Role of a Custodial Parent in Family Law in Minnetonka

The aim of family law in Minnetonka is to help lawmakers make custody determinations that bring about stability in the lives of the children involved. The custody decisions enable the children, regardless of their age, to have a place they can call home, along with a sense of security. Needless to say, all custody determinations in Minnesota are made in keeping with the “best interests” of the children, without losing sight of child support laws 2018.

Under state law, family law in Minnetonka acknowledges two types of custody: legal and physical custody. Here’s a brief explanation of both.

1. Legal custody: This refers to the decision-making process involving crucial life choices for minor children. The parent with legal custody makes important decisions related to the child’s religion, medical care, and education, and schooling, among others.

2. Physical custody: This impacts the primary residence of minor children. The parent with physical custody is the one with whom the minor children will reside.

Broadly speaking, the custodial parent is the primary parent who the children live with. This usually means that the court has granted primary legal or physical custody to one of the parents, or the parents have made a mutual agreement, or only one parent is present in the children’s lives. Being the custodial parent, therefore, comes with several responsibilities.

The following tips are meant to help custodial parents in Minnesota better understand their role in raising their children.

1. Create and Follow a Visitation Schedule

The custodial parent should create a parenting plan and schedule with the non-custodial parent. Doing so will help you come up with a concrete visitation schedule. In the absence of such a parenting plan, the Minnesota court will enforce a visitation schedule for both parents to follow. If the visitation schedule needs any changes, the custodial parent should give the non-custodial parent advance notice about it.

2. Protect the Best Interests of Your Children

Family law in Minnetonka emphasizes the “best interests of the child” as the legal standard when pronouncing any child custody-related verdicts. The best interests of the child, essentially, means that the parents will always place the needs of their children before their own. This is done to ensure that the children’s physical and mental well-being are taken into account before any decision is made.

3. Consult the Non-Custodial Parent Whenever Necessary

A parent who shares joint custody of the children should make it a point to involve their ex whenever a meaningful issue related to their children’s upbringing springs up. It is important to remember that children need both their parents as they’re growing up. Have an honest discussion about how you and your ex will manage your children’s upbringing and the various challenges that come with it. This will help you put a plan of action in place, which can be implemented as and when required.

4. Record Child Support Payments

Your lawyer may have already acquainted you with the child support laws of 2018. Accordingly, if you receive child support payments, it is important that you chronicle them as they come in. This will help you gather proof of payment, in case you need to request back child support payments in court.

5. Inform the Non-Custodial Parent If Moving out of Minnesota with Children

If you desire to relocate with your children, you should discuss the matter with the non-custodial parent before acting on it. This is because family law in Minnetonka gives the non-custodial parent the right to know about the whereabouts of their children. Further, the non-custodial may approach the court for changing the child custody verdict as a result of your uninformed relocation.

Remember, the court will take into account multiple factors before allowing you to relocate. This is different from taking a vacation with your children though, in which case, the court may still ask you to inform the non-custodial parent about the vacation beforehand.


6. Consult the Non-Custodial Parent before Incurring Huge Childcare Expenses

If your ex is liable for covering half of the childcare expenses or extraordinary medical expenses of your children, you should consult with them before making any major related expenses. These reasons with the intention of upholding the best interest of the child. It is important to ensure that your ex is, in fact, capable of covering major costs. This, however, does not mean that you cannot make expensive purchases. The resolution can be as simple as waiting until payday and then making the purchase.


As you can see, being the custodial parent is no walk in the park. While you do get to share your home and life with your children, you also have certain responsibilities towards family law in Minnetonka as well as the non-custodial parent. The above tips will help you better understand your role in your children’s lives and make sound decisions in their best interests.

Reach out to Our Seasoned Family Lawyer in Minnetonka Today

Custody decisions can be life-changing for parents as well as children. Make sure your children are always under the best care and that their interests are well-protected. Our skilled legal team at Carlson & Jones, P.A. will help you understand family law in Minnetonka as well as its implications on your life. Call us right away at (855) 976-2444 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us via our website.

Divorce Lawyer in Minnetonka Tells You How to Dress for Court Hearings

When getting divorced, your primary focus would be on finding the best divorce lawyer in Minnetonka and ensuring your and your children’s well-being. However, you will also need to take care of a few other things that will play a crucial role in your divorce proceedings.

Although your case is less likely to go to trial, you will still need to appear for hearings. When appearing in court, your divorce lawyer in Minnetonkawill most probably wear a suit. The question is, what should you wear as a client?

Most people decide to wing it instead of paying attention to their attire. However, as first impressions often go a long way in influencing the outcome of your case, you will need to dress appropriately.

A. Dressing Tips for Women

The court is a dignified and formal environment, where you will need to dress appropriately. Women need to take extra care as they often face the added pressure of striking the right impression due to our social structure.

Here’s what a leading divorce lawyer in Minnetonka, like us, would suggest.

1. Don’t Be Bold

Bright colors and loud prints may have been your thing. However, it is best to avoid bold clothing and styles in court. You are not here to make a fashion statement. That’s why neutral colors and classic clothing styles can create a better impression in a courtroom.

2. Don’t Use Too Much Makeup

Using too much lipstick and fake eyebrows, among other things, is likely to create a negative impression. Have you ever seen a woman divorce lawyer in Buffalo or Minnetonka wear bright red lipstick and large false eyelashes in a courtroom? Probably not! You should also try to choose a more neutral or subtle makeup palette when appearing before the judge.

3. Go Easy on Piercings

During our courtroom appearances as a divorce lawyer in Minnetonka, we have seen those body piercings and even tattoos often attract attention, and not in a good way. Try to keep body piercings to a minimum. Small piercings are less likely to be noticed. If you can, take out all your piercings before your first hearing itself.

4. Formal Attire Works Best

Just like your divorce lawyer in Buffalo or Minnetonka, it is also best if you can wear a formal dress. You can wear a knee-length or longer dress that isn’t too revealing. If you are wearing a skirt and a blouse, make sure to choose a knee-length or longer skirt and a formal blouse or top.

Never ever dress in a see-through blouse, top, or dress. Low-cut clothing is also a strict no-no. You can wear a formal business suit or long pants with a sweater, plain t-shirt, or casual shirt.

B. Dressing Tips for Men

Although men are not as much under pressure as women, they also need to dress appropriately in court. Men also face a natural bias, especially when it comes to child custody. If you don’t appear properly dressed in court, it could result in a bad impression. That, in turn, can affect your chances of winning primary child custody.

Here’s what you should do.

1. Wear a Well-Pressed Suit and Tie

Just like your divorce lawyer in Minnetonka, you should also wear formal clothing. A well-pressed suit and a tie are often a man’s best friend in the courtroom. If you are not keen on going 100% formal or want to tone down your appearance, try a well-ironed button-down shirt with formal pants or plain jeans.

2. Avoid Baggy Clothing

Whatever you do, avoid wearing baggy clothing at all costs. Men also need to refrain from wearing revealing clothing like a muscle shirt, ripped or torn jeans, baggy pants that go below west, and shorts. Your Minnetonka divorce lawyer would also advise you to not wear T-shirts or jackets with inappropriate emblems, images, or phraseology.

3. Remove Tattoos and Piercings

Men also have tattoos, body art, and piercings. However, anything that a judge is likely to deem inappropriate needs to go away. You can talk to your divorce lawyer in Minnetonka about this issue. Keeping piercings and tattoos hidden or to a minimum can create a better impression.

4. Clean Shave Is a Must

Make sure you are well-groomed before appearing in court. You shouldn’t look like you just got out of bed or you are still hung-over. You should have a clean shave and a tidy appearance. If you have a beard, make sure to trim it before each hearing.


When it comes to divorce hearings, the impression does matter. You need to look your best, especially when you stand before a judge asking to be the custodial parent. Dressing appropriately can also increase your confidence and help you keep your bearings during the proceedings. Hopefully, the above tips will be helpful to those seeking a divorce in Minnesota.

Call the Best Divorce Lawyer in MinnetonkaToday!

Getting a divorce is often easier said than done. You need to have an experienced and skilled divorce lawyer in Minnetonkaon your side when filing for legal separation. Carlson & Jones, P.A. is the best family law firm with offices across Minnesota. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know how we can help.

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Brainerd Clear 5 DWI Misconceptions

As seasoned Minnesota criminal defense attorneys, we know that driving while impaired (DWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in our state. It can attract hefty fines and penalties, and even result in the loss of your driver’s license.

However, the subject of DWI tends to garner a lot of misinformation, especially on the internet. With numerous DWI misconceptions doing the rounds, it is crucial to clear the air and gain factual insights.

If you are facing DWI charges in Minnesota, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind. In this post, our criminal defense lawyers in Brainerd attempt to arm you with the right information, so you can respond to your charges in the best way possible.

Myth I. Placing a Penny in Your Mouth Will Fool the Breathalyzer

Fact: This is possibly the most common myth. Putting a penny in your mouth will not lower the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) count on the breathalyzer.

It is believed that the metal reacts with the breathalyzer and produces a fake negative result. However, this is merely a theory and isn’t supported by any scientific study or evidence. So, there is no reason to believe in it.

In fact, several substances, like mouthwash or tobacco, when put in your mouth may end up raising your BAC artificially. This, in turn, can lead to a false-positive result during a breath test, resulting in an arrest.

Myth II.  It Is Impossible to Win a DWI Case

Fact: In Minnesota, a DWI charge is taken extremely seriously. Hence, cases may be complex, but they certainly aren’t impossible to win. Most DWI cases involve a criminal charge and a civil driver’s license case. However, you can minimize the impact of DWI on your life with the help of various legal strategies.

A criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd can be of great help. From reviewing police reports to finding mistakes in the evidence against you and even getting the charges dismissed, the right attorney can work wonders for your case.

Myth III. You Have to Answer All Police Questions

Fact: Believing in this misconception can land you in hot water. The police may ask you several case-related questions to gather incriminating evidence against you. By answering their questions, you may just hand it to them on a platter. Any criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd will, therefore, recommend you to avoid talking to the police without seeking legal advice.

While you may answer the basic questions related to identifying yourself and providing appropriate proof of insurance, it is best to not respond to any other questions.

A lot of people accused of DWI make the blunder of lying to the police. This can result in further investigation and can multiply your criminal charges. It is best to remain quiet rather than speak lies to the police.

Get in touch with your Minnesota criminal defense attorney as soon as you get the chance. This way, your lawyer will be around to advise you about what to say to the police, in an attempt to minimize your charges or even get them dismissed.

Myth IV. DWI Is a Minor Offense

Fact: As mentioned, DWI is considered a severe offense, which comes with several repercussions. In fact, DWI laws get tougher every year, with increased penalties and more stringent prosecution of those accused. This isn’t going to change in the future.

All through the USA, DWI charges have become increasingly serious over the years. It is, therefore, critical that those accused of DWI understand their rights and navigate the legal system prudently.

Myth V. A Lawyer Cannot Help You

Fact: This is a complete falsehood. Depending on the facts of your DWI case, a well-practiced criminal defense attorney in Brainerd can help you achieve encouraging results. In fact, if your case is particularly complex, your lawyer can prove to be indispensable.

When you hire an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney, you will have someone to guide you through the complicated legal maze. Lawyers know how the legal system works and understand what a “positive” outcome in your case would look like.

They are also aware of the appropriate sentences and can use their experience and knowledge to minimize the repercussions of a DWI charge on your life. They know what your rights are, and will help you uphold them to put up a good fight.


If you are facing DWI charges, you know you have the uphill task of clearing your name ahead of you. If convicted, you may have to pay huge fines and penalties, risk losing your driver’s license, and even face jail time. With our criminal defense lawyers in Brainerd clearing up the above most common misconceptions surrounding DWI charges, you should be able to determine the right course of action for your case.

Reach out to a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Lawyer in Brainerd

When dealing with a DWI charge in Minnesota, you need to act fast. Contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Brainerd is a great first move. Our skilled legal team at Carlson & Jones, P.A. adopts an aggressive approach to DWI, which helps us achieve positive outcomes for our clients. Call us right away at (855) 976-2444 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us via our website.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Brainerd Bust 5 Common Myths

When you are involved in a car crash, you need to get the required medical attention immediately. The aftermath of a car crash is never easy to deal with. You will most likely end up with expensive medical bills, little or no income, and maybe even a permanent disability.

To recover these losses, you will need to file a personal injury claim. While this is the best course of action, you need to ensure to do it right. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths flying around about the personal injury claims process. As a result, most people either fail to file a lawsuit or settle for less.

Let’s take a closer look at the most common myths surrounding personal injury claims.

1. Minnesota Personal Injury Claim Takes Years

Probably the most common myth is that a Minnesota personal injury claim can take years to resolve. The truth is, each personal injury claim is unique, making it difficult to determine the exact timeline. Usually, a complicated case may take longer to resolve than a simple one.

The timeline will also change depending on whether your case goes to trial. Trials are usually lengthy and expensive. However, most personal injury cases don’t go to trial. Most cases get resolved the moment both parties reach a reasonable settlement. To get a better idea of how long your case can take, make sure to consult experienced personal injury lawyers in Brainerd.

2. Fault Doesn’t Matter in Minnesota

When it comes to car crashes, Minnesota is one of the few no-fault states in the US. In this system, your own insurance company will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and replacement expenses. You will get this compensation regardless of who caused the accident.

However, the insurance company will cover these costs only up to your Personal Injury Protection or PIP limit. Also, you can’t claim compensation for your pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages under the no-fault system.

If you have incurred medical expenses of more than $4000 and/or suffered 60 days of disability, permanent injury, or permanent disfigurement, you can step outside of the “no-fault” system. As you will be pursuing a claim against the at-fault person, you will need to prove the fault. When you step outside the no-fault system, you can claim compensation for pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages.

3. You Don’t Need a Lawyer

Technically, you can file a personal injury claim on your own. However, the Minnesota personal injury law is quite complicated, making it difficult for you to get the best possible compensation. Furthermore, most insurance companies are looking to save money. As a result, they will offer the lowest possible compensation and try to settle the case as quickly as possible.

It is also possible that your minor injuries may develop complications down the line, resulting in considerable medical expenses. Each hospital visit will dig a hole into your savings. As a result, you are better off hiring one of the most experienced personal injury lawyers in Brainerd, no matter how minor your injuries look.

4. You Can File a Claim Anytime You Want

When you are in a car crash, you need to focus on your treatment first. However, you cannot wait to file your personal injury lawsuit until you have fully recovered. Serious injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. In Minnesota, there is a strict time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

As per Minnesota’s personal injury statute of limitations, you have a two-year deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The deadline begins on the date of the said accident. In most cases, filing a claim after the deadline will result in immediate dismissal.

However, there a few exceptions when you are allowed to file a lawsuit even after the deadline has passed. Most personal injury lawyers in Brainerd can tell you how the statute of limitations applies to your claim only after a careful review. Make sure to consult an attorney soon.

5. Partly At-Fault Means Zero Compensation

You can file a personal injury claim though you were partly responsible for the accident. In Minnesota, the court offers each party a fault rating. You will receive compensation based on your rating.

If you have a lower fault rating, you are likely to receive higher compensation and vice versa. You must, however, remember that these rules apply if you step outside the no-fault system. Also, there are no guarantees of how much compensation you will receive or whether you will receive it at all.

More often than not, insurance companies use every possible defense to avoid paying. The smartest thing to do is hire an attorney with an excellent track record and experience.


Given the amount of misinformation out there, making an informed decision when filing a personal injury lawsuit is not easy. To help you find the truth, we have debunked the five most common myths associated with filing a personal injury claim in Minnesota. Hopefully, these tips will help you decide your next course of action.

Consult the Leading Personal Injury Lawyers in Brainerd Today!

If you or your loved one has been in a car crash in Minnesota, there is no need to look beyond Carlson & Jones, P.A. to fight for your rights. As one of the best personal injury lawyers in Brainerd, we will help you get fair compensation. You can call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know how we can help.

How to Win Full Child Custody as Per Family Law in Buffalo, MN

When children are involved, the trickiest and most challenging factor in a divorce is child custody. As both parents are equally entitled to get custody of their children, the battle to win full or sole custody often drags on for years.

If your spouse is unwilling to compromise or wants to harass you, they will block your every attempt to win full custody of your kids. As professional divorce attorneys in Buffalo, we have come across more than a few such cases. However, the court will always take the children’s best interest into consideration when making child custody decisions.

A. Becoming the Custodial Parent

In Minnesota, the court awards two types of child custody: physical and legal custody.

Physical custody determines where the children will live after the divorce, and the parent awarded this custody raises the children. Like most states, physical custody is often awarded to one parent in Minnesota as well. The other parent gets visitation rights.

Legal custody involves the right to make important decisions about the children, such as religious upbringing, medical and healthcare, and education. Usually, the court will award legal custody to both parents.

Most parents want to win primary physical custody and become a custodial parent. As the court has the final say in this matter, you need to hire a lawyer who knows the divorce law in Buffalo inside-out. Only an experienced, professional, and skilled lawyer can help you become a custodial parent.

B. Tips to Win Full Custody

As mentioned, the court considers the best interest of the children when making the custody decision. There are a few ways to prove to the court that you are worthy of raising your child. If you can prove this, the court may award you full custody.

1. UnderstandFamily Law

The first step is to understand the family law in your jurisdiction. While you can find a lot of information online, it is better to consult an attorney practicing family law in Buffalo. They can help you understand the factors that courts usually consider when determining child custody.

Furthermore, each child custody case is unique. So, consulting a divorce attorney in Buffalo will help you know exactly where you stand. For example, in most cases, the court will award joint legal custody while awarding physical custody to only one parent. In some cases, however, one parent can get both legal and physical custody. Talk to your lawyer to know the most likely outcome in your case and how to proceed.

2. Try to Be a Better Parent

When seeking sole custody, you should focus on being a better parent. In other words, you will need to ensure your children’s physical as well as mental well-being. Make sure you are aware of their routine. Keep track of all their school activities, medical appointments, sleeping and eating habits, and social interactions.

You will also need to look after the mental well-being of your kids. You need to help your children adjust to their new lifestyle. Divorce can be hard on many children. So, you will need to be extra careful during this time. As a better parent, the court will expect you to provide your kids with an overall healthy lifestyle. Be sure to provide them with it.

3. Be Practical and Honest

Although family law in Buffalo allows you to get full custody, you need to be practical. You need to consider your work schedule, location, and income, among other things, before you decide to fight for sole custody.

For example, if you are working two jobs, you are less likely to spend time with your kids. Would you rather your kids spent time with your ex or a nanny? It is usually in the best interest of children to be with their parents.

If your current work location is in a different city, state, or country, you will need to consider if your children can adapt to this change. As your kids are going through considerable emotional stress already, the last thing you would want is to take them away from their friends.

That’s why you should always be practical and honest when making custody-related requests in court. Being unreasonable will only turn the odds against you. You can talk to your lawyer and even your ex to work out a solution suitable for everyone.

4. Document Your Actions

As per the family law in Buffalo, the burden of proof lies on the parents. You may already be a better parent than your ex or soon-to-be-ex. However, you will need to prove it in court. You will need to gather evidence to prove your active involvement in your children’s lives.

So, you need to maintain your own records of everything, including parenting schedule, school activities, and visitation schedule, among other things. You can talk to your lawyer to know what needs to be documented and for how long.


In most cases, more than anything, divorcing parents want full custody of their kids. However, custody battles are often challenging. Hopefully, these tips will help you prepare for yours. Remember though, as each child custody case is unique, be sure to talk to a competent attorney before making any decisions. Good luck!

Need a Consultation on Family Law in Buffalo? Call Us Now!

As a leading divorce attorney in Buffalo, Carlson & Jones, P.A. can provide you with all services related to divorce and child custody. No matter how complicated your case is, our experts will help you find a suitable solution. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our legal services.

Divorce Lawyer in Buffalo Explains the Importance of Post-Divorce Checklist

Getting a divorce is challenging. Apart from financial stress, it can also lead to unbearable emotional turmoil. That’s why you feel relieved once the arduous process is over.

Although you are eager to leave the bitter past behind and move on with your life, there are still a few things you need to take care of.

No matter how trivial they may seem, these steps are crucial to ensure you can move on without any legal, financial, or emotional pain. As a leading divorce lawyer in Buffalo, we often encourage our customers to tie up any loose ends once for all.

Here is a post-divorce checklist that can help you officially start your life afresh.

1. Check Your Divorce Decree

The first order of business is to go through your divorce decree, which outlines your assets and debt distribution. Make sure to check the paperwork you and your spouse need to sign to complete this legal process as soon as possible. Check the child custody and alimony schedule as well.

Usually, you can finish any post-divorce paperwork in a month or two. If you delay, your spouse may refuse to sign any documents later on. Sometimes, you may also have to pay your attorney additional fees if you decide to complete post-divorce paperwork at a later time.

2. Cancel Joint Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Most Minnesota divorce lawyers advise you to close all your joint accounts and cancel joint credit cards. Once your divorce gets finalized, the court will have already divided all your assets. So, closing any joint accounts shouldn’t be a problem. You can open new bank accounts in your name or convert joint accounts into solely-owned bank accounts. Similarly, you will need to get a new credit card in your name to start building your credit score.

3. Insurance

Most couples (and families) have joint insurance policies for healthcare, life insurance, and assets like homes and cars. Having joint policies makes sense as they save money and provide better coverage.

After the divorce, however, you will need to review all your policies. You will need to buy new insurance policies in your name and update your beneficiary. If you want to continue with the same company and agent, call them to discuss the next steps. The sooner you can do this, the better.

Sometimes, ex-spouses deliberately delay these processes to provoke their former partners. However, once you inform your insurance company about the divorce, they will most likely cancel your ex-spouse’s coverage immediately. Just make sure you do it soon.

4. Your 401K and IRAs

If you have pension accounts, you will need to divide them as well. You can split your IRAs and savings accounts without a Qualified Domestic Retirement Order (QDRO) from the court. However, you will need it to distribute your 401K account.

Talk to your divorce lawyer in Buffalo or your accountant to help you draft a QDRO. You will need to file this draft with the court and get it signed by the judge. However, each case is unique. Make sure to talk to your attorney to know the time limit, beneficiary, and other factors involved in dividing your 401K.

You will also need to change beneficiaries for all your pension, investments, and savings accounts. Talk to your investment advisor or your bank to make the necessary changes.

5. Check Your Taxes

You may need to file taxes as per the details chalked out in your divorce decree. You will need to talk to your accountant before filing your taxes. Usually, filing taxes after a divorce can be complicated. That’s why it is better to consult a professional.

6. Change Your Name

If you want to change your name back to your maiden name, you will need to start with your Social Security Number (SSN). Once your name on your SSN is changed, you can update your driver’s license and passport. After these documents are updated, you will need to change your name on bank accounts, utility bills, insurance policies, and voter registration, among others.

7. Update Deeds and Titles

You will also need to update your deeds and titles. Most divorce decrees allow you to use quitclaim deeds to transfer property and asset titles. Your divorce lawyer in Buffalo can help you draft quitclaim deeds.

However, deed and title transfers are complicated processes. For example, most lenders require you to refinance your mortgage as you can’t take your spouse’s name off a mortgage. You can talk to your attorney, accountant, and bank to work out a solution.

8. Update Your Online Accounts

Finally, you will need to update all your social media accounts, digital payment accounts, and emails. Whether or not your spouse knows about them, make sure to change passwords and contact information for all your online accounts.


As you can see, a lot of work needs to be done after your divorce gets finalized. From updating your name to closing joint bank accounts, it’s a long list of tasks. Although you feel may like taking a break at this point, it is in your best interest to complete all these tasks on time. We hope the above post-divorce checklist will help you prepare for what comes after the divorce.

Call the Best Divorce Lawyer in Buffalo Today!

If you are looking for a trusted, experienced, and professional divorce lawyer in Buffalo, your search ends at Carlson & Jones, P.A. Our team of dynamic lawyers will help you get a favorable divorce settlement and also provide post-divorce assistance. Call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know how we can help.

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Minnesota Explain What to Do If Your Loved One Was in a Fatal Auto Accident

As seasoned criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota, we know that losing a family member is one of life’s most tragic events, especially if it happened due to another person’s negligence. The anger and emotional trauma can weigh heavily, impairing your ability to make sound decisions regarding the next steps. In this trying time, the prudent counsel of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota can be extremely helpful.

While filing a legal lawsuit can seem like a daunting task when dealing with emotional distress, doing so is important. You may be eligible to receive monetary compensation from the responsible party.

We do realize that no amount of money can replace your loved one, but the compensation can allow you to focus on healing from the grief rather than worry about paying hefty hospital bills. In some cases, the compensation received can also help you pay off your criminal defense lawyer cost.

This post presents a few helpful tips on what you should do if you lose your loved one in a car accident.

Let’s start by first understanding the common causes of fatal car accidents.

Common Reasons behind Fatal Car Accidents

Car accidents typically occur when the driver was driving the vehicle in a reckless or unsafe manner. Unfortunately, sometimes these accidents lead to another person’s death.

Broadly speaking, the most common causes of fatal auto accidents are:

Negligence: When the driver does not operate their car in a responsible manner, it can lead to a serious auto accident that may be fatal to individuals. Examples of negligence include driving at a high speed or not flashing the indicator light while making a turn.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI): When a driver operates their vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, they endanger the lives of all other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians present on the road at that time. These substances can impair the driver’s motor skills, focus, and reaction time, and can ultimately lead to a fatal collision.

Distracted driving: When the driver takes their eyes off the road, even for a split second, they can miss the traffic lights or the double yellow lines on the street, and collide with another motor vehicle or an individual.

If your loved one was killed due to any of the above reasons, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota immediately. They will be able to help you bring in your claim against the fault-party.

1. Contact a Competent Criminal Defense Lawyer in Minnesota Immediately

It is crucial that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately after the death of your beloved family member. Only a well-practiced criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota will know how to deal with your case in the most appropriate manner.

They will be able to guide you on collecting evidence, consult relevant experts, reconstruct the crash at the accident site, communicate with the responsible party’s insurance company, and prepare your case for trial.

Your lawyer will also be well aware of how the local court system works as well as the statute of limitations and applicable exceptions. Accordingly, they will help you file your claim in a timely manner.

2. Gather Evidence

It is crucial that you collect as much evidence of the accident as possible. You may want to preserve photographs of the ruins at the accident site, any video footage, statements from eyewitnesses as well as their contact details, medical reports, and so on. Supporting your claim with this evidence can strengthen it.

You may have visited the accident site even before you hired an attorney. So, be mindful of everything you observe and keep all the evidence safe so you can present it to your Minnesota criminal defense attorney. Retain everything you gather as you never know what may prove to be useful.

3. Record Your Expenses

One of the main objectives of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party is to cover expenses related to medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and others. More often than not, insurance companies try to dodge a trial by offering the deceased’s family an amount to settle the case.

Before accepting their offer, however, you need to ensure that the amount being offered is commensurate with your financial losses and emotional suffering. In other words, the amount offered should be fair and cover all your financial obligations. The only way to ensure this is by recording your expenses from the very beginning. If the amount offered matches your calculations, you can be sure you’re not being cheated.

4. Do Not Discuss the Details with Anyone

Most seasoned criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota know that insurance companies are reluctant to part with their money. They will present their own body of evidence to prove that they are not liable to pay you any compensation. This is why you should never discuss your case with anyone other than your lawyer. You should also refrain from mentioning anything about it on social media as anything you disclose can backfire.

Avoid communicating with insurance companies without first consulting your criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota. These companies work with professional negotiators who know how to use your own words against you and impose an inadequate settlement amount on you. Hence, it is always better to speak with your lawyer first and work out all options for receiving fair compensation.


Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. Death caused in a car accident due to another person’s negligence is even more emotionally distressing. If you’re in a similar situation, you may want to consider bringing in a legal claim with the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota. Although compensation can never fill the void, it can bring you some financial relief at the time of paying the bills. You can also work with your lawyer to fight in court and bring the at-fault party to book.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Lawyer in Minnesota

The team of criminal defense lawyers at Carlson & Jones, P.A. works tirelessly to help grieving family members file their legal claims and provide sound consultation in their time of need. We will fight tooth and nail to make the responsible party liable for their negligent actions, so you can focus on healing from your loss. For a free consultation, call us at (855) 976-2444 or reach us via our website. Convenient payment plans are available.

What Is Wrongful Death in Personal Injury in Minnesota?

The death of a loved one is a tragic experience irrespective of the circumstances. It can be even more devastating if the demise was caused due to someone else’s actions.

When someone dies or is killed due to another person’s negligence or misconduct, the surviving members of the deceased’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible for their death.

In Minnesota, wrongful death is defined as a death that is “caused by the wrongful act or omission of any person or corporation.”

The filing of a wrongful death case is followed by a trial, where evidence is presented by both parties. However, the evidence is treated with a lower standard of proof compared to criminal cases.

Before going further into what wrongful death means in Minnesota, let’s understand the basics.

Personal Injury in Minnesota

A claim of personal injury in Minnesota is filed by the person who was hurt. The ultimate objective of filing a personal injury lawsuit is to receive monetary compensation for the injuries and losses endured from the responsible party.

Personal injury damages are of two types: economic and non-economic.

  • Economic damages are tangible and, therefore, easy to calculate. They include costs related to medical and treatment bills, lost wages, vehicle or property repairs, and legal fees.
  • Non-economic damages are intangible but cover compensation for very real losses. They include emotional/mental pain and suffering, disabilities, disfigurement, loss of companionship, and loss of quality of life.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Minnesota

A wrongful death lawsuit differs from a claim of personal injury in Minnesota. It is essentially filed by a family member of the individual killed due to another party’s negligence. This means that the lawsuit may be filed by the deceased’s parent or legal guardian, spouse, or child.

The damages that can be recovered from a wrongful death case differ by state. A demand letter or the Minnesota pain and suffering damages letter outlines the case facts and mentions a compensation amount to settle the case.

Broadly speaking, plaintiffs are liable to receive compensation for the following types of losses:

  • The deceased’s expected future income along with benefits, such as pension or health insurance
  • Medical costs incurred before death
  • Funeral costs
  • Burial costs
  • Value of services/goods the deceased would have provided
  • Survivors’ mental pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship or consortium
  • An expected inheritance

A claim of wrongful death can arise due to several circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • Medical malpractice or negligence leading to the victim’s death
  • A vehicular accident
  • Criminal conduct, including murder
  • Use of a dangerous product
  • Occupational exposure to hazardous environment or materials
  • Death during a supervised activity

Components of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death case comprises the following elements:

  • The death of an individual
  • The death should be the result of another person’s negligence
  • The death can also have occurred due to the other person’s intent to inflict harm
  • The surviving members suffering monetary hardships due to the death of the victim
  • The appointment of a representative for the deceased’s estate

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Minnesota?

Only the deceased’s spouse, child, or next of kin can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Minnesota. “Next of kin” typically refers to the deceased’s parents, siblings, and grandparents, but may include other family members as well.

To file a lawsuit, the eligible member should be appointed as a trustee by the Minnesota court. There are several legal considerations that go into determining who is and isn’t eligible for this. Hence, it is a good idea to consult an experienced wrongful death attorney in Minnesota about this matter.

Only a competent lawyer will be able to guide you through the complex legal maze and help you bring in your wrongful death claim with minimal hassles. Whether it is drafting the Minnesota pain and suffering damages letter or representing you in court, a reliable attorney can do it all and prove to be your best ally. Depending on your case facts, they will also devise a strategy to help maximize the compensation due to you.

Minnesota Statute of Limitations

Like all states, Minnesota has a set time limit within which the plaintiff may file a wrongful death case in court. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. In Minnesota, a wrongful death case should be filed within three years of the victim’s death. If you file the claim, later on, the court will likely not hear your case.

It is, however, important to remember that claims can also be filed as per the “discovery rule” exception if the cause of death was determined at a later date.

You may want to discuss your case details with a knowledgeable Minnesota wrongful death attorney, and find out if the exception is applicable to your claim.


The loss of a loved one can leave the surviving family members distraught. When death is caused due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another person, it is even more painful. In such cases, you may be entitled to receive fair compensation for your losses and suffering. Working with an experienced Minnesota wrongful death lawyer can help you achieve positive outcomes in your case. Other than that, the above information should give you a basic understanding of what wrongful death cases entail and how they differ from cases of personal injury in Minnesota.

Speak with a Competent Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawyer Now

If you’ve lost a family member due to the negligent or wrongful actions of another, you need to speak to our team of wrongful death lawyers at the earliest. While no amount of money will replace your loved one’s presence, we will help you receive monetary compensation to ease your financial burden and bring the responsible party to justice. To schedule a free consultation, call us at  (855) 976-2444 or contact us through our online form.

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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (612) 800-8057
Fax: 763-682-3330

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Brainerd Lawyers

17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (218) 736-9429
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Hutchinson Lawyers

114 Main Street North
Hutchinson, MN 55350

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (320) 289-4761
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Minnetonka Lawyers

3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (952) 260-9640
Fax: 763-682-3330

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