Injury, Workers Comp, & Wrongful Death Lawyers


Personal Injury, Workers Comp, &

Wrongful Death Lawyers

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Wrongful Death Lawyers in Minneapolis Committed to Serving Your Family

Your loved one is irreplaceable. Your pain and grief is overwhelming. Your anger and fear is debilitating.

Over the past 75 combined years, we have worked with many loved ones left behind after the wrongful death of their mother, father, spouse, partner or child. We have seen how such losses can turn a family upside down, not only from the staggering grief, but also the unexpected financial losses that tend to follow.

At Schmidt-Salita Law Team, our Minneapolis lawyers are committed to helping you right the wrongs your loved one and your family is now suffering from. Turn to us for dedicated support and thorough legal representation during this difficult time.

Have You Suffered the Loss of a Loved One Due to Wrongful Death?

The pain and devastation that accompany the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can feel insurmountable. Pursuing legal action may seem overwhelming at this emotionally turbulent time, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our Minneapolis-based team of experienced wrongful death lawyers is here to guide you every step of the way. We are deeply committed to helping families like yours find justice, closure, and financial compensation for the untimely loss you’ve endured.

We understand that no amount of money can truly compensate for your loss. However, securing a wrongful death settlement or verdict can provide crucial financial support for funeral expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and the pain and suffering that come with such a significant loss. Our empathetic and seasoned attorneys will handle your case with the utmost care and professionalism, offering personalized legal strategies tailored to your unique situation.

What Classifies as a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when the negligent, reckless, or deliberate actions of another cause a person’s death. This legal concept encompasses a wide array of scenarios, including, but not limited to, car accidents caused by negligent drivers, medical malpractice where healthcare professionals fail to provide the standard care required, work-related accidents due to unsafe working conditions, and incidents of criminal behavior leading to a fatal outcome.

Under Minnesota’s wrongful death statute § 573.02, which is defined as a “wrongful act or omission of any person or corporation,” the deceased’s surviving relatives or estate representatives have the right to file a lawsuit against those responsible for their loved one’s untimely death. Such legal action aims to seek financial compensation for the damages and losses suffered and hold the responsible party or parties accountable for their actions, potentially preventing future tragedies.

Don’t Accept Insurance Settlements Right Away

Accepting an insurance settlement without consulting a wrongful death lawyer can significantly undermine the compensation that the family of the deceased rightfully deserves. Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts, offering settlements that fall short of covering the total extent of economic and non-economic damages suffered by the family.

Determining Financial Loss

One of the most critical aspects of a wrongful death claim is the determination of pecuniary loss, or financial damages, which the deceased’s family has suffered and may continue to suffer. These losses are not solely about the immediate expenses related to the death, such as funeral and burial costs. They also encompass the loss of the deceased’s future earnings, benefits (such as medical insurance and pension plans), and the loss of inheritance. Additionally, compensation can be sought for the loss of companionship, care, and guidance the deceased would have provided to their loved ones.

Types of Damages in Wrongful Death

In wrongful death cases, the types of damages that can be sought by the deceased’s family or estate representatives typically fall into two main categories:

Economic Damages are quantifiable financial losses that have resulted directly from the death.

These can include:

  • Medical expenses related to the deceased’s final injury or illness
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost wages and benefits, including what the deceased would reasonably have earned if they had lived
  • Loss of inheritance as a result of the death

Non-economic damages are more subjective and not as easily quantified. They can include:

  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before their death
  • Loss of companionship, care, or protection for the surviving family members
  • Mental anguish or emotional distress suffered by the survivors

Determining the full scope of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex. It requires a detailed understanding of the law and the ability to quantify the full impact of the loss on the surviving family. Our team of experienced wrongful death lawyers in Minneapolis is equipped to handle these complexities and work tirelessly to ensure that the families we represent receive the total compensation they are entitled to under the law.

You Are Entitled to Compensation

An experienced Minneapolis Wrongful Death lawyer knows that, under Minnesota’s wrongful death law, the family of the victim of a fatal accident has a right to recover monetary damages against the at-fault party. Specifically, relatives of the person killed can petition the court to appoint a trustee. The trustee then has authorization to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of all family members of the lost loved one. The law does not permit family members to bring separate claims.

We represent families of victims who have died due to fatal injury accidents, including:

  • Car, truck and motorcycle accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Product defect accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Medical malpractice accidents

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death

What is a wrongful death claim?

It is a legal claim brought by a trustee on behalf of the surviving spouse and next of kin of any person who dies as the result of the negligence or misconduct of another person, company or entity.

Why must a trustee bring a wrongful death claim?

To prosecute a Wrongful Death claim in Minnesota, the law requires the court to appoint a trustee. The spouse or next of kin of the decedent (lost loved one) must make a petition for appointment of a trustee. (The single exception to this law involves of death claims brought under the Dram Shop Law.)

Who can be trustee?

Minnesota law allows the court to appoint any “suitable and competent person” as trustee. This is usually the surviving spouse or one of the next of kin as trustee. If all of the next of kin agree, the court can appoint the trustee without a hearing. If there is disagreement, the Court must hold a hearing after giving notice to all of the next of kin, and take evidence to decide who should be the trustee.

What are a trustee’s duties and responsibilities?

The court-appointed trustee has the authority to carry out the duties necessary to prosecute the Wrongful Death claim for the benefit of and on behalf of all of the heirs and next of kin.

What damages can you recover in Minnesota wrongful death claim?

The amount is one that a jury deems fair and just in reference to the “pecuniary loss” resulting from the death. Pecuniary loss includes both economic losses and non-economic losses:
• “Economic losses” include the money or the value of items that the decedent would likely have provided to the surviving spouse and next of kin had he or she lived out a natural life expectancy. It also includes funeral, burial and medical expenses.
• “Non-economic losses” include the reasonable value of the counsel, guidance, advice, assistance and protection which the decedent would have provided to the surviving spouse and next of kin.
Under Minnesota law, the following damages are not allowed as an item of recovery in a Wrongful Death claim: (1) damages for grief and were pain and suffering of the heirs and next of kin; and (2) damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering before death.

How does a court divide the recovery between the surviving spouse and next of kin?

If the case goes to trial and a jury decides upon awarding a recovery, the judge will ask the jury to determine the specific award amount for each. If the case settles before trial, a judge decides the division of the settlement after holding a hearing and taking evidence as to the amount of loss specifically attributable to each.
This often means that the surviving spouse will get a large portion of the settlement, but only if the evidence taken by the judge at the hearing supports that result. It can also mean that brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, will not always share equally unless they agree to do so.

Turn to Us for a Clear Evaluation of Your Wrongful Death Claim

If you believe your loved one died due to the negligence of willful act of another, turn to our team of experienced Wrongful Death lawyers. We will meet with you in a free consultation to discuss your situation and provide you with a clear evaluation of your potential claim.

To request your free consultation, call us today at 952-473-4530. We know picking up the phone right now may not be the easiest for you, so we also welcome inquiries via email.