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When can families file wrongful death lawsuits in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2024 | Uncategorized

Certain life events can affect individuals emotionally, socially and financially. Losing a family member is one of those scenarios. Particularly when someone’s passing is sudden and unexpected, a death in the family can result in dire consequences for the people who survive.

There are certain legal protections in place for those who experience tragedies. Occasionally, those who have lost loved ones suddenly in Minnesota may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. People often feel uncertain about when wrongful death statutes apply to them.

When is a lawsuit an option for those left behind after someone dies?

When there is clear fault for the incident

The wrongful death statute in Minnesota is quite clear that litigation is only an option when there is a particular party at fault. Plaintiffs pursuing litigation need evidence supporting their claims that an individual or a business caused the death of their family member either through omissions or misconduct. Thankfully, the amount of evidence necessary isn’t as much as the state requires for a criminal conviction. Therefore, those denied justice in the criminal courts can sometimes hold an outside party accountable for someone’s death in the civil courts instead.

When there are financial losses

Litigation after a family tragedy is often as much about closure as it is compensation. However, to be able to file a lawsuit, those who have recently lost a loved one usually need evidence of economic losses. A reduction in household revenue due to someone’s lost income, funeral expenses and even lost household services previously provided by the deceased party can contribute to the economic value of a wrongful death lawsuit in Minnesota.

When they act quickly

Like most other types of lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations. People need to take legal action in a timely manner or run the risk of losing that option. Typically, the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate must initiate the lawsuit within three years of their death.

Families often have a hard time being objective about their circumstances after a tragedy. Talking about the situation that led to someone’s death with a skilled legal team may help people determine whether they are in a position to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit or not.