Wrongful Death Claims: When Time is of the Essence

 In Personal Injury

This week I am going to address a topic which we as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, or relatives of any kind hope we never have to deal with: wrongful death cases. When writing about these cases, I can’t help but think of my wife and son and find it impossible to describe how I would feel if I lost either of them. Knowing this, when your loved one has been killed in an accident due to the negligence of another person, I’m sure the last thing on your mind is what kind of attorney to hire. This horrible time is one we never wish or could even imagine we would experience and is naturally wrought with overwhelming emotions. Yet it is at precisely this time that you need to have an experienced attorney in your corner to navigate the legal hurdles and ensure that you and your family are taken care of.

First off, what exactly is a wrongful death lawsuit? Basically, a wrongful death case is one which alleges that a family member was killed as the result of the negligence of another person or company. It is always brought by a surviving dependent or beneficiary of the deceased and claims that he/she is entitled to monetary damages as a result of the negligent party’s conduct. Under Minnesota law, a “surviving dependent or beneficiary” can be the spouse, children, parents, grandparents, or brothers and sisters of the deceased individual. The amount of monetary damages is limited to the actual “pecuniary loss” that resulted from the family member’s death, usually in the form of lost wages but often also including the services he/she provided and the loss of his/her aide, comfort, and love. If there is clear and convincing evidence that the negligent party deliberately disregarded the rights and safety of others, punitive damages may also be recovered.

While Minnesota statutes provide for three years from the date of the family member’s death to bring the claim, action on wrongful death cases must be taken immediately to secure evidence from the accident and to commence discussion with the insurance companies. In cases such as these, time really is of the essence. No one wants to deal with police reports, calls from the insurance adjusters, or hospital bills when they are grieving. Having a compassionate attorney you can trust with these details will not only take some weight off your shoulders but give you the peace of mind that your rights will be preserved and handled with dignity.

The majority of the wrongful death cases I have handled were former clients who knew they could call me in any situation. I hope that if you or anyone you know is ever facing this sort of tragedy that you can contact my office immediately.

Please call Daniel J. Brazil today at (612) 874-6109.

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