FINALLY: A NEEDED CHANGE

Last session, the Minnesota legislature finally passed and Governor Dayton signed into law, a provision that increases some of the benefits available to victims of car crashes here in Minnesota. This was a long overdue increase to wage loss and funeral expense benefits under Minnesota No-Fault Act. Minnesotans injured in car accidents have had, since the No-Fault Act was first created 40 years ago, the right to 85% of any wage loss or income reduction due to injuries suffered in a car crash. However, for the last 30 years, that has been limited to a maximum of $250 a week. As a result, most wage earners could not survive long on $250 a week. The No-Fault Act also provided $2,000 for..

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Liberty Mutual Insurance Subject of Another Class Action Lawsuit Concerning its Automobile Accident Claims Handling

A chiropractic clinic pursued a “class action” suit against Liberty Mutual and several of its subsidiaries, including Safeco Insurance, in the state of Illinois. A class action suit is one in which the class representative acts on behalf of many claimants when the monetary value of each claim is relatively small and it would seldom justify lawsuits on behalf of each individual. There is a proposed settlement awaiting court approval. The basis of the claim is that Liberty Mutual would pay less than the amount charged by an injured person’s medical providers. The claimant alleged that Liberty Mutual used a computerized bill review system to reduce its payments, which was not disclosed to its insureds. The proposed settlement also references two similar lawsuits against Liberty..

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How will the New Laws for Civil Litigation in Personal Injury Affect My Case?

In July of 2013, Minnesota passed significant changes to the rules that govern civil litigation, which would include personal injury claims.  Minnesota adopted similar rules for federal courts and also instituted a “rocket-docket” as a trial program to see if a system could be developed that would cut down the time and expense to try civil cases.  The pilot program is set up in Dakota and St. Louis Counties.  These new rules have been in place for over nine months now and the transition has been easier than many feared.  This is often the case with major changes, new rules created an anxiety and concern among lawyers.  However, I think most of us have seen that this sky did not fall.  As cases..

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Long-Term Disability Benefits Law – Looking at Options

Personal Injury and Long-Term Disability It’s no secret that employees are working longer and people are living longer than ever before. The economic conditions have caused many employees to push back their retirement date. One consequence of these facts is that there has been a marked increase in long-term disability claims by disabled employees. Many employers provide long-term disability benefits as part of their employment package. I recently assisted two clients in obtaining “LTD” benefits. These turned out to be quite involved and time intensive. One required an internal appeal in which we were successful. In order to be entitled to long term disability benefits, a person has to be “disabled” continuously for the initial “elimination” or waiting period and beyond. This disability need not..

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What is Minnesota’s “Dog Injury” Law?

It is spring in Minnesota (finally) and people are finding many ways to be back outdoors enjoying the sun and nicer weather. Unfortunately, this can also bring an increase in incidents involving animal attacks, specifically dog attacks and bites as man’s “best friends” head back outdoors along with him. Minnesota has long had a law that creates liability for dog owners whose “best friends” are decidedly unfriendly and bite or injure others. This is commonly referred to as the “dog bite” statute (Minn. Stat. § 347.22). This law was enacted in 1951. Under the statute, “If a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is acting peaceably in any place where that person may lawfully be, the owner of the dog is liable..

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