Our Stillwater personal injury attorney has helped many clients who have serious injuries that were caused by the negligent actions of others. When you or a loved one is seriously injured in an accident, your whole world is turned upside down.
Suddenly life is filled with fear and stress. You may be facing a long hospital stay, mounting medical bills, time off work, and a great deal of uncertainty about your future. The situation is made even worse when your injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence.
You don’t have to face your difficulties alone. Under Minnesota law, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our skilled and experienced Stillwater personal injury lawyer can fight for your rights and hold the guilty parties accountable.
While money can’t fix everything or replace a loved one who died in an accident, it can help you put the pieces of your life back together and provide comfort and resources for your family’s future needs.
Different Types of Injuries
Regardless of the Cause of Your Injury, Our Stillwater Personal Injury Lawyers Fights for You
Our personal injury lawyers in Washington County, MN, file legal claims for a variety of injuries.
Several types of injuries fall under the definition of a “personal injury” claim. Personal injury is a practice area in which victims seek financial damages for the harm they’ve suffered because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
Some of these accidents and injuries include:
- Car Accident, Truck Accident, or Motorcycle Accident: Car accidents, truck accidents, and other vehicle crashes are some of the most frequent personal injury claims we see. That’s because crash victims frequently suffer significant injuries.
- Work Injury: Getting injured at work is another common type of personal injury claim. Whether falling from scaffolding, getting crushed by machinery, or suffering chemical burns, these on-the-job injuries can have devastating consequences.
- Wrongful Death: A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury in which the victim died due to someone else’s negligence.
- Slip and Fall Injuries: Slip and fall injuries typically happen when a victim slips on a wet floor, uneven pavement, or cluttered aisle in a store, hotel, parking lot, amusement park, concert venue, or other public location. Falls often result in fractures, concussions, TBI, bleeding, and other injuries.
- Product Liability: Defective products can result in burns, lacerations, choking, and other harm to consumers. Product manufacturers can be held legally liable for injuries due to defects in the products they make.
- Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries, severe concussions, and other types of head injuries can have severe, life-altering consequences. Injuries can include damage to brain cells, memory loss, cognitive impairment, loss of speech or hearing, reduced motor skills, and a wide variety of other damage.
- Dog Bites: Injuries from animal attacks also fall under the personal injury umbrella. Dog owners who fail to properly train or supervise their dogs can be held liable when their canines attack a person, causing injuries or death.
Whether your injuries are moderate or life-threatening, they have clearly interrupted your daily living, caused unanticipated expenses and setbacks, impaired your ability to earn an income, and reduced your quality of life. The legal system has ways of compensating you for all that you have lost.
Choosing the Best Stillwater Personal Injury Attorney
Skill, Experience, and a Track Record of Success Make All the Difference.
Choosing the right Stillwater personal injury lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make. Not all attorneys are created equal. Some have more experience, skill, and determination than others. Attorneys Isaac Tyroler and Rachel Sperling Leonard are among the best and the brightest. They are compassionate with clients and understand that many have been through traumatic experiences. At the same time, they are aggressive negotiators and fierce litigators.
Isaac and Rachel take each case personally and are entirely focused on getting their clients the justice they deserve.
They are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies to negotiate a favorable settlement or litigate a case in front of a judge and jury when necessary. They will not stop until they have achieved the best possible outcome for every client. To learn more about what their satisfied clients have to say, you can read these client testimonials.
Isaac Tyroler and Rachel Sperling Leonard have been practicing law for more than a decade and are admitted to the bar in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as in U.S. District Court. They have received the Super Lawyers Rising Star Award multiple times and are frequent speakers at legal seminars.
Let Isaac and Rachel take on the insurer to aggressively fight for all the compensation you deserve. Give our team a call today at 651-259-1113 to discuss your case.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Minnesota
Injury victims have a limited amount of time to act in Minnesota and all other states. The statute of limitations ensures that tortfeasors (negligent parties) do not have to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders. At the same time, attorneys need time to build evidence-based claims.
A line must be drawn somewhere. Minnesota lawmakers have drawn that line at six years. Victims who wait too long could lose their legal right to obtain the aforementioned compensation for their serious injuries. A shorter statute of limitations applies in some cases. For example, if injured victims are under 18, they usually have additional time to file a legal action.
The discovery rule is another example. Victims, regardless of their age, are under no legal obligation to file actions until they know the full extent of their injuries and they connect those injuries to another person’s wrongful conduct. This rule often applies in other personal injury cases, such as dangerous drug claims. Chronic illness side-effects, like cancer, might not appear for years or even decades. These individuals still have legal options in most cases.
Workplace injuries are another example. Many victims don’t go to the doctor the moment their knees ache. Instead, they try to “tough it out” for months or years before they see a doctor and a Stillwater personal injury lawyer.
How Minnesota’s Shared Fault Rules Can Affect a Stillwater Personal Injury Case
If Julius hits his neighbor’s mailbox, Julius is clearly 100 percent at fault. But if Julius hits his neighbor’s car, he might not be 100 percent at fault. For example, Julius might have been speeding at the same moment his neighbor changed lanes unsafely.
These scenarios are extremely common, and not just in car wreck claims. If Julius fell at a grocery store, the store might argue that Julius fell because he didn’t watch where he was going.
Different states address the issues involved in different ways. In many jurisdictions, partial fault torpedoes a negligence claim. But Minnesota is a modified comparative fault state with a 50 percent cutoff. So, in the above example, if Julius was at least 50 percent responsible for the wreck, in the eyes of jurors, his neighbor would be entitled to a proportionate share of damages.
That’s assuming the defense applied to those facts. There’s a difference between speeding 5 mph over the limit and speeding 20 mph over the limit. Slight speeding usually does not contribute to car crashes. Excessive speeding is much different.
If you have additional questions about the particular facts in your case and how fault might be determined, talk to a skilled and experienced Stillwater personal injury lawyer at Tyroler Injury Law.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Negligence basically means a lack of care. There are usually four elements in a Minnesota negligence action:
- Duty: Most people, including most drivers, have a duty of reasonable care. They must be physically, mentally, and otherwise fit to drive, follow the written and unwritten rules of the road, and avoid accidents whenever possible.
- Breach: Persons breach the duty of care if their behavior is below the standard of care. The speeding example mentioned above is a good illustration. Most people wouldn’t consider 5 mph over the limit to be a dangerous speed. But 20 mph over the limit is clearly unsafe in most situations.
- Cause: Stillwater personal injury lawyers must establish factual and legal causation. Factual causation is a connection between the breach and the injury. Legal causation usually means foreseeability (possibility).
- Damage: A monetary remedy must be available. As outlined above, money cannot fully compensate for a personal injury. But money helps accident victims put their injuries behind them and move on with their lives. That’s the best possible outcome in these situations.
Victims (who are “plaintiffs” in a legal case) must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence or show it is more likely than not that negligence led to the injury. That’s one of the lowest burdens of proof in Minnesota law.
FAQs About Personal Injury
Personal Injury Attorneys in Stillwater, MN, Answer Frequent Questions
When sudden personal injuries strike, or when nagging medical conditions become serious medical conditions, victims and survivors need fast answers to important questions. At Tyroler Injury Law, that’s just one of the many services we provide.
What does “Personal Injury” mean?
In simple terms, a personal injury means “getting hurt.” That hurt could be physical or emotional. Legally, negligence — or a lack of care — causes most personal injuries.
Basically, negligence is a lack of care. Most people have a duty of reasonable care in most situations. Motorists must be at their best, physically, mentally, and otherwise, before they get behind the wheel. As they drive, they must avoid accidents when possible and always drive defensively. Property owners likewise have a duty of reasonable care, at least in most cases. An owner must ensure that a commercial, residential, or other piece of improved or unimproved property is reasonably safe.
If a lack of care causes a personal injury, a Stillwater personal injury lawyer may obtain compensation for the victim in court. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Victims need this money to pay injury-related expenses. They deserve it because the injury wasn’t their fault.
Different rules apply if the personal injury happened at work or if a defective product, like a drug with a dangerous side-effect, caused the personal injury.
What is the average personal injury settlement amount?
Most personal injury settlements begin with medical bills. The average medical bill ranges from about $12,000 in a mild injury case to nearly $1.8 million in a wrongful death case. Since this spread is so wide, it’s almost impossible to determine an “average” settlement of an “average” personal injury.
Personal injury damages also include lost work and property damage. In many cases, these economic damages could be as much as, or more than, the hospital bill.
Victims are also entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other noneconomic losses. Once again, these amounts vary. A wrongful death claim is much more distressing than a mild injury claim.
Other factors come into play as well. Some victim/plaintiffs are anxious to move on, so they accept lower settlement offers. Other victims/plaintiffs are more willing to hold out longer for a higher settlement. Additionally, some insurance companies have solid legal defenses in some personal injury cases. Unless a Stillwater personal injury attorney overcomes these defenses, a case’s settlement value might plummet.
Will I have to testify in court?
Probably not. Eventually, most personal injury claims settle out of court. However, “eventually” could be a very long time.
Insurance companies often use minor issues, like questions about the amount of medical bills, to drag their feet. So, to protect the victim/plaintiff’s rights and pressure the insurance company into settlement, most Stillwater personal injury lawyers file legal paperwork.
Next, most insurance companies file procedural motions, trying to derail the victim/plaintiff’s case. That’s why it’s so important for attorneys to do their homework and collect sufficient evidence. Flimsy cases normally don’t make it past this point.
The discovery process comes next. Both sides have a legal obligation to put all their cards on the table, in terms of their claims and defenses. As a result, after discovery, attorneys have a much better idea of what they’re up against. When you know what your opponent is planning, it’s easier to stop it.
Many victims/plaintiffs must give their depositions during discovery. That’s not quite like testifying in court, but it’s close.
After discovery and medical treatment are at least substantially complete, serious settlement negotiations usually resume. Sometimes, these talks are over quickly. Other times, they drag on, mostly because insurance companies are uncooperative.
Eventually, about 95 percent of personal injury and other civil claims settle out of court in Minnesota.
Who is the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit?
In a negligence case, the tortfeasor (negligent actor) is technically the defendant. The tortfeasor is usually a negligent driver or property owner. However, in most cases, an insurance company is financially responsible for all litigation-related costs. That responsibility includes hiring a lawyer and paying damages.
Roughly the same thing is true in job injury claims. The employer is technically the defendant, but a Stillwater personal injury attorney must deal with a workers’ compensation insurance company, at least in most cases.
Usually, a company is a defendant in a failure to warn or defective product case. Most companies have a duty to adequately warn the consumer about known risks, such as medication side-effects. If the failure to warn is also a lack of care, compensation is available. If a manufacturing or design defect caused injury, the company could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
How long does a personal injury lawsuit take?
Most cases settle out of court. That settlement could happen before filing, during informal negotiations, or, more likely, during mediation.
If all issues in the case are crystal clear, insurance companies have a duty to quickly issue settlement offers under Minnesota law. These offers must be reasonable. They cannot be low-ball or take-it-or-leave-it offers. Usually, however, there are at least some questions regarding some issues.
Negotiations often intensify after the victim/plaintiff files a legal action. At that point, the insurance company knows the victim/plaintiff is serious. If the sides are somewhat close on important terms, some give and take could bring them together. But most insurance companies are far too stubborn to give in this early.
Therefore, most cases settle during mediation. A third-party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Stillwater personal injury lawyer, supervises negotiations and ensures that both parties negotiate in good faith. As a result, formal mediation is about 90 percent successful.
What are the damages for a personal injury in Stillwater?
Many people assume that damages in an injury claim are like fines in a criminal case. But these things are different. Generally, criminal fines punish wrongdoers and civil damages compensate victims.
If Julius hits his neighbor’s mailbox when he backs out of his driveway, Julius should pay to replace the mailbox.
If Julius hits his neighbor’s car on the way to work, under Minnesota law, he must not only pay his neighbor’s economic losses. Julius is also responsible for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Hitting a car and causing injury is a lot more expensive than hitting an inanimate object, like a mailbox. The average injury-related hospital bill exceeds $50,000, and that’s just the beginning. If the victim had to be airlifted to a hospital, the transportation expenses might be higher than the hospital bill. Additionally, victims usually miss additional work as they go through physical therapy. They must often also use medical devices and take prescription drugs.
The available compensation does not reverse the events leading up to the accident. But, quite frankly, injury victims need money to put their lives back together. Our Stillwater personal injury lawyers help ensure that this money doesn’t come from the victim’s own pocket.
What is “pain and suffering” and how do you measure it?
We mentioned pain and suffering above, which is a major component of the noneconomic damages in a personal injury claim. Other components include loss of enjoyment in life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium (companionship).
These things are very difficult to calculate. How does someone put a price tag on something like the inability to take the dog for a walk on a sunny day or push a child on a park swing?
Our Stillwater personal injury lawyers often enlist the help of outside professionals, such as psychologists and accountants, in these situations. Then, based on their opinions, as well as the facts of the case and a few other factors, attorneys usually multiply the economic losses by two, three, or four to determine the amount of noneconomic losses.
The initial calculation of economic and noneconomic damages is a claim’s settlement value. That’s like the sticker price of a new car. As mentioned, most claims settle out of court. Anyone who has ever bought or sold anything knows that such negotiations usually involve some give and take.
How much does it cost to hire a Stillwater personal injury lawyer?
In light of all the accident-related expenses mentioned above, the last thing victims need is another bill to pay. However, the insurance company has no such financial problems. So, the company almost immediately hires a top legal team to defend its interests. If victims face off directly against lawyers, they have almost no chance to win.
So, our Stillwater personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. We charge nothing upfront for our legal services.
As a bonus, attorneys also negotiate with doctors, mechanics, and other accident-related providers. Typically, attorneys convince these providers to defer billing, or at least defer collection, until the case is resolved. This result further eases the financial strain these families feel.
Contact Our Stillwater Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if you were injured due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence. Our skilled and experienced Stillwater, MN, personal injury attorney at Tyroler Injury Law has helped countless clients get the justice they deserve.
You don’t have to endure this alone. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free initial consultation at 651-259-1113.