This is the first post in a series that will discuss the handling of wrongful death cases in Rochester, Owatonna, and elsewhere in Minnesota. We have decided to write on this topic as, for obvious reasons, grieving friends and loved ones are likely more concerned about the healing process than they are about legal issues. It is important, however, to understand that those legal issues must be dealt with so that the surviving victims may focus on healing. The goal of our coming posts is to help such victims to better understand their situation. If your family has suffered a tragedy, contact our office today to speak with a personal injury attorney.
We will be addressing several issues over our coming articles. Matters we will analyze include:
- Calculation of the surviving victim’s damages
- How comparative fault may impact the case
- Deaths involving a drunk driver
- Attending trial in such cases
There are several reasons why these are important topics. First, the surviving family members will be entitled to compensation for the deceased’s lost economic contributions. They also will be eligible for compensation related to the loss of companionship and emotional trauma that has been inflicted. Second, if the deceased was partially at fault for the accident,* it is important to understand that Minnesota’s comparative liability laws will impact any damages awarded. Third, our state’s liquor liability laws may make it possible to bring action against the establishment that sold alcohol to a drunk driver who, ultimately, caused the accident. Finally, families must be prepared for the trial process so they present the best case possible.
It is important that you immediately contact an attorney if a loved one has been killed by the negligence of another. It will be necessary to ensure that vital evidence is preserved. It is also important to understand that you have only a limited amount of time to file suit and if you miss that window you will lose your ability to be compensated. Our Rochester wrongful death lawyers have experience in handling such matters and we are ready to assist you. We also serve SE Minnesota cities: Red Wing, Winona, Mankato, Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna, as well as the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Bloomington. We also serve the Iowa cities of Mason City, Charles City, Osage, Spencer, Garner, Forest City, and Northwood and the Wisconsin cities of La Crosse, Onalaska, Sparta, Viroqua, River Falls, Ellsworth, Whitehall, and Black River Falls.
*A note about language:
Federal agencies involved in traffic safety have banned use of the word “accident” for more than 20 years, and with good reason. However, we use the word “accident” on our website, even though we know it has implications that run contrary to our professional thinking and training, because we recognize that “accident” is the word most commonly used in online searches when people are looking for help after being injured in a crash. If you’d like more information about this topic, please see our blog, “Car Accident or Car Crash?”