Death of a loved one is the worst thing we go through. All those irritating problems in your life suddenly seem unimportant. All the joys of life are muted when you’re mourning a family member, especially after an unexpected death. And when you talk to a lawyer, you find out that the damages your family could receive under the old Minnesota law were very. The legislature and the governor have now fixed that law to provide a full measure of compensation where a person that has been injured by negligence dies.
The legislature passed the Omnibus Judiciary and Public Safety Bill, and May 20, 2023, it became the law of Minnesota. Family members of injured people that are killed can now claims for all the damages of a personal injury claim (pain, suffering, embarrassment, emotional distress, disability and disfigurement) along with the traditional wrongful death damages. And it affects all cases out there that haven’t bee settled.
Under the old law, when a person with a personal injury claim died, the case pretty much disappeared. If the death was a coincidence and not resulting from the personal injury, only medical bills and lost earnings could be claimed by the surviving family.
If the death was caused by the injury, the family could also claim lost “counsel, guidance and aid” and “advice, comfort, assistance, companionship and protection.”
The old law allowed no damages for pain, suffering, embarrassment, emotional distress, disability and disfigurement. Those claims literally died with the victim. Not any more. The personal injury claims can now be made by the family.
This dramatic and important legal change is law right now! Every such case should now be worth more. Ask your lawyer, because some of them don’t know!
Obviously, death of a loved one is horrible. Money, no matter how much, can never replace a lost loved one. But at least the law is now a little bit fairer, and does not reward insurance adjusters that drag their feet, waiting for an injured person to die so they can save money.
As a partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Joe Crumley has over 30 years experience helping injured people and their families to secure just and fair compensation. Excelling in personal injury litigation, Mr. Crumley has secured numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements and won accolades such as MTLA’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year” and “Excellence” Awards.