What is the Minnesota Negligence Law?
What if one day when you are crossing the road a speeding car hits you, and leaves you crippled for life? Who was at fault, you or the driver? Can you prove that the driver was negligent? Can you claim compensation for the damage suffered by you? The negligence laws by state differ from one state to another. Depending on the state you live in, you can either claim damage even if you are at fault, or get absolutely nothing.
What are Negligence Laws?
To understand what negligence laws are, you must first understand what negligence is. The negligence law definition helps you understand the meaning of negligence. In general, negligence refers to a failure to take proper care that results in injury to damage to someone. The negligence law definition further defines negligence as the defendant’s failure to behave with the level of care, or the duty to act that needed to be exercised under a circumstance failing which results in severe injury or death to another also called the plaintiff.
As per the negligence law definition in order for negligence to be proven in court, the below four conditions must be met by the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff must prove that there was a duty to act
- It must be proven that there was a breach of duty to act
- The plaintiff must also prove that this failure was the direct cause for injury or death
- It must be proven that genuine harm was caused
Every state in the U.S. approves the negligence law definition and the four elements of the negligence laws. The negligence laws by state though similar, are different from each other.
Negligence Law Minnesota
Negligence law Minnesota is very clear. Minnesota follows the comparative negligence laws that are fair and just to all parties involved. As per the Minnesota negligence law, for the plaintiff to collect compensation for the injury, it is necessary to prove that the defendant was at fault. Under negligence law Minnesota, fault can be proven by the strict liability or proof of negligence.
Under Minnesota Negligence Law:
- If the plaintiff’s fault is greater than the defendant’s fault, the plaintiff is not allowed to claim any compensation.
- If the defendant’s fault is greater than or equal to the plaintiff’s fault, the plaintiff can claim compensation for damage.
As per comparative negligence laws Minnesota, the plaintiff can claim compensation appropriate to the percentage of fault on the plaintiff’s behalf. For example, if the defendant is 80% at fault and the plaintiff is 20% at fault, the plaintiff is entitled to receive 20% less of the total compensation determined by the jury. As per the Minnesota negligence law, the punishment for negligence in Minnesota depends on the severity of the offense.
Punishment for Negligence in Minnesota
The punishment for negligence in Minnesota for breaking the negligence laws by state in Minnesota can be either or all of the below.
- Sentence to imprisonment for a period specified by the judge
- Court charges and a hefty fee
- Suspension or revocation of a license
The sentence for personal injury is not more than two years and the sentence for wrongful death is up to three years. Personal injury due to negligence is not considered a felony in Minnesota like negligence laws by state of all states in the U.S. But the punishment for negligence in Minnesota in case of involuntary manslaughter is considered manslaughter in the second degree.
Under Minnesota negligence law, involuntary manslaughter can be criminal vehicular homicide or Criminal vehicular operation - manslaughter of unborn fetuses. Anyone found guilty of involuntary manslaughter can be sentenced for up to ten years in prison and not more than a $20,000 fine. The sentence for imprisonment can go up to 25 years in case of third-degree manslaughter.