What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Hopkins, MN personal injury attorney, Douglas Schmidt discusses the concept of a wrongful death claim.

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A wrongful death claim is where a person has been killed as the result of the fault or the negligence of another person. And over the course of my career I’ve handled almost 70 wrongful death cases and they’re just oh, so sad. I think of one where a lady lost her 16-year old son and her mother in the same collision. Double death sandwiched between generations due to a drunk driver. And the wrongful death process is a somewhat complicated one. I’ve practiced in other states other than Minnesota where it’s done through the estate; the personal representative of the estate is the one that brings the claim.

In Minnesota, we have a special process for appointment of a trustee, which prevents individual family members from bringing separate claims. It all needs to be brought in one claim. And the amount of the recovery is for the aid, comfort, society, companionship, and support in addition to the loss of support if it’s a father or a wage earner. So under Minnesota law its spouse, parents, children and in some cases it can go to more distant relatives if that immediate circle is not complete.

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