A “wrongful death” lawsuit is about more than money
Here’s what you need to know about the law if a loved one died in a preventable accident or injury.
There is no tragedy comparable to the needless and preventable death of a loved one. In the aftermath of such a loss, it can be difficult to do anything. Simply living day-to-day is likely your first priority; putting one foot in front of the other is enough.
A lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind.
But it can be a mistake to dismiss the idea of a personal injury lawsuit after the death of a loved one. While no amount of money is equal to the hole left by the passing of your loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit isn’t about simple financial compensation.
Obtaining knowledge, closure and a measure of justice
A wrongful death lawsuit is about helping you recover after experiencing a tragedy. Among other benefits, a wrongful death lawsuit can help you get closure. An experienced personal injury firm can discover just what caused an accident, injury or illness. We can discover the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate passing of a loved one.
A lawsuit can also draw attention to the issue of what caused your loved one’s passing. Whether it was a drunk or distracted driver, inattentive safety measures at a construction site, or an unsafe product, a wrongful death lawsuit can bring needed attention to the issue. No drunk driver wants to be responsible for the death of an innocent person, and no company wants the bad press associated with selling a harmful product. Wrongful death lawsuits can help prevent future misconduct by drawing attention to bad behavior.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Minnesota allows the immediate family members of people killed “by wrongful act or omission” to sue on behalf of the deceased. Minnesota courts will allow you to step in on behalf of your loved one to sue, as your loved one would have if he or she had only been injured.
But Minnesota law also recognizes the damage to family members caused when a loved one tragically dies.
Recovery takes time – and financial help
In a lawsuit against the party responsible, you may be able to receive financial help with the losses associated with the death of a loved one. You can also get help with funeral expenses, medical bills incurred prior to your loved one’s passing, and other financial compensation.
In Minnesota, it is also possible to obtain punitive damages, when appropriate, which is a financial penalty intended to deter future similar conduct. A punitive award is basically a deterrent so that other people will not suffer from the same behavior that your loved one experienced.
Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney with questions
While it is understandably difficult to speak to an attorney about a personal tragedy, there are deadlines for filing a wrongful death claim.
If you are ready to discuss filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the attorneys at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., are ready to help.