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From car accidents to defective product cases, hundreds of personal injuries occur throughout Southern Minnesota every year. When a personal injury leaves you with medical bills, pain, and emotional suffering, you have the right to file a civil action to recover compensation. To help you understand the litigation process, consult with a Mankato personal injury attorney today.
Southern Minnesota Car Accidents
Minnesota witnesses thousands of car accidents—many of them fatal—each and every year. While dangerous road conditions caused by poor weather may lead to an accident, the majority of vehicle accident types are caused as a direct result of driver error. Some of the most common acts of negligence that cause car accidents include:
- Alcohol use
- Distracted driving
- Driving at an unsafe speed
- Failure to stop/yield
- Aggressive driving
- Speeding Car Accident Claims
After a car accident, a victim may file a claim with his or her own insurance company under Minnesota’s no-fault laws. When damages total more than $4,000 or result in 60 or more days of disability, the victim can file a claim directly against the negligent driver. A car accident attorney can provide you with a better understanding of your right to file a civil action.
Other Personal Injury Claim Types
While car accidents are perhaps the greatest cause of injury in Mankato, they are by no means the only one. Other causes of injury, which may warrant a personal injury claim, include:
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
In a tort action, the victim must prove the negligence of the at-fault party in order to recover damages. Proving negligence means establishing that the at-fault party acted in a way that was unreasonable, irresponsible, and that was a breach of duty of care. Examples of negligence in personal injury claims include failing to maintain a property in a safe condition, distributing a product with a design or manufacturing defect, failing to yield to a pedestrian when required by law, or otherwise failing to take proper care when doing something. A Mankato attorney can help you to understand and prove negligence.
Damages Available and Statute of Limitations
If you can prove that your injuries would not have been sustained but for the negligent actions of the at-fault party, you can recover damages. Damages types that are available in personal injury claims in Minnesota include:
- Economic damages;
- Noneconomic damages; and
- Punitive damages
The first, economic damages, are damages that are paid to a plaintiff for all measurable financial losses. This may include medical bills, lost wages, or costs associated with rehabilitation.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are paid for intangible losses. These losses included mental anguish, as well as physical pain and suffering. If the injury has resulted in severe impairment, family members may even recover damages for loss of companionship.
Finally, punitive damages are rare, but may be sought in Minnesota. This damages type is only available when injuries were caused as a direct result of the at-fault party’s wanton or willful disregard for the victim’s health or safety. Essentially, harm must have been intentional in order for a victim to recover punitive damages.
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Minnesota is two years from the date that the injury occurred.
The Importance of a Personal Injury Attorney
When you’ve suffered financial, physical, and emotional losses, you deserve an advocate on your side who won’t give up on you. The experienced southern Minnesota personal injury attorneys at Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office Chtd. are ready to fight for your right to damages. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 507-625-5000 to schedule your initial case consultation.