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Wrongful Death Lawyers

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A Minnesota wrongful death claim allows the family of the victim to recover money damages where the death is caused by the negligence or fault of another person or corporation.

The Wrongful Death Lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team want to provide factual information about wrongful death claims in Minnesota.


What is a Minnesota Wrongful Death Claim?

Minnesota law allows the family members of a person killed as a result of the fault of another person to recover in what is termed a Minnesota wrongful death claim. Under Minnesota Statute 573.02, when death is caused by the wrongful act of any person or corporation, a trustee appointed by the Court can bring a claim/law suit against the at fault party who caused the death.  The claim is prosecuted by the Trustee and not the person’s Estate.

Who is entitled to recover in a Minnesota wrongful death claim?

Minnesota allows certain family members of the wrongful death victim to bring a wrongful death claim to receive fair compensation for the loss of their family member. Pursuant to Minnesota law it is the “next of kin” that are entitled to recover.  In most cases, it is the dead person’s spouse, children, and parents that are entitled to wrongful death benefits.  If the case is settled without a jury trial, the Judge is required to decide how to divide the settlement between the “heirs and next of kin”.  If the case goes to a jury trial, the jury decides the division among family members.

How is a Minnesota Wrongful Death Claim pursued?

Minnesota is different from most other states that have a procedure whereby the estate of the decedent brings a wrongful death claim.  In those states, the personal representative of the estate is the individual responsible for pursuing a claim.

In Minnesota, a wrongful death claim is pursued by opening a trusteeship with the court. The judge assigned to the case decides who will be the trustee or trustees, if more than one.

Individual family members are not allowed to bring separate claims under Minnesota law. Their only right of recovery is through the trusteeship.

All settlements must be approved by the judge.  The division of the settlement among the family members must also be approved by the judge.

What is the statute of limitations for Minnesota wrongful death claims?

The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in the state of Minnesota is three years from the date of death in most cases. However, in each case, the opinion of a Minnesota lawyer should be obtained as soon as possible after the death to determine whether there is a shorter period for each individual case. It is recommended that the opinion of the Minnesota lawyer should be obtained immediately after death, in the days and weeks following the death.

How is the value of a Minnesota Wrongful Death claim determined in Minnesota?

The measure of damages that can be recovered in any Minnesota wrongful death case is established by statute.  The value of any Minnesota wrongful death case is determined by what the jury anticipates they would award if the case went to trial – or by the jury if the case does indeed go to a jury trial.  In Minnesota Wrongful Death cases, the jury is instructed by the judge that they are to consider what amount of money will fairly and adequately compensate the survivors of the decedent for the losses they have suffered as the result of the death. Obviously, the dependents of the decedent, including the spouse and children, will suffer the loss of the earning capacity of the Decedent.

The law also allows the jurors to consider the loss of “the advice, comfort, assistance, companionship and protection” that the Decedent would have provided if he or she had lived to normal life expectancy.  The monetary value that the decedent would have provided for the financial support of family members is an important consideration.  The money value of the love and affection and emotional support should also be considered by the jury in arriving at the final monetary verdict.

Why are the services of an experienced Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawyer valuable?

It is always valuable to have an experienced lawyer handle any personal injury case.  That is especially true in wrongful death cases.  And it’s crucial for complex cases.

The services of an experienced Minnesota wrongful death lawyer are very valuable in accumulating the evidence that is necessary to prove the fault of the “at fault” party. They are also very valuable in accumulating the evidence that is necessary to establish the maximum value of the wrongful death claim. The Minnesota wrongful death lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team have that experience.  Senior Trial Lawyer Doug Schmidt has successfully handled nearly 60 wrongful death cases.  These cases have involved deaths due to car accidents, trucking collisions, construction site accidents, farm injury cases, nursing home and assisted living deaths, defective product cases, aircraft collision cases, boating accidents, and medical malpractice deaths.

What type of cases have the Schmidt Salita Wrongful Death Lawyers Successfully handled?

The Schmidt Salita Law Team has a 5 star rating.  The team includes wrongful death lawyers with the highest AV rating.  The team includes award winning lawyers who are experienced in handling complex cases.  Their track record in wrongful death cases includes the following:

-Death of a West Point Military Academy graduate in a military aircraft crash.

-Death of a passenger in a Ford 150 pickup crash fire in a case against Ford Motor Company.

-Death of a Minnesota School superintendent due to a defective heart valve against a large corporation.

-Death of a Minnesota construction worker against Pittsburgh Plate Glass.

-Death of a 14 year old boy in a car accident against a drunk driver.

-Death of a construction worker in an Iowa construction site death against the electrical contractor.

-Death of a St. Paul woman in a hospital due to prescription drug mistake by a nurse.

-Death in a nursing home due to failure to provide proper oxygen.

-Death in an assisted living facility due to burn wounds from scalding water.

-Death of an infant in a crib death suffocation.

-Death of southeastern Minnesota farm worker in a field equipment accident.

-Death of a southwestern Minnesota woman in a single vehicle ambulance crash on an icy bridge.

-Death of a western Minnesota teenager in a head-on crash with a large commercial truck.

-Death of a Minnesota construction worker in western Minnesota construction site injury.

-Death of a crane operator in a St. Paul construction site injury.

-Death of a Bemidji woman in a car accident.

-Death of a Minnesota man in a southwestern Minnesota collision.

-Death of a North Dakota woman in an Apple Valley crash caused by a drunk driver.

-Death of a Bloomington, MN teenager killed in small fishing boat run over by large power boat.

-Crash fire death case against International Harvester.

-Death caused by roll-over of heavy road construction equipment.

-Death of Iowa motorcyclist due to cell phone usage.

-Death of Chaska, MN woman due to cell phone usage by at fault driver.

-Death of Minnesota trucker in North Carolina tire blow-out case against B.F. Goodrich Tire Company and White Freightliner Trucks.

-Death of southeastern Minnesota farmer trampled by mad cow in livestock holding facility.

From left to right: Attorneys Stephanie Schommer, Dean Salita, Doug Schmidt, Mary Beth Boyce and Joshua Laabs.

The Schmidt Salita Law Team is a 5 star, AV rated  personal injury law firm with experience in the successful handling of wrongful death cases serving the entire state of Minnesota, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Minnetonka, White Bear Lake, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Osseo, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Blaine, Shoreview, Woodbury, Falcon Heights, Columbia Park, Stillwater, Hastings, Inver Grove, Cottage Grove, South St. Paul, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, Savage, Shakopee, Richfield, Bloomington, Chaska, Chanhassen, Edina, Eden Prairie, and Hopkins.  Schmidt Salita lawyers have handled wrongful death cases in other states, including Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa and Alabama.

The Schmidt Salita Law Team Handles a Wide Variety of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims.

The Schmidt Salita Law Team handles cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian car accidents, and bicycle accidents.  It has many years’ experience in workers compensation , products liability and medical malpractice cases.

The Schmidt Salita Law Team has extensive experience with concussion injuries, traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, whiplash injuries, broken bones, injured joint injuries (knee, hip, shoulder, wrist, ankle, spinal), amputation injuries, and vision and eye injuries.

The Schmidt Salita Law Team has offices through out the State of Minnesota.  Its primary location is at Ridgedale Office Center in Minnetonka, near the intersection of I394 and I494.  The offices are handicap accessible with ample parking.

The Schmidt Salita Team Offers Contingent Fee Arrangements.

The firm offers contingent fee agreements (You don’t pay lawyers fees until you collect and then only as a percentage of the settlement).  It also offers home and hospital visits to clients whose injuries present difficulty in coming to the office.