Wrongful Death Lawyers in St. Paul
Unfortunately, tragedy can strike at any time. When a loved one is killed because of someone else’s negligence, that person’s next of kin may have a Minnesota wrongful death claim.
When your family suffers this unimaginable loss, we know that finding a lawyer is not the first thing you are thinking about. The problem is that while you are grieving, the insurance companies are spending time investigating the claim. They’re finding witnesses and trying to build evidence so that they don’t have to pay the claim. At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we have experience protecting clients from insurance companies. This allows our clients to focus on grieving and healing with their families.
How a Wrongful Death Suit Can Help You During Your Time of Need
When you’ve lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, the pain and suffering is unimaginable. Surviving family members must work on picking up the pieces for their lost loved ones while trying to stay together themselves. You have to reflect on the fact that your loved one was lost due to another’s carelessness, and living with that is always difficult. Facing the emotional toll this takes is difficult on its own. However, you also have to handle the financial stress that a wrongful death has on your life. This is where a St. Paul wrongful death lawyer can help.
Here at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we know the grieving that you’re going to face is overwhelming. You’re going to need to tend to your emotional and mental well-being, and it’s tough to do that when the legal and financial burdens are weighing down on you. Our wrongful death lawyers in St. Paul is going to take the legal burden away from you and help you solve your financial burden. The financial distress that your family faces, including lost income and medical bills, can be taken care of by the money won in a successful wrongful death case.
Holding the Right Parties Responsible for the Death of Your Loved One
When your loved one is the victim of a wrongful death, it’s important to hold the right parties responsible. Wrongful deaths aren’t just those that occur due to an individual’s negligence, though. Larger entities can be held responsible for wrongful death, as well. Our wrongful death attorneys in St. Paul can help you make sure your claim is aimed at the correct liable parties, whoever they may be. There are a wide variety of scenarios in which a wrongful death claim would be appropriate.
Should a distracted driver strike and kill a pedestrian, then the driver can be held responsible in a wrongful death claim. While the resulting death was not intentional, it was still caused by the driver’s negligence. As such, the surviving family members can pursue the driver for the damages suffered as a result of the death.
The same can be said of a death that’s the result of a specific product. It is the responsibility of the product’s manufacturer or designer to ensure that the product is fit for the public’s use. Should the product malfunction and cause the death of a loved one, either (or both) parties can be held responsible for wrongful death through a product liability claim. This is, of course, if the product was defective. This applies to any and all products, not just specific industries.
Our wrongful death attorneys can help you pinpoint the liable party in your wrongful death claim. They will investigate all of the evidence and information regarding your loved one’s death so that your claim goes after the right parties. This can include the above scenarios, as well as the following:
- Property owners who allow property conditions to deteriorate to unsafe levels, resulting in fatal injuries
- Individuals whose violent actions result in the death of a loved one can be the subject of wrongful death claims and criminal charges.
When you hire our St. Paul wrongful death attorneys, our team will establish the liability of the responsible parties and aggressively pursue them for compensation. While this normally involves settling outside of court with the insurance company, it doesn’t always go as smoothly. That’s a level of stress that you don’t need following the loss of a loved one. Our lawyers are going to alleviate that stress by representing you in a court of law and presenting your case to a jury or a judge. We’ll make sure that you get the compensation that you’re owed.
Time is of the Essence in Wrongful Death Claims
As we stated before, the time that you spend deciding on your pursuit of a wrongful death claim is time that the liable parties are using to build their case. However, it’s important that you realize that wrongful death claims in Minnesota also have a statute of limitations. If your loved one has died a wrongful death, you need to get in touch with our St. Paul wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible. You typically have three years from the death of your loved one to file a wrongful death claim. There are some instances in which a claim could be filed for up to 6 years following death, if it is not discovered to be an instance of wrongful death until after the fact.
While you may think that’s a lot of time, it really isn’t. The processes involved with establishing a wrongful death claim are lengthy, and they require time. Often, if a decision to pursue is made too late, the steps it takes to start a claim take too long to establish your claim. Before a case can be settled or a claim can be started, a trustee needs to be appointed. In a best-case scenario, appointing a trustee takes a week. Most times, though, it takes much longer.
To appoint a trustee, all next of kin must consent to the appointment in writing. With many next of kin being unavailable at a moment’s notice, this isn’t a quick process. If you want to be sure that your claim makes it to a settlement or to a courtroom, you need to start your claim long before the three-year mark. Get in touch with our St. Paul wrongful death attorneys for a free consultation to get started on your claim today.
Understanding the Value of a Wrongful Death Claim
Often, wrongful death settlements reach into the hundreds of thousands or even millions. It’s hard to understand exactly how much a wrongful death claim is worth, though. There is no average that you can look up to understand what your family is owed. That’s why contacting a wrongful death attorney is so important. Our St. Paul wrongful death lawyers know that no amount of money can replace the life of your loved one. It is important, however, that you’re fairly compensated for your loss.
Wrongful Death Calculation Takes Time
There are a number of different factors that go into calculating what a wrongful death claim is worth in the eyes of the court. Typically, the person’s role in the family is going to be heavily considered, as well as the victim’s overall health at the time of the accident. Things like financial contribution, life expectancy at time of death, and occupation are all going to be weighed heavily. However, there are other factors at play, too. These factors affect the surviving members of the family directly. They include financial burdens like:
- Medical bills for the victim resulting from injuries that caused the wrongful death
- Burial expenses following the passing of the victim
- Legal obligation to financially support a surviving spouse or next of kin
- Counsel, guidance, or aid that the victim would have provided the next of kin
- Advice, comfort, assistance and protection that the decedent would have provided.
It is very important to note that Minnesota is one of the few states that doesn’t allow for pain and suffering felt by the deceased before death. Juries within the state are also required to ignore the grief and emotional suffering being felt by the surviving family when deciding on the amount of money to be awarded for wrongful death. This is why it is so important to hire a St. Paul wrongful death attorney. Our lawyers are going to represent you in a way that makes sure you’re given the fair compensation that you deserve. Be sure to contact one of our legal professionals to get your wrongful death claim started as soon as possible.
Call Tyroler Leonard Injury Law to Speak with a Legal Professional Who Knows How to Help You
If you’re looking for a wrongful death attorney in St. Paul, look no further. Our legal professionals are well aware of the suffering that you’re going through. You shouldn’t have to worry about the legal battle that you’ll inevitably have with the insurance company or the responsible party. It’s important that this process gets started as soon as possible. The time that you wait to begin your case is the time that the responsible parties have to prepare a case against you as they strive to avoid payment. Give us a call today at 651-259-1113 to get started on your case today. You can schedule a free consultation with us, and we can give you an idea of what you may be up against, as well as how to win your case.
Our wrongful death attorneys in St. Paul is ready to help you with the compassion and understanding that you need. We understand that losing a loved one is a difficult time in anyone’s life. We’re prepared to get you through this trying time and get you the best possible outcome. Nothing can completely stop the pain that comes with a wrongful death, but we aim to alleviate as much of your pain as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims
Our legal team is asked many questions about wrongful death claims on any given day. If you’re considering pursuing a wrongful death claim, take a look at some of the questions our team sees the most.
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What is a Minnesota wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death is a legal term that means a person’s death was caused by another person or business. When that happens, the next of kin have a claim against the person who caused the death.
Will insurance cover a person who negligently kills someone else?
Typically, yes, assuming that person has appropriate insurance. It really comes down to the details of the wrongful death. In most cases, one of two types of insurance is involved in a wrongful death claim:
- Car insurance provides coverage for wrongful death when the at-fault individual was operating their automobile.
- Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provides coverage for wrongful death when the at-fault person is involved in any other activity. This includes recreational vehicles like boats and ATVs, as well as other causes of death like dog attacks.
Exceptions to the Rule
A major exception to consider is wrongful death at work. This can happen due to an employer’s or a coworker’s negligence. If this is the case, then there is no wrongful death claim to be filed. Instead, the family or worker is entitled to dependency benefits within the state’s workers’ compensation system.
If these circumstances are familiar to you, be sure to contact our St. Paul wrongful death attorneys. Our attorneys will be able to provide a professional opinion about your options to pursue a wrongful death claim. Often in these circumstances, the person who is thought to be a coworker is really an employee of a different company who may have been working at the same jobsite. In that case, there may be a claim against the other employee and their employer.
Who can bring a Minnesota wrongful death claim?
Under Minnesota’s wrongful death statute, a claim must be brought by a wrongful death trustee. The trustee must be “a suitable and competent person.” To appoint a trustee, a petition must be brought before the court by either the surviving spouse or another next of kin.
Typically, the family will hire a St. Paul wrongful death lawyer who will meet with the family and prepare all of the paperwork, including the petition asking the court to appoint the trustee. The attorney then represents the trustee on behalf of the next of kin in bringing the claim against the person who caused the death.
How is money distributed once a settlement is reached?
Once a settlement has been reached, the trustee will propose a distribution in a petition to the court. All Minnesota wrongful death settlements and distributions must be approved by a judge.
The easiest way to figure out a fair distribution of the money is if all next of kin agree on the distributions. If everyone agrees, each person will sign a consent and waiver and those documents, as well as the petition, will be filed with the court. No hearing should be required.
What happens if all of the next of kin don’t agree?
This can complicate matters significantly. If any of the next of kin don’t agree, then the trustee will propose a distribution based on the relationships of each next of kin to the decedent using the factors outlined above. The petition is filed with the court and the court will hold a hearing. The petition must be properly served to each next of kin and notice of the hearing must be given to everyone.
If no one shows up to the hearing to contest the petition, the judge will sign an order approving the distribution. If someone does show up to contest the distribution proposed in the petition, a hearing will be held and witnesses will testify about the factors outlined above and how they relate to each next of kin. The judge will make the final decision on how the money will be distributed. Usually, only the trustee has an attorney, but each individual next of kin has the right to an attorney.
If you’re involved in a wrongful death claim, it’s important that you are represented by a St. Paul wrongful death attorney. This is true whether you’re the trustee or another next of kin. Get in touch with our wrongful death attorneys in St. Paul to be represented in a way that keeps your best interests in mind.
Are no-fault benefits available if my loved one was killed in a Minnesota car accident?
Yes. No-fault benefits are described in more detail here. The statute outlining no-fault benefits can be found here. When someone dies in a Minnesota car crash, they are entitled to no-fault benefits.
Understanding the Compensation in a No-Fault Car Accident
In general, there are several different “pools” of benefits that need to be understood. These are explained below in a way that makes these pools clearer.
- Medical Bills: If medical bills were incurred before passing, there will be $20,000 to put toward medical bills.
- Other Expenses: A separate pool of $20,000 to be put toward funeral expenses, income loss, replacement services, survivors economic loss benefits, and survivors replacement services loss.
What Are Other Expenses?
The other expenses pool is a bit harder to comprehend, because each subcategory has its own financial limits. These are explained in greater detail below.
- Funeral Expenses: A maximum benefit of $5,000, whether for burial services or cremation expenses.
- Income Loss Benefits: A maximum benefit of $500 per week for the time period before the person’s death.
- Survivors’ Economic Loss Benefits: $500 per week after death to surviving dependents, but only if there are dependents to be paid.
- Replacement Expenses: Reasonable expenses incurred for the usual and necessary substitute services that an injured person could not perform. A maximum weekly amount of $200.
Why do insurance companies dispute wrongful death claims?
When it comes to personal injury cases, wrongful death claims tend to have the highest rates of compensation. Insurance companies want to pay the least amount of money possible, if any at all, meaning they’re going to do everything they can to dispute your wrongful death claim. This is why having a wrongful death attorney on your side is so important.
In order to get the compensation that you’re rightfully due, you need an expert to successfully argue your case for you. Our wrongful death attorneys in St. Paul is exactly who you need on your side. They’re going to review every portion of your case, and they’ll successfully argue to get you what you deserve. They won’t accept the lowest settlement offered and are fully prepared to present your case in front of a judge or jury should it come to that.
How many wrongful deaths occur every year?
If you’re suffering from the death of a loved one, you may be concerned that they’ve experienced a wrongful death. When it comes to the statistics behind wrongful deaths, you may be shocked to know that wrongful deaths are a common thing in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year are deemed to be wrongful in their nature.
If you’re suffering from the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death, you’re not alone. We know what you’re going through because, tragically, wrongful deaths are more common than they should be. When you contact us, you’re getting the help of a St. Paul wrongful death attorney that can help you with your claim through every step of the process. We know the actions that need to be taken and can help you with your grieving in and out of the courtroom.
Contact Our Compassionate Wrongful Death Attorneys in St. Paul Today
No one should have to go through the needless loss of a loved one, especially when it’s due to a wrongful death. Contact the personal injury and wrongful death attorney at Tyroler Injury Law. We’re going to walk through every step of your claim with you. We want to handle the legal and financial burdens for you. As the survivors of such a tragedy, you need to be focused on your health and wellbeing.
If you have questions about a St. Paul wrongful death, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 651-259-1113. You deserve to have compassionate, experienced representation. Please see here why we are the right choice for you.