Wrongful Death Lawyer in Minneapolis121 Washington Avenue North, 4th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55401
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Minneapolis Wrongful Death Attorney
It's important to seek legal guidance and support from an experienced Minneapolis wrongful death attorney if you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence. At Morgan & Morgan, our experienced and compassionate attorneys understand the emotional turmoil you and your loved ones may be going through at these difficult times.
For this reason, we can provide you with the legal guidance and support you need to fight for justice. All you need is a free case evaluation with us.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
Morgan & Morgan
How Can I Find Out if I Have a Valid Wrongful Death Claim?
Morgan & Morgan offers free, no-obligation case evaluations for individuals who have lost their loved ones due to someone else's actions or inaction. We will evaluate the details of your loved one's death and determine if you have a valid claim. Generally, you may have a valid case if your loved one's death occurred due to someone else's negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions.
What Is the Role of a Wrongful Death Attorney in the Legal Process?
Our wrongful death attorneys understand how terrible it feels after the unfortunate and avoidable death of a loved one. When you contact us for a free case evaluation, and we determine that you have a valid case against the other party, we will:
- Investigate the circumstances of the death of your loved one. This process includes but is not limited to gathering evidence, speaking with witnesses, and consulting with experts in various fields.
- Determine the party or parties responsible for your loved one's death.
- Navigate the complex legal system on your behalf, including but not limited to creating a legal strategy to pursue your claim, filing a wrongful death claim, and negotiating with insurance companies.
- Help you recover compensation for damages you or your loved one incurred due to the wrongful death.
- Represent you in court if the other party refuses to settle.
- Provide peace of mind knowing that you have a legal team with your best interests in mind.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
It depends on the case's specific circumstances. That said, plaintiffs can recover the following damages:
Common economic damages for wrongful death claims include the following:
- Funeral costs.
- Lost wages or future earning capacity of the deceased.
- Financial support or benefits the deceased would have provided to their family if they were still alive.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses and are usually more difficult to measure. They include but are not limited to the following:
- Pain and suffering of the surviving family members
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Although not guaranteed, punitive damages are meant to punish the person or entity responsible for the death. These damages can also deter others from engaging in similar behavior. However, it is important to note that they only apply in cases where the death occurred due to extreme negligence.
How Does an Attorney Determine the Value of a Wrongful Death Claim?
The value of a wrongful death claim typically depends on factors such as:
- The damages incurred (these could be economic or non-economic, as mentioned earlier)
- The strength of the evidence against the other party
- The unique circumstance of the case, such as whether the victim was partly responsible for the death.
What if the Deceased Contributed to Their Own Death?
Minneapolis follows a legal principle called comparative negligence. Under this law, plaintiffs can still recover damages even if they were partially at fault for their own injuries, as long as their percentage of fault is less than 50%.
In the case of wrongful death, the amount of compensation that the surviving family members may receive will be reduced by the deceased's percentage of fault.
Here is an example of such a situation.
Suppose the deceased was 30% at fault for their own death. In that case, the amount of compensation the family can recover would be reduced by 30%, meaning they can only receive 70% of the initial settlement. On the other hand, if the deceased was 60% at fault for their death, their survivors will not recover any damages because their percentage of fault exceeds the 50% bar.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Morgan & Morgan Wrongful Death Attorney?
Our wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis; they only get paid if they win the case. The contingency fee can range from 33% to 40% of the total settlement. Here is a detailed guide on why the contingency fee system works best for such cases.
How Do I Choose the Right Wrongful Death Attorney?
Here are some important tips to guide you when choosing the right wrongful death attorney:
Look for an attorney with experience handling wrongful death cases. The more experienced they are, the higher the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. For instance, Morgan & Morgan has been fighting for the rights of the injured since 1988.
Research their record of success in handling wrongful death cases. You have a higher chance of obtaining favorable results when you hire an attorney or firm with a proven record of winning. Morgan & Morgan, for example, has won over $20 billion (and counting) for clients.
Check their reputation in the legal community and beyond. To put things into perspective, you'll feel more at peace working with Morgan & Morgan because we are America's largest injury firm.
Wrongful death cases are complex because they often involve massive settlements for the injured. For this reason, you need a lawyer with access to powerful resources to pursue the claim. That's where Morgan & Morgan comes in; we have an army of over 1,000 injury attorneys specializing in different practice areas, including wrongful death cases.
What Are the Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Claim?
The chances of winning a wrongful death claim depend on many different factors. Ultimately, it all narrows down to the following:
- The amount of evidence available against the other party.
- The attorney's skill and experience.
- The timing of the wrongful death claim or lawsuit (we've discussed further below)
- The specific circumstances of the case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
The state's statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally three years from the date of death. Unfortunately, if you do not file your claim within three years of your loved one's death, you may lose your right to pursue compensation.
Keep in mind that these laws are even stricter for cases involving medical malpractice. For instance, you cannot file a wrongful death claim if three years have elapsed since your loved one's death.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims can take anywhere from several months to years to resolve. It all depends on the case's unique circumstances and whether the other party is willing to cooperate with your legal team. That said, hiring a powerful legal team to represent you can increase your chances of settling the case faster.
This is because the defendant will not want to face a powerful firm like Morgan & Morgan, especially in court, primarily due to our great track record of winning such cases. In addition, the more the case drags on, the more expensive it becomes. As a result, most defendants would rather settle out of court than accrue more legal expenses.
What Should I Expect During the Legal Process of a Wrongful Death Claim?
Here is a general overview of a standard wrongful death claim process.
- The first step is to consult a wrongful death attorney about your case. The lawyer will evaluate your case and determine if you have legal grounds to sue.
- If you have a valid claim and if they agree to take on your case, the attorney will thoroughly investigate the case. This may involve collecting medical records, witness statements, and other documentation to support your claim.
- They will also determine the party or parties responsible for your loved one's death.
- After collecting sufficient evidence to pursue a wrongful death claim, they will file a claim or lawsuit against the liable parties on your behalf.
- The case will then go through a discovery process where both parties will exchange information and evidence about the case.
- Next, negotiations to settle will begin. But, if they cannot settle, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will hear the evidence and make a ruling.
- If either party is unsatisfied with the trial's outcome, they may appeal the decision.
How Will My Attorney Prove That Someone Else Was Responsible for the Death?
For wrongful death, the attorney will need evidence such as witness statements, medical records, police reports, and other relevant documentation. They may also consult with expert witnesses to provide testimony on various aspects of the case.
For example, they may hire a medical expert to explain how the negligence of a particular healthcare provider caused your loved one's death. Alternatively, an accident reconstruction expert can demonstrate how a car accident occurred.
In some cases, the attorney may also hire a private investigator to gather additional evidence or to interview witnesses with knowledge of the case.
Can a Wrongful Death Claim Be Filed for the Death of an Unborn Child?
Yes, you can. In fact, Minnesota was one of the first states to create laws to protect unborn children and pregnant women from such negligence. This claim is known as a "wrongful fetal death" claim.
Here is what you need to know:
Minnesota Statute 573.02, subdivision 1 has the following provisions for wrongful death lawsuits involving an unborn child:
- You can sue negligent professionals, including doctors, surgeons, dentists, hospitals, and sanitariums, for damages in wrongful death cases.
- As mentioned, you must initiate the lawsuit within three years of the child's death.
- To hold an individual or corporation responsible for the death of an unborn child, you (or your legal team) must prove that the death was caused by a wrongful act, negligence, or omission.
Can I Still File a Wrongful Death Claim if the Person Responsible for the Death Was Not Found Guilty of a Crime?
The standards of proof required in criminal and civil cases differ. For example, in a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, such a case has a high burden of proof.
On the other hand, civil cases have a lower burden of proof. Specifically, the plaintiff must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that the defendant was responsible for the death. Therefore, even if the liable party was not found guilty of a crime, you can still prove their liability in a civil wrongful death claim.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case?
Several months to years. Keep in mind that cases that go to trial take even longer to settle than those decided out of court.
For this reason, your attorney will likely want to settle the case out of court to achieve a faster and better outcome that reflects your best interests. However, if the other party refuses to settle, going to court may be the only option to hold them accountable.
It is also worth mentioning that even after a settlement or jury award is reached, there may be additional steps to take before you receive the compensation. For example, the other party may appeal the decision, further delaying the process.
Contact a Minneapolis Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death cases are complicated and time-sensitive. The longer you wait to take action, the harder it is to fight back. Do not lose your chance to fight for your loved one, whose death could have been avoided. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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