Minnesota, with all of its outdoor pursuits (it is called "bluff country," after all) is no stranger to personal injury and negligence cases. As it gains more residents, car accidents are also on the rise. Sometimes it's impossible to know where to pin liability. It might have been you who experienced a life-changing accident; maybe it was a friend or family member. Whatever happened, if you need guidance for your personal injury case, Enjuris has the answers.
Minnesota Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
Minnesota statutes online
This is where you’ll find Minnesota's laws. The website has details about how long you have to bring a case, monetary limits on personal injury cases (also known as damage caps), and other important information.
In Minnesota, you have two years to bring a personal injury lawsuit, but six years for a property damage claim. That means you have only two years to file your paperwork with the court, not that your case has to be completed in that time frame.
The initial meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free. (Note that other legal specialties, such as intellectual property law or taxation law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will take a third of the eventual reward or settlement, plus whatever office expenses they incurred.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't determined by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something different.
These are some cases of legal significance that came out of the Minnesota courts:
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931): This is one of the country's most important First Amendment cases on record. It evolved during the era of Yellow Journalism, when news was sensational and built much on hype (much like it is now). The state of Minnesota came out with a gag law that allowed a judge, acting without a jury, to permit the prior restraint of any material he felt was lewd, lascivious, obscene, scandalous, defamatory, etc. The also provided that the periodical could be enjoined from further publication. Near, an infamous publisher and known muckraker, challenged the law with the help of the ACLU after the law was first applied to his weekly newspaper, The Saturday Press. It was a very close call, but he prevailed, as the First Amendment rules out prior restraint, a clear form of censorship.
Tatro v. University of Minnesota, No. A10-1440 (Minn. 2012): Amanda Tatro was a junior in the University of Minnesota mortuary program when she made some colorful remarks on her personal Facebook page. Another student brought them to the attention of the administration, who felt they were threatening and decided she was in need of an ethics course, a failing grade and other punishments. Tatro and the ACLU claimed this was a violation of her freedom of speech. The reason this case is interesting is because of the cases used to compare her conduct; Tinker v. Des Moines Independent County School District and Bethel County School District No. 403 v. Fraser are both grade school cases that do not adequately apply to a college-level woman, as her conduct did not rise to a material disruption, and that was the ACLU's main argument. The Minnesota Supreme Court did not entirely agree, though they did say that Tinker did not apply to these facts. Tatro unexpectedly passed away days after losing the case, though the cause of death remains unclear.
Booker v. Special School District No. 1, 351 F. Supp. 799 (D. Minn. 1972): no follow link: This was a very complicated, thoughtful case in which the court held the Minneapolis school district in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Three of the district's elementary schools had more than 70% minority enrollment, even though fewer than 10% of the district's students were black. Judge Earl Larson stated that the district's actions had fostered segregation and ordered steps to take affirmative action. This resulted in harassment, threatening phone calls, and even death threats to the judge. The road to desegregation was long and hard; by 1983, Judge Larson dissolved the judicial order and relinquished jurisdiction over the Minneapolis public schools, allowing them the autonomy and opportunity to discover judicial and constitutional compliance.
There are many issues you can solve without the help of a lawyer, surprisingly enough. If you don't know where to begin, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like LexisNexis or Westlaw.