal crashes occur in Minnesota’s rural areas.
  • Alcohol-related fatal crashes account for about 30 percent of all fatal crashes.
  • Fatal pedestrian and bicycle crashes occur more often in the Twin Cities than other places throughout the state.

Traffic crashes occur for various reasons, but almost all are preventable. Negligent drivers who don’t follow the rules of the road, consume alcohol or use drugs before driving, or engage in dangerous distractions while driving put others at risk for fatal accidents and injuries. Reckless and careless drivers who cause fatal accidents on Minnesota roads open themselves to financial responsibility for damages in a wrongful death claim.

Workplace Accidents

Most people spend at least nine hours at work each day, but often more. The more time someone spends at the workplace, the greater chance of suffering a fatal workplace injury. However, some jobs carry more risk than others. The United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that about 100 workers in Minnesota die each year.

The exact numbers change each year, but the trends are similar. About half of all fatal accidents in Minnesota workplaces are transportation-related. Other fatalities in the workplace occur because of heavy equipment, fires, explosions, workplace violence, or exposure to toxic and harmful substances.

The vast majority of Minnesota employees qualify for workers’ compensation benefits when injured at work. Benefits also include death benefits for surviving family members. However, if dangerous working conditions lead to the death of a loved one, families can sometimes recover additional compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.

Workplace wrongful death claims are complex cases that often include several parties, such as business owners, property owners, subcontractors, drivers, or other third parties. A knowledgeable Minnesota wrongful death lawyer can review your case and find the best path to recover damages if your loved one died due to a workplace injury.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Although a wide range of accidents can occur on another person’s property or at a business, slip and fall accidents happen frequently. Minnesota law requires property owners to maintain a safe environment for visitors. Additionally, property owners have a legal duty to warn visitors of dangerous conditions or known hazards as a way to keep them safe.

Careless property owners who do not adequately maintain their properties or warn visitors about dangers can bear financial liability for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit if a visitor suffers a fatal injury. Slip and fall accidents constitute the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Depending on the location of the TBI and its severity, a TBI can prove fatal.

Slip and fall accidents occur for various reasons, including poorly maintained floor coverings, old steps, and loose handrails. Other times, trash, debris, or spills create dangerous conditions that cause visitors to slip and fall or trip and fall, potentially leading to a deadly injury.

Recovering Damages in Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawsuits

If, while grieving the sudden loss of a loved one, you suspect or know their death occurred because of negligence, Minnesota law gives you the right to seek compensation for damages related to your loss.

Damages commonly awarded in wrongful death lawsuits include compensation:

  • Medical expenses up until death, including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, diagnostic scans, lab tests, and prescription medication
  • Lost wages for any time the deceased missed work until they passed
  • Expenses for a visitation or wake and a funeral or memorial service
  • Costs for cremation or burial
  • The monetary value of financial support the deceased provided the family before death
  • Pain and suffering until the time of death
  • Mental anguish until the time of death
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of parental guidance and support for minor dependent children
  • Punitive damages when wrongful death occurs because of gross negligence or willful harm

Protecting The Families Of Fatal Accident Victims In Minnesota

Has your family lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence? As you come to grips with your loss and face the short and long-term financial concerns, you do not have to bear this burden alone. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue a wrongful death claim to provide your family with the financial resources you need and hold those responsible accountable for their failures.

In Minnesota communities such as WoodburyMinneapolisDuluth and Hibbing, you can turn to Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for the strong representation and compassionate support you need during your time of grief. We are dedicated to protecting the financial well-being of families who have lost a loved one in a fatal accident. We will take the time to understand your situation and your needs, answer your questions, and make this process as stress-free as possible for you.

Making Things Right For Your Family

No amount of money can fully replace what you have lost as a result of losing your spouse, parent, sibling or another family member. The best we can do is pursuing a wrongful death claim in our civil justice system. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your loss and then pursue compensation from all liable parties to make sure you have the resources you need to cover damages such as:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost future earnings
  • Loss of companionship
  • Medical costs
  • Your loved one’s pain and suffering while alive

You and your family did not bring this on yourselves, and you should not be left to bear the financial burden alone. We will fight to make sure you are not hurt a second time by the insurance companies and other parties.

Minnesota Wrongful Death FAQs: When Negligence Results in Loss

The tragic and sudden death of a loved one due to negligence can leave you heartbroken and confused. The permanent loss you suffer from another person’s careless actions may warrant a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you fight for compensation and justice for your loved one’s untimely death. 

Learn more about wrongful death in the following FAQs:

What Does Wrongful Death Mean?

Wrongful death refers to a death that results from the negligence of another person or corporation. The term applies to civil cases involving the untimely loss of a close loved one by a surviving spouse or another immediate family member. 

Minnesota law allows for qualifying loved ones to pursue compensation for their loss. Whether the responsible party faces criminal charges, civil action is possible for those who suffer financial and emotional damage. A Minnesota wrongful death claim can serve as a form of justice accountability and ease the financial burden of surviving family members.

No one wrongful death case is alike. Contacting a wrongful death attorney soon after your loss is the best way to learn your options for moving forward with legal action.  

What Are Some Examples of a Wrongful Death Accident?

Negligence is at the core of each wrongful death case. When someone is negligent, they fail to use the same care a reasonably prudent person would use in a similar situation. 

We see some of the most common forms of negligence in motor vehicle accidents. According to the Minnesota Department of Highway Safety, hundreds die in traffic accidents each year.

Examples of a fatal car accident involving negligence are:

  •  Distracted driver: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately eight people die in distracted driving accidents each day in the United States. 
  • Drunk driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that one person dies every 52 minutes in the United States in a drunk driving accident.
  • Aggressive driving: Running red lights, speeding, purposely tailgating can develop into road rage, with fatal consequences.
  • Drowsy driving: Medications, an undiagnosed sleep disorder, and tiredness can impair a driver, resulting in a fatal accident. 

A driver under one or more of these dangerous conditions can strike another driver, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. Therefore, all drivers owe other road users a duty of care when sharing Minnesota roadways. 

Other examples of negligence that sometimes result in a wrongful death case are:

  • Slip and fall accidents: a fall down tall stairs that results in death
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect: the untimely death of a senior due to abuse
  • Workplace accidents: unsafe working conditions and fault equipment
  • Dog bites: torn tendons, muscles, facial scarring, and deadly viruses and infections
  • Snowmobile accidents: operators who are under the influence of alcohol or are otherwise reckless

If you lost a close loved one due to the negligent actions of another person or corporation, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers wants to help you. The devastating impact of your loss due to someone else’s recklessness is unfair. 

Pursuing a wrongful death claim and lawsuit can consume time you can better spend on other things and challenge you emotionally. Attending to your family and grief leaves you no time to manage the legal details surrounding your loved one's death.

At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we provide free case consultations, allowing us to determine if you have a case for legal action. Should we proceed with your case, we will stand firm in our quest to obtain the best outcome of your claim and lawsuit.  

Get the help you need during this heartbreaking time. Free case consultation is a crucial first step following a fatal Minnesota accident caused by negligence. 

My Loved One Died Later From Their Injuries. Can I Still Sue?

If your loved one initially survived their injuries, only to succumb to them later, you may still sue. The statute of limitations for filing your wrongful death lawsuit begins at the moment of death and not at the date of injury. 

The final medical expenses for your loved one are a part of your damages. Other damages include funeral and burial costs, loss of income from the decedent, and loss of companionship. 

Wrongful death cases involve economic and non-economic damages. For example, your loved one’s friendship and partnership were undoubtedly priceless to you. While certain costs are easier to understand, such as medical costs, other expenses like companionship are much more challenging to attach a dollar value to.  

A wrongful death attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has the experience necessary for your case. Your attorney’s ability to calculate non-economic damages is crucial for your civil case. In addition, if your case goes to trial, courtroom skills are extremely valuable for presenting your case before a judge and jury. 

You deserve an attorney who will fight for accountability regarding the pain and suffering you and your loved one experienced during their final days.

Can I Accept an Insurance Settlement Without an Attorney?

While you can accept an insurance settlement without an attorney, it is wise not to do so. The financial pressure of medical bills and no or reduced income can make an initial settlement offer attractive to you. However, the amount offered is generally a low-dollar amount to save an insurance company money. 

Accident victims should not feel pressured to accept a settlement without an attorney. Hiring an attorney protects your best interests as your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. 

Most wrongful death claims settle without going to court. However, some cases go to court if the negotiation process is unsuccessful. A wrongful death attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can identify the best option for your case.

It is important to note that those pursuing legal action generally cannot seek further compensation once they accept a settlement. This is because insurance companies’ high-pressure tactics to close claims quickly benefit them and not you.

Your fight for compensation and justice on behalf of your loved one is vital following your tragic loss. Stand up to aggressive insurance companies by protecting your best interest with Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Close family members generally pursue a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. A wrongful death lawyer can determine if your relationship qualifies for a claim and lawsuit. 

Among the most common types of family that qualify for wrongful death action are:

  • Surviving spouse at the time of death
  • Surviving children
  • Parents, if no spouse or children survived the deceased
  • Siblings if no children or parents
  • Surviving parents of a deceased child

Provide your attorney with as much information as possible as soon as possible. Your attorney is on your side and dedicated to fighting for the best outcome possible. To do so, your attorney must build a strong case for fair compensation. 

The unexpected and tragic loss of a close loved one changes your life. Leave the legal aspects of your case in the hands of Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. Let us handle the details of your wrongful death case. We will keep you informed and treat you with care, respect, and compassion. 

How Much Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Cost?

Wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis. Payment for their legal fees depends upon the success of your case. You do not pay your lawyer if they cannot secure compensation for you. 

The hesitancy accident victims feel about securing an attorney due to costs is understandable. Medical bills and lost wages make your finances a top concern when you suffer serious harm. In addition, television and movie dramas sometimes make hiring an attorney seem like a significant expense. 

You can afford to hire Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. In fact, not hiring an attorney can cost you dearly. Your attorney can investigate your accident, visit the accident scene, speak with witnesses, and review police reports. 

Remember, you only pay attorney fees if and win they secure compensation for you. You do not pay if they do not win. Coupled with a free case consultation, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers without delay. 

Do I Have Time to Consider My Next Step?

Taking lots of time to consider your next step can hurt your chance of possible compensation. The Minnesota statute of limitations sets a strict deadline for filing our wrongful death lawsuit. 

Filing your case with the appropriate court is a proactive measure if the negotiation process fails. Insurance company adjusters typically do not want to face Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers in court. However, if necessary, our team has the skills and experience you need by your side. 

There is no second chance when it comes to the statute of limitations. However, an attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can explain the process and determine when to file your lawsuit. 

Your attorney needs time to prepare the best case possible. The sooner you reach out for your free case consultation, the better for starting your journey toward possible justice on behalf of your loved one. 

Time passes quickly when you suffer a tragic loss. The statute of limitations deadline is non-negotiable, and missing it can prevent you from pursuing compensation forever. Courts tend to dismiss cases filed after the deadline expires. 

Your time of grief is not the time to deal with complex Minnesota wrongful death laws. Reach out to Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers now for your free case consultation and allow us to get to work for you.

When to hire a Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawyer?

No matter how your loved one died, negligence is never acceptable. A fatal accident profoundly affects close loved ones who suffer a permanent loss. The recklessness of another person leaves a hole that no amount of compensation can fill. 

The outcome of your wrongful death case is impossible to predict. Each wrongful death case is different due to circumstances,  liability, and other factors. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand the confusion and grief you feel during this time of mourning. 

Our approach with clients who pursue a wrongful death case is one of calmness and guidance. We always keep our clients informed, and we never accept a settlement without discussing it with you first. 

Hiring a wrongful death lawyer can protect your best interests against insurance adjusters, poor settlement offers, and more. No one wants to answer phone calls from aggressive adjusters or settle for the least amount possible. 

The loss of life is a very serious matter. It is possible and hopeful that a successful wrongful death case will result in the responsible party reconsidering their future behavior. 

Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Today

Researchers note that doctors classify grief into two categories: acute and persistent. Acute grief lasts approximately the first six to 12 months after a loss. Persistent grief is just that—persistent and ongoing grief that never stops. 

Russell Nicolet, Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawyer
Russell Nicolet, Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawyer

The untimely death of your loved one can cause you chronic stress and other health-related issues. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer allows you more time to manage your grief and less time to dwell on the details of your case. Rest and spending quality time with loved ones is imperative for protecting your health. 

Planning a funeral or memorial service is an emotionally draining time. It is not the time to deal with assertive insurance adjusters. Once you hire a member of the Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers team, you can refer all calls to your attorney. 

Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers takes great pride in helping Minnesotians fight for the justice they deserve. While compensation is never guaranteed, it is worth pursuing when you suffer a loss due to negligence. No one should die due to another person’s decision to drive drunk, use unsafe work equipment, or any other negligence-related reason.

You can contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free case consultation.

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225 South 6th Street
Suite 3800
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 446-3999

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Wisconsin Locations:

EAU CLAIRE:
402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 835-5959
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Suite 105
Green Bay, WI 54301
Phone: (920)-504-3655
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Hudson, WI 54016

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La Crosse, WI 54601

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New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-226-6164
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Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: (715) 790-1114
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215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: (715) 716-5869
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Superior, WI 54880

Phone: (715) 718-2969
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Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: (715) 716-5092
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Suite 606 West
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 729-0628
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Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 218-217-0659
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Minneapolis, MN 55414
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Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: (651) 815-0017
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