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 White Bear Lake personal injury lawyers 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 We See
Personal injury lawyers in White Bear Lake, 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 dog 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 White Bear Lake Personal Injury Attorney
Skill, experience, and a track record of success make all the difference.
Choosing the right White Bear Lake 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. Attorney Isaac Tyroler and Attorney 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. We take each case personally and are entirely focused on getting our clients the justice they deserve. We 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. We will not stop until we have achieved the best possible outcome for every client. To learn more about what our satisfied clients have to say, you can read these client testimonials.
Personal Injury FAQs
Personal injury attorneys in White Bear Lake, MN, answer frequent questions.
Clients often have similar questions about various aspects of a personal injury lawsuit. These questions can include queries about timing, definitions, dollar amounts, and costs. Following are some answers to frequently asked questions:
What does “personal injury” mean?
Personal injury claims are based on negligence, which is basically a lack of care. Most property owners and drivers in Minnesota have a duty of reasonable care. This legal responsibility is loosely based on the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you). For example, when we drive, we should follow the rules of the road and drive defensively, since we expect other drivers to do the same thing.
A negligence case doesn’t “blame” anyone for an injury. If Steve unintentionally dents his neighbor’s car, he should pay for repairs (pay compensation). If Steve unintentionally rear-ends his neighbor at an intersection and seriously injures him, Steve must likewise pay compensation. The compensation is higher because a person is worth a lot more than a car.
Generally, victims must sustain tangible personal injuries to receive compensation. There’s a difference between a visible injury and a tangible injury. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a tangible brain injury, even though it’s not a visible injury.
What is the average personal injury settlement amount?
The average price of a Honda is much lower than the average price of a Cadillac. These vehicles have different features. Likewise, because each case has different facts, there’s no “average” personal injury settlement amount.
Usually, settlement amount begins with the settlement value, a figure that’s like the sticker price of a Cadillac or Honda. The settlement value, which accounts for economic and noneconomic damages, is the starting point for settlement negotiations.
Almost all personal injury claims settle out of court. Therefore, your White Bear Lake personal injury lawyers must be good negotiators. Good negotiators know when to stand firm and when to compromise. Litigation skills are important as well. If the insurance company doesn’t believe your lawyer is willing to go the distance, the insurance company is unlikely to make a favorable deal.
Will I have to testify in court?
As mentioned, personal injury cases in Minnesota rarely go to trial. So, most victims never have to testify in court, at least not at a final trial.
However, preliminary hearings are common in personal injury cases. Insurance companies, as well as White Bear Lake personal injury attorneys, use these hearings to fine-tune their claims and defenses. Additionally, most insurance company lawyers depose most victims. A deposition is like testifying in court, except there’s no judge or jury.
Therefore, a Ramsey County personal injury attorney thoroughly prepares victims to give their testimonies. Victim testimony must be consistent but not sound rehearsed.
Who is the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit?
Occasionally, a personal injury lawsuit has multiple defendants. These actions usually involve complex legal doctrines like joint and several liability, permissive counterclaims, and mandatory counterclaims. Lawyers usually sort out such questions.
Much more commonly, an auto or property insurance company is the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. These companies have a legal duty to defend their policyholders in court. This duty includes a responsibility to pay all litigation-related costs, such as legal fees and financial compensation to victims.
This arrangement brings up an important point. Usually, if Bill successfully sues Ted for damages, Ted pays nothing. Ted’s insurance company pays everything. Granted, Ted’s insurance company will probably raise his rates or may even cancel his policy. But these things probably would have happened anyway, lawsuit or no lawsuit.
Occasionally, a defective product, like bad brakes in a car or unsafe drug manufacturing practices, causes injury. In these cases, product manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause.
How long does a personal injury lawsuit take?
Each Minnesota personal injury case is different, not only in terms of settlement amount, but also in terms of time.
Occasionally, car crash, dog bite, and other such claims settle almost immediately, if both damages and liability are clear. Damages are the extent of economic and noneconomic losses. Liability is legal responsibility for these losses.
As one might expect, insurance company lawyers routinely challenge damages and/or liability. For example, if Michelle didn’t see a doctor immediately after a wreck, insurance company lawyers may argue that her injuries weren’t that severe. Car crash cases also may involve various insurance company defenses, such as a lack of evidence and comparative fault.
When insurance companies use such questions as an excuse to drag their feet, a White Bear Lake personal injury lawyer must file legal paperwork. That filing begins the court process, which is often long and frustrating.
A legal filing usually picks up the settlement negotiation pace. When an insurance company knows a Ramsey County personal injury lawyer is serious about a case, its lawyers usually get serious as well. If these informal negotiations stall or break down, a judge usually appoints a mediator. The mediator ensures that both parties negotiate in good faith and earnestly try to resolve the case. “I’ll see you in court” is usually not a good faith negotiating position.
What is “pain and suffering” and how do you measure it?
Pain and suffering can be difficult to value. A person injured through someone else’s negligence is entitled to recover for:
- Emotional distress.
What each of these is worth can be different based on the case. Some plaintiffs may have all of these and some may have only suffered one or two. We will work with doctors and in some cases mental health specialists to identify and treat pain and suffering issues. An attorney will ask a client to document activities they previously enjoyed that they can no longer participate in, and in some cases a plaintiff may want to keep a daily journal describing how they feel emotionally and what activities they can and cannot perform each day.
How much does it cost to hire a White Bear Lake personal injury lawyer?
The good news is that Tyroler Leonard Injury Law works on contingency, which means that we don’t get paid until you get paid. Our legal fees are paid as part of a settlement agreement or jury award. If for some reason your claim is not successful, then you owe us nothing.
Damages Injury Victims May Be Entitled To
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages. Damages can be both economic and non-economic. They include:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses (current and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress (including trauma, humiliation, and disfigurement).
In some instances, there can also be punitive damages in addition to the damages listed above. Punitive damages are awarded by a court when there is evidence of gross negligence by a defendant who knowingly or recklessly placed persons in danger or if the defendant had a history of safety violations. Punitive damages, as the name implies, are designed to punish a defendant and prevent any other would-be wrongdoers from being similarly negligent.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Minnesota
In most cases, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is six years in Minnesota.
The 6-year statute of limitations for Minnesota personal injury lawsuits can be found at Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. There are a few scenarios in which the “clock” on the statute of limitations might be delayed. These include:
- If the injured person under is the age of 18, then the statute does not run until the later of 6 years or the person turns 19 years old.
- If the injured person is legally insane, then the clock won’t start running until the period of legal disability is over (mental competence is restored). However, this filing deadline won’t be extended beyond five (5) years, and once sanity is restored, the suit must be filed within one (1) year. (Minnesota Statutes section 541.15.)
Minnesota Shared-Fault Rules
White Bear Lake personal injury claims follow a “modified comparative negligence” rule.
Some states, including Minnesota, follow a rule known as modified comparative negligence. This means the law recognizes that in many situations, more than one person may be at fault for an accidental injury. The court or jury will determine the amount of fault that belongs to each party based on the facts in a case. As long as your share of the fault is 49% or less, you will be entitled to collect some amount of damages for your injury.
Let’s take a look at an example that illustrates this rule. Suppose you’re shopping in a grocery store and you slip and fall on a pool of water that has accumulated from the produce section. You didn’t see the water because you were busy looking at the produce. Eventually, it’s determined that you are 15% at fault for the accident, and the grocery store is 85% at fault. Let’s say the total damages for the accident are calculated to be $100,000. Under Minnesota’s comparative fault rule, 15% (the percentage of fault assigned to you) will be subtracted from that $100,000. This means you will collect 85% of the total, or $85,000.
If you have additional questions about the particular facts in your case and how fault might be determined, talk to a skilled and experienced Ramsey County personal injury lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will need to prove that the other party acted negligently when they caused the accident in which you were injured. A defendant can be a person, a business, an insurance company, a government entity, or any combination of these.
To prove negligence, your attorney will have to prove 4 elements in your lawsuit. These include:
- Duty – The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal “duty of care” to ensure that an environment or location was safe.
- Breach – A plaintiff must show that the defendant breached this duty by doing, or failing to do, something that a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation.
- Causation – A plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions, or inaction, caused the injuries to another person.
- Damages – Damages means that there’s a monetary way of compensating a plaintiff for their injuries and property damage.
Contact Our White Bear Lake 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 White Bear Lake personal injury attorneys at Tyroler Leonard 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.