Trusted Woodbury Wrongful Death Attorney
If you believe or discover that the tragic death of a loved one in Woodbury is due to the negligence or actions of another party, you could be eligible for compensation under the law.
Minnesota law allows for the recovery of certain losses when a family loses a loved one in a wrongful death accident. For guidance and advice in your case, you should contact a Woodbury wrongful death attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your case.
After the Wrongful Death of a Loved One, Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
Our team of attorneys and legal professionals want to help you fight for justice on behalf of your loved one with compassion and determination. We understand the difficulty of losing a loved one in a wrongful death incident and the wide range of impacts a family will face in the aftermath.
Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Woodbury
A preventable death can happen in any number of situations. When you lose a loved one in an event caused by the negligence of another party, you will want to hold the parties responsible accountable for the sudden and avoidable loss to your family. A wrongful death attorney can help the surviving family of a wrongful death victim fight for justice and compensation.
Some examples of causes of wrongful death can include:
- Car accidents - Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common personal injury cases and also one of the most common causes of wrongful deaths due to negligence. Negligent drivers can create dangerous road conditions and accidents, leading to fatal injuries to innocent bystanders, drivers, and passengers.
- Workplace accidents - Dangerous jobs or workplace conditions put many individuals at high risk of injury or death. When there is a workplace accident resulting in death, the employer, property owner, or another party can be liable to the family for the loss of their loved one and other damages.
- Boat accident - In Minnesota, visiting and boating on lakes is a common pastime, especially in the warmer spring and summer months. Unfortunately, boating can also mean drinking and reckless behavior. Many people lose their lives in boating accidents each year due to the wrongful actions of another party.
- Motorcycle accidents - Motorcycles are notorious for dangers and risks to riders and passengers. However, most of the fatalities and most devastating motorcycle accidents take place because of the negligence of other motor vehicle drivers who fail to see or account for motorcycles on the road.
- Recreational vehicle accidents - Most households within Minnesota and Woodbury own an ATV-type vehicle or snowmobile. With many trails in the state, off-roading is an appealing activity for many families and adventure enthusiasts. With this recreational sport, however, comes a high risk of injury and death. There are many situations in which property owners, other riders, or drivers of vehicles can cause the death of a recreational vehicle driver or passenger due to negligence.
- Slip and fall accidents - The fatality of a loved one on the property of another person, business, or organization can be shocking. You expect to be safe when visiting another’s property and in many circumstances, a property owner must ensure the safety of others and make them aware of any potential hazards while they have guests present. When a property owner fails to meet this duty and causes another’s death, they can be liable to their family for the loss and damages due to their death.
- Intentional acts - The family of a victim of violent and criminal acts may not know that they can also seek justice for the loss of their loved one through civil court. Although a civil lawsuit or insurance claim will not punish a party criminally, they can be liable for the losses, damages, and expenses of your family after the sudden and tragic death of your family member.
- Medical malpractice - Going to a doctor or other healthcare professional is an often routine activity and many expect to for professional care where their best interests are a priority. Sadly, there are many circumstances in which a victim of malpractice will suffer a fatality because of the negligence of a medical professional. When a healthcare provider fails to meet their duty of care under the law, they can be liable to a family for the death of their loved one and damages they cause.
- Defective product - As an everyday consumer or user of equipment or products for work, home or recreation, there are some risks of injury. If a product is inherently dangerous, defective, or hazardous to the health of others and results in the death of an individual, the family may be eligible to seek compensation from the manufacturer of these products.
- Dog bite - It is a rare instance but a traumatic and sad event when the attack of a dog leads to the death of a family member. While children are the most commonly susceptible to fatal injuries in dog bite cases, anyone can suffer fatal injuries when a dog bites, depending on the breed, size, and power of the animal. In most dog bite attacks, the owner is liable to a victim or their surviving family when their animal causes injuries or death.
Suing for the Wrongful Death of a Loved One
Many families face a difficult decision to file a claim or lawsuit for the death of their loved one. Legal action will not bring back your family member or replace the deep loss to your family.
However, the reality is that when a family member dies it can cause significant distress, financial struggles, and unplanned expenses that can be difficult for the surviving family to manage and overcome. A wrongful death claim or lawsuit can help your family seek monetary compensation for these losses.
Potential Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
You may not know what losses to include in a wrongful death claim for damages. The damages in a wrongful death action allowable under the law will depend on the type of wrongful death accident. In some cases, such as a workplace accident, there can be limitations on the type and number of damages available to your family.
Wrongful death damages may include:
- Medical care costs - You may recover any expense or cost of lifesaving emergency services or medical care for your loved one after their wrongful death accident.
- Funeral and burial expenses - All costs that relate to the preparation of a funeral, burial arrangements, or other services to honor your loved one can be recoverable through a wrongful death action.
- Loss of contribution and income - Every member of the family can be vital to the family unit’s ability to maintain their finances and their home. When a loved one loses their life suddenly, an enormous strain can fall onto the surviving family. A family is likely to struggle to keep up with the daily living expenses and finances without the presence and contribution of their loved one, especially in cases where the loved one is a primary caretaker or the breadwinner of the family.
- Loss of companionship - The personal loss of a loved one is very personal and overwhelming. No amount of money can replace or truly value the loss of a family member. The law, however, imposes liability on a wrongdoer that causes the death of another to monetarily compensate the family for such losses in a claim or lawsuit.
Can You Sue for the Wrongful Death of a Family Member?
A wrongful death action is not necessarily open for any member of a family to claim after the death of a loved one. The laws not only specify who is eligible to file a claim or action after the death of a family member but will also explain the hierarchy of who is eligible to seek compensation and in what order.
Your right to file a legal action for the wrongful death of your family member will depend on your relationship with the deceased as well as the other family members of the deceased that are currently living.
In Minnesota, several family members could qualify to seek wrongful death damages due to their relationship with the victim. However, Minnesota allows that only one death action exists regarding any one wrongful death. The procedure for wrongful death cases involves a trustee being the one to bring the action to court and seeking compensation.
If and when there is a settlement or award in the case, there will then be a distribution to the surviving and eligible family members.
Family members that may be eligible to file an action for wrongful death include:
- The parents of a child
- The spouse or partner of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- Parents if the victim has no spouse or children
- Siblings if the spouse, children, and parents of a victim are no longer living
Who Could Be at Fault for Your Loved One’s Death?
Any individual or entity can be responsible for the death of a victim in a wrongful death accident. Depending on the sequence of events leading to the death of your loved one, there could be one or multiple people responsible for their preventable death. In most wrongful death cases, the courts will consider the standard of negligence to determine who is liable to a family after the loss of a loved one.
Parties that may contribute to a wrongful death include:
- A driver or vehicle owner
- Healthcare professional or healthcare facility
- A business or other organization
- A dog owner
- A property owner
- An employer
- A product manufacturer
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death in Woodbury?
Minnesota’s statute of limitations for wrongful death actions that arise from negligence or malpractice is three years from the date of the death of a victim. As the family of a wrongful death victim, you must ensure a legal action begins within this period or you will be unable to get any compensation for your losses from the parties responsible.
In cases where the wrongful death arises from an intentional or criminal act, there is no statute of limitations, and the family can pursue a wrongful death action for compensation at any time. However, it is always best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the death of a loved one to act in a manner that protects your rights and preserves evidence. It is always better to file the legal action sooner rather than later.
How Can a Woodbury Wrongful Death Lawyer Help You with Your Case?
After any wrongful death, you need guidance from a wrongful death lawyer. It can be a challenge and, in some cases, close to impossible to get the compensation you deserve under the law without the assistance of an attorney to represent you. Whether it is with the preparation of a wrongful death claim for an insurer or a lawsuit to file in civil court, an attorney understands the ins and outs of wrongful death actions and what steps are necessary to protect your rights and hold the responsible parties liable for their actions.
An attorney in a wrongful death case will first evaluate your case and discover any parties that can be liable to you for the death of your loved one. The attorney will go over the facts of the case with you and all the evidence available.
Your attorney will then work with you to calculate your family’s damages and losses that relate to the wrongful death. This step will help you to understand the extent of loss to your family and can be a guide for negotiations of a settlement. If a settlement agreement is unsuccessful, your attorney can then represent you through any filing of a lawsuit, trial, and legal proceedings to seek the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one in Woodbury, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers now at (651) 358-2531.