Each state is subject to federal law governing all citizens of the United States. Also, states have the power to design and enact statutes governing their citizens when such laws do not conflict with federal law.
States carry personal injury laws in their statutes that may differ from one state to the next. The flexibility for states to create legislation means specific dangers problematic for that state activate stronger laws.
Codes governing personal injury in Minnesota
Several areas concern Minnesota residents when filing injury claims. New residents and long-term residents can find it helpful to review these laws; understanding new laws or legislative changes can help people maximize their right to compensation for personal injury. Some important things to know:
- Lawsuit time limits – An injured person has two years from the injury date to file a personal injury lawsuit in Minnesota civil court. Even if people negotiate to settle out of court, they may want to keep track of the time limit in case the proposed settlement is not acceptable and they need to go to court.
- Minnesota government time limits – An injury due to negligence or accident caused by state property defects or a state employee requires a formal claim no later than 180 days from the date of injury. This law also applies to a Minnesota city or county government-related injury.
- Comparative fault law – Minnesota assigns a percentage of blame for an accident-injury. If a person does not use the handrail and falls on slippery government building steps during a snowstorm, the injured person gets 15% of the blame while the government is 85% to blame. These percentages correspond to the total amount of damages awarded, so the person who fell receives 15% less than if he or she was holding onto the railing.
- Dog bite laws – Some states allow a dog owner’s animal one “free bite” if the dog has never attacked before. Minnesota law, however, does not allow any free bites. The first time a dog bites a victim without provocation, the dog owner must pay full compensation.
- Economic damage – Minnesota allows injured people to claim not just medical damage, but any out-of-pocket loss caused by their injury, such as medication, EMT or paramedic care, ambulance transport, hospital services and rehabilitation or other therapy.
- Property damage – People can claim compensation for property damaged in an accident.
- Non-economic damage – An injured person can also file for emotional harm such as PTSD, pain, suffering and loss of companionship, although these claims may be subjective and require a higher level of proof.
Sometimes, accidents occur to distracted people. Pedestrians endanger their lives every day when they cross a street while texting. It is better when people proactively avoid an accident by focusing attention on their environment and noting possible hazards. Minnesota laws are in place to protect victims injured by the intentional or negligent actions of others.