For many years the law in Minnesota, as in most states, was that if someone was killed by the negligence of another person, the deceased’s claims for damages would die with them. Times changed however, and the Minnesota legislature recognized the fundamental unfairness of this law. As a result, they passed statutes to allow surviving family members to file a claim for the wrongful death of a loved one. Over the years, the legislature gradually increased the maximum recovery to its current law, which provides no specific cap on the amount of damages, although it does limit damages to “pecuniary loss” only.

Many factors are considered when determining the amount of pecuniary loss suffered, including the following:

1. The life expectancy of the deceased;

2. Occupation of the deceased;

3. Past earnings of the deceased;

4. Personal living expenses of the deceased;

5. Health of the deceased;

6. Age of the deceased;

7. Talents of the deceased;

8. Success of the deceased;

9. Medical expenses prior to death; and

10. Aid, comfort and advice the deceased would have provided had they lived.

There are many circumstances in which a wrongful death claim can be considered, based upon on the negligence of another. These cases include, but are not limited to:

  • CAR AND MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS: Drunk driving, speeding, violation of traffic statutes, among others.
  • TRUCK ACCIDENTS: Speeding, mechanical defects, violation of traffic statutes, violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Carrier regulations, among others.
  • MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: Mistakes in diagnosis or treatment, surgical errors, prescription errors, and more.
  • DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS: Toxic food issues including negligent production, inspection and packaging; defective consumer products, including unsafe design, guarding or warning; a vehicle defect in braking, steering, etc., and more.

Nelson Personal Injury has substantial experience handling all types of wrongful death claims. Contact us for a free case evaluation at