A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. The lawsuit may be filed on behalf of members of the deceased person’s family who have suffered economic and/or non-economic loss as a result of the death.
In Minnesota, the statute of limitations to being a claim for wrongful death is three (3) years from the date of death. This means that if you fail to bring a claim within this time, you may lose the ability to ever commence a wrongful death lawsuit. An exception to this statute of limitations is if the death is caused by the intentional act of murder. In such a case, a claim may be brought any time after the date of death. Similarly, if the death is caused by medical malpractice, the laws pertaining to medical malpractice control how much time you have to bring the claim.
In wrongful death cases, the family of the deceased is allowed to recover “pecuniary damages.” Pecuniary damages generally mean the reasonable value of counsel, guidance, advice assistance and protection which the decedent would have otherwise provided to the family. Pecuniary damages also include monetary loss such as the loss of financial support the decedent would have otherwise provided the family or expenses incurred by the family as a result of the death such as the funeral and burial expenses.
If you are seeking additional information on wrongful death claims, please contact me. At Rinke Noonan, we offer a free consultation to review your claim and answer your questions on any wrongful death or personal injury matter. You may contact us at (320) 251-6700 to schedule an appointment.
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