An Experienced Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked Questions
January 15, 2024 – Paul W. Schroepfer & Robert A. Correia
Life can change in an instant. One careless driver, a faulty product, and suddenly you’re facing medical bills, lost wages, and an uncertain future. You ask: “Who will help? What can I do?”
As experienced Minneapolis personal injury lawyers, we have helped thousands of injury victims receive compensation for their injuries so they can focus on healing. Through this blog, our goal is to address some of the most pressing questions clients commonly ask us, and ease worries by providing guidance based on decades of representing real people in real cases.
Whether you’ve just begun to consider your legal options or are further along in your claim, we hope you find the answers helpful as you navigate your unique situation. If you need help with your claim, you have our commitment that we will treat your case—and your concerns—with empathy, care and skill every step of the way.
Call us at (612) 333-3343 to schedule a FREE case evaluation with an experienced Minnesota injury attorney. We’re committed to delivering individualized attention and vital support when you need it the most.
What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Case in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, a personal injury case arises when negligent conduct by another party directly causes you physical or mental harm. This “negligence” means someone owed you a duty of care, breached that duty through unreasonable actions or omissions, and the breach resulted in your injury.
Examples include vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers, slip-and-fall incidents due to poorly maintained premises, or medical malpractice leading to delayed diagnoses. However, the legal landscape extends beyond these common scenarios. If you’ve suffered harm from dog bites, defective products, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, or even workplace incidents, consulting with a Minnesota personal injury attorney can clarify your rights and options. Remember, legal intricacies and statutes of limitations apply, so seeking an experienced professional’s guidance early on is crucial for evaluating the viability of your claim.
How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Determining the potential value of your personal injury case is impossible to know without a thorough case-specific evaluation. Each claim is unique, with factors like the severity of your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress, and legal complexity significantly impacting the potential compensation. The type of insurance coverage and the amount of insurance coverage also plays into the potential value of a personal injury case.
While online calculators and general estimates may offer glimpses, they cannot replace the personalized assessment of an experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney. Factors like liability, evidence strength, case presentation, and negotiation strategies also play crucial roles. Remember, seeking legal counsel offers invaluable insight into the potential range of outcomes and helps you make informed decisions regarding your claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case?
While legal representation is not mandatory for a personal injury case in Minnesota, it is strongly recommended to consult with an experienced attorney. Navigating the complexities of personal injury law, from understanding negligence and damage calculations to negotiating with insurance companies and pursuing litigation if necessary, are challenging without legal expertise. An attorney can:
- Evaluate the strength of your case: They will analyze the facts, applicable laws, and evidence to determine whether you have a viable claim and its potential value.
- Protect your rights and interests: Your attorney will ensure you understand your legal options, advocate for fair compensation, and handle paperwork and deadlines effectively.
- Navigate complex legal processes: From filing claims to negotiating settlements or proceeding to trial, an attorney will guide you through each step, protecting your best interests.
- Maximize your potential compensation: Attorneys with experience in personal injury law often secure significantly higher compensation for their clients compared to those who represent themselves.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to hire an attorney is personal. Considering the legal complexities and potential financial benefits, consulting with a qualified attorney is a wise investment in protecting your rights and maximizing your chances of a successful outcome.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is six (6) years from the date of the injury. This crucial time frame dictates when you must have your legal claims settled or must file your lawsuit to pursue legal action. Important exceptions exist, such as:
- Medical malpractice: Four years to file your claim from the date the malpractice occurred.
- Wrongful death: Three years from the date of death, provided that the action must be commenced within six years after the act or omission.
- Minors: Generally, a minor has six years to sue (the regular statute of limitations) or until their 19th birthday, whichever is later.
Remember, these are general guidelines, and specific circumstances may alter the applicable timeframe.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Case?
In a successful Minnesota personal injury claim, you may be entitled to recover various types of damages to compensate you for the harm you suffered. These can be broadly categorized into:
These tangible losses directly translate to a monetary value, such as:
- Medical expenses: Past, present, and future costs associated with treating your injuries, including hospital bills, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: Income you were unable to earn due to your injury, and potential future earning capacity you may have lost.
- Property damage: Costs to repair or replace damaged personal belongings due to the incident.
These intangible losses represent the pain, suffering, and emotional distress you experience due to your injury, and are often more challenging to quantify. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering: Physical and emotional distress caused by your injury, including chronic pain, discomfort, and mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed due to your injury.
- Loss of consortium: Impact on your relationships with loved ones resulting from your injury.
- Punitive damages: In rare cases, the court may allow a claim to be made for punitive damages to punish the defendant for egregious conduct.
The specific types and amounts of damages recoverable depend on the unique circumstances of your case.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
If your personal injury claim in Minnesota is denied by the insurance company, do not despair. Denials are common, and several options remain available to pursue your case. Here’s a roadmap:
- Understand the reason for denial: Request a written explanation from the insurance company detailing the rationale behind their decision. This allows you and your attorney to identify potential misunderstandings or errors in their assessment.
- Negotiate or mediate: Often, open communication and negotiations with the insurance company can lead to a revised settlement offer. Your attorney can effectively advocate for your rightful compensation by presenting additional evidence or challenging their justifications.
- Pursue litigation: If negotiations fail, filing a lawsuit may be necessary. Your attorney will guide you through the legal process, gathering evidence, building your case, and representing you in court.
Remember, seeking legal counsel early is crucial. An experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney can navigate the complexities of insurance denials, protect your rights, and maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. They can advise on the optimal course of action, from further negotiations to litigation, ensuring you are well-prepared for each step.
How Much will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
In Minnesota, personal injury lawyer fees typically follow a contingency fee model, meaning you pay nothing upfront and only owe fees if your attorney successfully recovers compensation for you. The fee is usually a percentage of the awarded damages, ranging between ⅓ (33.33%) and 40%. While this may seem significant, it aligns your lawyer’s interests with yours, incentivizing them to maximize your recovery.
Remember, every personal injury case is unique. While these FAQs provide a general overview, the best way to get answers specific to your situation is to consult with an experienced Minneapolis personal injury lawyer.
Injured in Minnesota? Get Answers and Support Today
We understand every case is unique. If your specific question wasn’t covered in this blog, don’t hesitate to reach out. The experienced Minneapolis accident attorneys at Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia are here to provide clear answers, guidance, and unwavering support if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
Remember, we’re committed to delivering individualized attention and vital support when you need it the most.
Copyright © 2024. Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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