Did Someone’s Negligent Action Cause Your Loved One’s Death?
Rely on the Skill and Experience of Our Lake Elmo Wrongful Death Lawyers
When the death of a loved one strikes, it can be challenging to know where to turn for help. If your loved one’s death occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you might be able to file a claim with the assistance of our Lake Elmo wrongful death lawyers.
Our lead attorneys, Isaac Tyroler and Rachel Leonard, and their team understand that no amount of money can make up for losing a loved one. Still, a successful wrongful death claim may help you deal with financial fallout related to your loved one’s death and provide much-needed financial stability for your family.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
When the death of a loved one occurs due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, winning a wrongful death claim for the damages you suffered is possible.
These damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost support and income
- Counsel, guidance, and aid they would have given; and
- The advice, comfort, assistance, companionship, and protection the person would have given.
You might also be able to recover punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant for their actions. Minnesota statute § 549.20 deals with punitive damages, but it only allows the victim’s family to collect these damages when clear and convincing evidence is available that shows the defendant disregarded the safety of the decedent. Wisconsin statute § 895.043 places a $200,000 limit on the amount of punitive damages available. Our team must show that the defendant exhibited intentional disregard for the decedent’s safety and rights in order to win this judgment.
Please speak with our experienced attorneys to determine whether you are eligible to seek this type of damages. Our team will advise you on your specific case and help you understand the next steps you need to take. Contact our wrongful death attorneys in Lake Elmo for a successful start on your claim.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
Regardless of How a Lake Elmo Wrongful Death Happens, We Can Help
Anyone can die due to another person or entity’s wrongful actions or negligence. Unfortunately, our team sees the aftermath of these tragic and preventable deaths on a regular basis. The most common examples of wrongful death cases handled by our Lake Elmo wrongful death lawyers include:
- Car accidents: Between 32,000 and 36,000 people are killed in car accidents annually in the U.S. Most of the negligence comes from DUIs, distracted driving, careless operation, speeding; sometimes weather conditions can be a factor. If negligence is the primary source of the accident, then the wrongful death attorneys in Lake Elmo, MN, will work tirelessly to get compensation for the family’s loss.
- Defective products: Manufacturers are responsible for the products they sell. There have been several recalls of faulty brakes and tires, and they have caused numerous deaths. Other products which can result in wrongful death, when defectively designed or manufactured, are medical devices, infant car seats and toys.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slips and falls can have effects ranging from bumps and bruises to broken bones and death. Negligence can cause a slip and fall when a homeowner or business owner knows about an issue that can hurt someone and they do nothing about it — for example, a spill on the floor that is neglected or a broken handrail.
- Workplace accidents: Accidents in the workplace can cause wrongful death if the owner or supervisor fails to provide a safe place for the employees to work. A simple example would be if a power tool is faulty and the company knows about it and still has their workers using the power tool. Let’s say a short circuit in the wires causes electrocution. There is a slim chance the worker could survive, but the chances are high that they will get killed in the incident. Since this is a form of negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed.
The type of accident behind the wrongful death will not affect our ability to seek a judgment in your case. We will gather the facts that show that the defendant created a negligent or reckless situation that led to the fatal accident for your loved one, regardless of the type of accident. We understand the challenges of grieving for your loved one while also bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. Trust that we will treat you with the compassion that you deserve, while vigorously defending your rights to seek compensation.
Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Lake Elmo, MN?
In most states, only certain family members can file a wrongful death suit, such as the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, or parents. The administrator of the deceased’s estate is also allowed to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries. Other family members may be permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit in some cases.
In Minnesota, the process of filing a wrongful death claim works similarly to how it is done in other states, according to Minnesota statute § 573.02, but it does have a few unique aspects to it.
Eligible family members will ask the court to allow a trustee to handle the case on the family’s behalf. This trustee would manage the legal action on behalf of the family. The family members can ask the court to name a certain person as a trustee, rather than having the court select the trustee. The trustee typically would be any family member, including:
- Surviving spouse
- Adopted or natural children
- Uncles or aunts
- Nieces or nephews
Additionally, Minnesota requires that all family members who are eligible to receive damages join together in a single claim. Different people cannot bring individual claims. If one family member refuses to agree to be part of the family’s single wrongful death claim, that family member would have to sign paperwork agreeing to relinquish any claim to damages awarded in the case.
How Wrongful Death Suits Are Settled
This type of lawsuit seeks damages for the loss of the victim’s life. In most cases, these lawsuits are settled out of court, and the parties involved agree to a settlement amount through negotiations. This amount may include compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
However, sometimes a wrongful death lawsuit goes to trial. If the judge or jury rules in favor of the decedent’s family, they may receive damages. These damages can be substantial and can involve six- or seven-figure amounts.
The responsible party may also be ordered to pay punitive damages in some cases. These are meant to punish the at-fault party for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages can be very high, but they are usually awarded only in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.
Insurance Companies Typically Are Part of the Process
Wrongful death settlements are typically paid out of the responsible party’s insurance policy. If the policy limits are insufficient to cover the damages, the responsible party may pay out of their own pocket.
In some cases, an individual, organization, or company may be held vicariously liable for the actions of one of its employees or agents. Even if the employee or agent is not insured, the company may still have to pay the settlement amount.
Our skilled wrongful death lawyers in Lake Elmo, MN, will help you navigate the complex system of wrongful death claims to ensure that you receive the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
How Can Our Lake Elmo Wrongful Death Attorneys Help You?
Our Lake Elmo wrongful death attorneys at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law have years of experience and will help you determine whether filing a lawsuit is the right course of action and will guide you through the process. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complex, so it is essential to have an experienced attorney on your side.
Contact us today about your wrongful death case in Lake Elmo. Count on us to be at your side every step of the way. We’ll explain the process of your case, keep you informed, and fight aggressively for all the compensation you deserve.