Life is precious for Minnesota residents, and it can change in an instant on any ordinary day. A simple drive to work or the grocery store can turn into a life-changing moment when a car accident occurs. These incidents typically occur with little to no warning, and are often caused by someone else’s poor driving or mistakes that should never have occurred.
For instance, one Minnesota resident was recently killed when she was struck by a vehicle that ran a stop sign while travelling nearly 20 miles over the speed limit. The 42-year-old mother was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the vehicle that struck her was charged with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide after it was discovered he was drunk driving at the time of the crash.
Typically, when a person is injured in a car accident, he or she can sue the negligent driver in a personal injury action to obtain relief. When the individual is killed as a result of the crash, the legal action may still be brought as a wrongful death action against those responsible for the crash. In those instances, the family members of the deceased person typically pursue the legal claim on behalf of their loved one who was killed. Damages can be awarded to the deceased person’s estate, as well as to family members who suffered their own damages through the loss of a loved one.
For instance, the loss of a spouse can be traumatic in multiple ways and leave a deep impact. There is not only an emotional toll from the death of the loved one, but a financial toll as well because of the spouse’s lost income. The legal system recognizes these different aspects by allowing for an award of damages for loss of companionship, loss of income and other kinds of damages that are suffered when a loved one is killed by someone else’s negligence.
The bottom line is that legal relief is available when tragic accidents take the lives of Minnesota residents. Different claims may be available depending on whether a person was killed in the crash, but those who caused the crash may be held legally responsible in either event for all the damage they caused.
Source: CBS Minneapolis, “Charges: Driver drunk in Inver Grove Heights fatal crash,” Reg Chapman, Oct. 27, 2015