To the dismay of victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to another person’s conduct, many states have enacted legislation that limit non-economic damages in personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases.
In Minnesota there are no caps on damages awarded for personal injury, medical malpractice or wrongful death. The damages allowed in wrongful death cases include the damages that could have been recovered for the wrongful act if the decedent had lived.
However, Minnesota has limited the amount of punitive damages that may be recovered. Punitive damages are awarded as compensation for willful and malicious acts. In Minnesota, punitive damages are generally limited to three times the compensatory damages, or $500,000, whichever is greater. But in personal injury cases, the ceiling is $1,500,000. These punitive damages limitations inapplicable to actions for wrongful death or for intentional infliction of physical injury.
The statute of limitations is a law that restricts the time within which legal proceedings may be brought. If a claimant does not file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, he or she will forever lose the right to bring a claim. In Minnesota, the statute of limitations for claims of personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death is two years.
Contingent fees are the norm for lawyers representing plaintiffs in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Typically, a lawyer will have clients sign a contingent fee agreement authorizing a percentage fee based upon the total amount recovered. This lawyer’s fee is calculated by applying the agreed upon percentage to all amounts recovered.
The Minnesota ethics code requires that an attorney’s contingent fee be reasonable. Rule 1.5(a), Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits attorneys from charging excessive fees.
Minnesota nursing or boarding care residents have certain legal rights that are intended to protect them during their stay in a healthcare facility. The following is a summary of some of the most important care and treatment rights that are guaranteed to each nursing home resident. Under the law, nursing home and boarding care facilities are required to post a complete copy of state and federal rights in a public area of the facility. Furthermore, residents have the following rights:
Minnesota passed assisted living legislation to help protect the public by requiring assisted living facilities to offer basic services and to clearly state what services are offered to residents. Under this legislation, consumers can more easily compare assisted living facilities and choose one with the appropriate level of care.
Under Minnesota law, if a facility is classified as an assisted living facility it must provide basic services, such as on-call 24 hour nursing access and help with services such as laundry, meals, transportation and at least three activities of daily living.
In addition, Minnesota has enacted an Assisted Living “Bill of Rights” to protect and promote the rights of residents. The law can be found at Minnesota Statutes Chapter 144G. Some highlights of the law include assuring residents the following rights:
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The legal statutes, laws and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.
Image via Flickr via Dustin Gaffke