When the negligence of a third party causes a person’s death, his or her family may be eligible for legal compensation. Minnesota allows the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, grandparents and/or siblings to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The court may also hear a civil lawsuit for wrongful death when the person fell victim to murder or manslaughter. 

If your family is facing this type of tragedy, learn more about seeking financial support from the responsible individual or business. 

Types of damages 

Family members can request legal compensation for both monetary and non-monetary costs associated with the person’s death, including: 

  • Loss of guidance, care and companionship 
  • Funeral costs 
  • Mental anguish 
  • Medical bills associated with the person’s illness or injury 
  • Loss of benefits, wages and income 
  • Loss of assistance, care, protection and services the deceased person performed 

Appointing a trustee 

The deceased person’s spouse has the primary right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If he or she was not married but had children, the children must file. Parents of the deceased can file when he or she was not married and had no children, followed by grandparents and siblings if the person’s parents are no longer living. 

Family members who do not want to file a lawsuit can appoint a trustee to do so in their stead or ask the court to do so. The chosen trustee must sign a consent form and take responsibility for taking the claim to court and distributing any lawsuit proceeds appropriately. 

Keep in mind that the family must file a wrongful death lawsuit within three years of the person’s death date. Failure to meet this statute of limitations will cause the dismissal of your case. However, exceptions do exist. For example, if Minnesota convicts the responsible party of murder, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit at any time either during the criminal proceedings or after sentencing.