Frequently Asked Questions - Wrongful Death
personal injury lawyers

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim alleges that someone's negligence or recklessness caused the victim's death. Each individual state, including Minnesota, has a "wrongful death" statute to allow certain survivors to bring this type of claim. Without the statute, the victim's claim would die with the victim.

What are the elements of a wrongful death claim?

Generally, a wrongful death occurs when a death is caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of a negligent or reckless defendant.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Although the exact category of people allowed to bring such a claim varies by state, generally the decedent's immediate family members may bring these claims.

What kinds of damages are available in a wrongful death case?

In Minnesota, the following damages may be recovered in a wrongful death action: funeral and burial expenses; past loss of aid, comfort, assistance, counsel, protection, companionship, and guidance; and future loss of aid, comfort, assistance, counsel, protection, companionship, and guidance. Unfortunately, in Minnesota, no damages are available for the grief the survivors suffer as a result of the victim's death.

When must a wrongful death claim be filed?

Each state has its own time limit, or "statute of limitation," that defines the time frame during which a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. The time usually runs from the date of the victim's death, and in Minnesota the statute of limitation is generally three years from the date of the victim's death. A claim, even a valid claim, may be (and usually is) denied by the courts if it is filed after the statute of limitations has run.

When should I contact a lawyer?

Time is important in these claims, so we suggest you contact us immediately. Evidence is often lost, autopsies are not ordered, and witnesses are either overlooked or lost as more time passes. The evidence and witnesses are often critical to a successful claim. Contact us for an individual evaluation of the time limits involved with your claim.

Related Topics:

Wrongful Death Injuries


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Eckman, Strandness & Egan P.A.

319 Barry Ave. South Suite 100, Wayzata, MN 55391-0597
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 597, Wayzata, MN  55391-0597
(952) 594-3600 | (800) 328-1096   Fax (952) 594-3601
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Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2014