Personal Injury -- Plaintiff Law

Minnesota Personal Injury Laws

Living with an injury can disrupt your life. You may need to take time off of work to heal or attend medical appointments, your health care bills can start to pile up, and you may miss out on activities you’d normally be able to participate in.

It can be difficult to tackle these challenges on your own. But if someone else caused your injury, you may not have to bear the brunt of the financial burden.

Personal injury lawsuits can help you recover monetary damages from the person who hurt you, including the cost of medical care, pain and suffering, and lost wages from missing work. The goal of compensation in a personal injury case is to improve your circumstances to get you as close to where you’d have been had the injury not occurred.

Each state has its own rules about personal injury suits. Whether you were injured in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, or Duluth, you’ll need to pay attention to Minnesota’s specific requirements.

What Kind of Injury Can You Sue For in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, most injuries that someone else caused could be grounds for a personal injury suit, whether it was an intentional or an accidental harm:

  • Intentional harm occurs in cases like battery, where someone purposefully made harmful contact with you, whether the actual injury itself was intended or not. For example, if someone punches you during an argument and breaks your nose, you likely have a case for an intentional personal injury. You could recover any and all costs related to your injury.
  • Negligent harm is usually some type of accident, where the accident could have been prevented if the person who hurt you was more careful. For example, if you were out hunting and accidentally shot by another hunter who fired their gun carelessly, you may be able to build a case for negligent personal injury. They could be held financially responsible for your recovery.
  • Strict liability harm is typically an accident that happened though no real fault of the person who injured you. For example, if a road crew is blasting rock and took every reasonable safety measure, but a falling rock still hit and injured you, that might be a case for personal injury. A court could award you financial compensation for your injuries.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Suit in Minnesota?

Every state has a statute of limitations, or deadline, for when you need to file your personal injury lawsuit. If you’re suing a specific person or non-government group for your injuries, you usually have a 2-year limit for filing your suit in Minnesota. If it was a government employee or agency who hurt you, however, you only have 180 days to file your claim.

Are There Any Personal Injury Restrictions in Minnesota?

Minnesota operates under a “comparative fault” rule. That means that if your actions somehow contributed to your injury, your compensation could be reduced or prevented altogether. Say you were hit by a car while you were walking in a crosswalk. If the driver was texting while driving and didn’t see you as a result, they could be responsible for a negligent injury for not operating their vehicle with the standard level of care. If you were in that crosswalk during a “don’t walk” sign, however, you may be found partially responsible for your injuries. During your civil trial for personal injury, the court will need to determine how much your actions contributed to your injury. If they decide you were 40 percent at fault, you can only recover 60 percent of the damages you seek. That means a $10,000 lawsuit could only pay out a maximum of $6,000. If you were found to be more at fault than the other party, however, you often won’t be allowed to recover anything.

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