Wrongful Death Attorney

“Fred and Eric proved that our son didn’t die by accident and our greatest relief was to watch these lawyers work and fight for our son.” –Testimonial of One of Our Clients

Our Law Firm Mission Statement: To help families hold accountable those who caused their loved one’s wrongful death.

How Our Attorneys Handle Wrongful Death Cases: Meeting the Needs of the Family

Woman Being ComfortedIn all of our cases, we take the time to get to know who the person who died was, what that person meant to the family (both financially and emotionally), what the person’s job was and what future prospects the person may have had, and what the person’s hobbies and other community activities were.

“You can’t begin to understand the depth of a survivor’s grief until you see it with your own eyes,” said Fred Pritzker, an attorney and founder of Pritzker Hageman law firm. “I will never forget when I met with an older woman whose husband had just been killed in an  accident. We talked for a long time and then she showed me her husband’s work boots. They were next to their bed, as if he had just taken them off. It was the most painful and quiet display of love and loss that I’ve ever seen.”

We try to get as full a picture as possible of the person’s life because we have to persuasively present evidence as to the value of that life.  The process is difficult for the family, but we understand and try to make it part of the healing process and not an additional burden.

Our goals are to get justice for families and to make sure they do not needlessly suffer financially.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a statutory claim the spouse and “next of kin” have if there is sufficient evidence of maliciously intentional or negligent actions or failure to act of a person and/or company.  Because of this claim, the family has the right to sue for compensation, and thereby get some justice.

Can I Sue if My Baby Died?

If your baby, born or unborn, died and there is evidence a person or company is at fault, you may have the right to sue for compensation. For example, attorney Fred Pritzker won over $3 million for a woman who had a miscarriage after she ate food contaminated with Listeria bacteria and contracted listeriosis. In another case, Fred represented a mother whose baby was suffocated in a baby product. He won a large settlement for the mother, and this case prompted a recall of the product.

What if My Adult Child Died?

In most states, the parent of an adult child can sue if the child was not married and does not have children. You need to contact a lawyer to find out what legal rights you have.

Can a Young Child Sue?

If the person who died had a young son or daughter (under 18 years of age, also called a minor child), that child may have the right to sue the person and/or company responsible for the father or mother’s death. Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team have handled many cases like this. In most of our cases, the surviving parent files the lawsuit on behalf of both that parent and the child. A portion of the money won is generally placed in trust on behalf of the child, while the rest goes to the surviving parent, if that parent was still married to the person who was killed.

In one of our cases, the mother of two minor children was run over by a semi-trailer truck as she rode her bicycle. The children’s father hired attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman to represent the family. Fred and Eric filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and trucking company, which denied fault. Fred and Eric won a multi-million-dollar jury verdict for the family. Some of the money was placed in a trust for the benefit of the children and the rest went to the father.

Can I Sue if I Am an Adult Child?

In many states, you can sue for a parent’s death if you are an adult child. Your age and level of dependency are factors that your lawyer may need to consider. You may have a claim even if you are totally independent of your deceased mother or father.

Can a Spouse Sue if the Couple Were Separated?

In most states, yes, a spouse that was separated from a husband or wife can generally sue, but the amount of compensation may be affected. In general, a person who is divorced from the person who died will not have a claim. An attorney will need to be consulted regarding the rights of a separated or divorced person.

What about Pain and Suffering Compensation?

In some states, the family can get pain and suffering compensation. Your lawyer should consider this as he or she decides in which state the lawsuit should be filed.

What if an Injured Person Dies after a Personal Injury Lawsuit is Filed?

If an injured person files a personal injury lawsuit and then dies before there is a settlement or verdict, the family may have the right to sue for compensation. In some of these cases, depending on the state where the suit is filed, the family may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation. If the family has this right, the suit may have to be filed quickly, so an attorney should be contacted as soon as possible. Our lawyers have handled cases like this.

Who Can Sue?

When someone dies due to the negligence of another, the law provides the “next of kin” of the decedent a “wrongful death claim,” meaning the family can sue for compensation.

The “next of kin” generally includes the following: wife, husband, son, daughter, parent. If the person who died is not married and his or her parents are no longer living, the person’s brothers and sisters, or perhaps other relatives, may have a claim. The laws of each state vary, so it is extremely important to talk with an experienced lawyer.

Can I Sue a City, State or School?

It depends on the facts of your case. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have won several multi-million-dollar cases. We recommend you talk with Fred, Eric or another lawyer about your case and whether the city, state or school has immunity under the law.

How Much is My Case Worth?

These laws were enacted by state legislatures to compensate the family of someone wrongfully killed. The amount of compensation depends on a number of factors, and state law varies, meaning the value of a case under the law varies by state.

Each state has different laws about the types of losses for which compensation is allowed.

  • All states allow for the recovery of lost income the decedent would have provided his loved ones.
  • Most states do not allow recovery for grief or anger suffered by the surviving heirs, but do allow money damages for the loss of love, advice, care, comfort and companionship the deceased would have provided had he or she lived.
  • Some states also allow money damages for the pain and suffering.

How Is Money Distributed after a Settlement or Trial Verdict?

In most of these cases, the family agrees upon how the money should be divided and the judge simply approves the agreement. But if the family cannot agree upon a distribution that is fair to all, the judge will take testimony and then decide the amount each person will receive.

How Long Does Our Family Have to File a Lawsuit?

This depends on the state where the suit is filed and the facts of your case. It is generally between 6 months and 3 years, but if there was intent to kill (murder in the criminal context), there may be no limit. Each state’s law provides for a “statute of limitations” for different kinds of cases. A lawyer needs to be consulted, and your lawyer needs to consider this when deciding in what state to file a lawsuit. In some cases, the suit could be filed in 2 or more states, and it is up to the attorney to decide which state is best for his or her client.

Can Our Family Just Get a Settlement and Not File a Lawsuit?

Yes, and Fred has had cases where that has happened. In one, a hotel was clearly at fault. The hotel did not want bad press and quickly settled for several million dollars. However, when a company is not willing to settle, the only way to get compensation is to file a lawsuit.

At our law firm, we generally start settlement negotiations with a “demand letter” stating what the case is about and how much money the family should get for the loss of their loved one. If the company is unwilling to settle, we continue working to get a settlement, even after we file a lawsuit. Sometimes cases are settled right before or during a trial.

At every step, we consult with our clients. This is what one client had to say about our law firm:

“They let us decide on the settlement. It gave our family relief and there was enough money that we could put it away for our remaining children to help them succeed in life in the future.’’

What if Someone Else in My Family Has Already Hired a Lawyer?

If someone else in your family has already hired a lawyer, you still have the right to hire your own lawyer; however, there is generally only one lawsuit that the family can file. This means that for that lawsuit one of the following will generally happen:

  • More than one lawyer will be helping family members with the case; or
  • The judge will choose one of the lawyers to represent the family.

What about a Class Action?

A class action lawsuit is generally not applicable, but you will need to consult with a lawyer. We strongly recommend that you get another opinion if a lawyer tells you that your case should be part of a class action lawsuit.

Wrongful Death Attorney:
Experience, Excellence, and  a Record of Success

Because of our past successes, our law firm has the resources and experience to take on complex cases and obtain significant compensation for families. Lawyers at our law firm have won wrongful death lawsuits involving auto accidents, medical malpractice, product liability and other situations in which the fault of someone other than an employer caused the fatal incident.

Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Eric Hageman and Brendan Flaherty are our lead lawyers for these cases. They have obtained several multimillion-dollar awards for families, including a recent $4 Million Settlement. Fred and Eric have been named “Super Lawyers” by Law & Politics for several consecutive years, including the current year. Our law firm is listed in U.S. World and News Report’s The Best Law Firm’s in America.

Our lawyers have appeared on CNN, CBS News and other news programs to discuss litigation and public safety. They have also been interviewed by The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Lawyers USA and others.



$4 Million Settlement

Attorney Eric Hageman recently obtained a confidential $4 million settlement for a family after a tragic head-on collision on a rural road. His investigation found that the at-fault vehicle had been improperly serviced, giving the family a claim against the servicing company.

Suspected Drunk Driver Kills Mother of 3 in MN Crash

On Tuesday evening, a 35-year-old Foreston, Minnesota woman was tragically killed when her car was struck by a suspected drunk driver on Hwy. 23 in Foley, Minnesota. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the woman was driving eastbound on Highway 23 with her three young children when a GMC Yukon traveling the other direction crossed over the center line and crashed into her vehicle. Two of the three children were badly injured.

After Saving Her Baby, a Mother Dies in a Wyoming, IL House Fire

After saving her 12-day-old infant, a 21-year-old mother died in a house fire in Wyoming, IL on January 30, 2017. “The victim was a hero as she put her baby into a car seat and dropped the baby to the ground from the upstairs window.”

Bard Halo One Recall Lawsuit

The FDA is warning health professionals and patients that use of certain Halo One Thin-Walled Guiding Sheath products used for diagnosis and interventional procedures. This product was used by surgeons, interventional radiologists and other doctors to help with placement of interventional and diagnostic devices into veins and arteries through an incision made on a patient’s leg. The sheath body may separate from the sheath hub while removing the device from the patient’s leg, and the sheath may kink, and that its tip may become damaged during the procedure.

Man Dies in Grand Rapids House Fire

An early morning house fire on the south side of Grand Rapids, MI  has claimed the life of a 56-year-old man.

One Killed in Drunk Driving Accident in New Richmond, WI

On early Sunday Morning, January 29th, emergency personnel responded to an alcohol-related, one-vehicle crash at the intersection of 170th Ave. and 112th Street in Richmond, Wis. Passenger Jordan M. Tulgren was killed in the crash.

Belladonna Toxicity Lawsuit

If your child died after using a CVS or Hyland teething tablet containing Belladonna, you may have a claim and have the right to sue. After reports of baby deaths associated with using teething tablets, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did a laboratory analysis of these products and “found inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a toxic substance, in certain homeopathic teething tablets, sometimes far exceeding the amount claimed on the label” (FDA).

Semi Trucks Failure to Yield Noted in Fatal Motorcycle Crash

A Buena Vista, Georgia, woman is dead after the motorcycle she was riding crashed into a tractor-trailer truck at Macon and Lynch Road in Midland, the Muscogee County Coroner’s Office said. Early reports said the semi-truck failed to yield. Local police said that the Freightliner semi-truck turned left at an intersection, failing to yield to the Yamaha motorcycle, which was approaching the same intersection from the opposite direction.

Duplex Explosion Kills 4, Injures 5 on Pine Ridge Reservation, SD

Four people died and five others were injured when a duplex on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota exploded on Thursday. The tenants smelled propane gas and were searching for a leak just before the explosion.

Semi Truck Head-On Collision

A fatal head-on collision in Winona County between two semi trucks killed both drivers. A Kenworth semi traveling eastbound on I-90 collided head-on with a Freightliner, killing the driver.

3 Die in Hillsborough Apartment Fire

Three people died in a Monday night fire at an apartment complex in Hillsborough Township. The fire, which began just after 10 p.m., is believed to have started in a bedroom in one of the second-floor units.

Motorcyclist Dies When Hit from Behind by Semi-Trailer

A motorcyclist died from injuries suffered when a semi-trailer hit him from behind on U.S. Highway 95.  Fog may have been a factor, but the trucker should have been driving for the conditions, even it that meant pulling over until the fog lifted.

1 Dead, 2 Injured in House Fire

One person died and two others were injured in a house fire. Investigators are trying to determine the source.

Semi Truck Involved In Fatal Crash With Farm Tractor Near Rexburg Idaho

On Wednesday, a tractor trailer clipped a farm tractor on highway 20 near Rexburg Idaho. According to investigators, the semi truck had started to break as it approached the the tractor.

Duplex Explosion

A duplex apartment house explosion killed one man and injured several others. The investigation found that a propane gas leak went undetected because a chemical compound put in the propane to make it smell like rotten eggs had faded, rendering the gas odorless.

4 Lives Lost When Pickup Hits Church Van

A commercial pickup truck collided with a church van headed to services, leaving four people dead and 14 injured. It is believed that the pickup truck hit a second vehicle (a passenger car) in the rear, lost control of his truck, crossed the center line and rammed the van before bursting in flames.

One Fatality in FedEx Truck Crash in California

One person died in a crash involving a FedEx truck on Interstate Highway 80 in Vacaville, CA, according to the California Highway patrol. The crash happened at about 2 p.m., Monday, August 29, 2016, at the Weber Road eastbound off-ramp.

2 Firefighters Killed in Minnesota Rollover, Others Injured

A fire truck carrying 9 people was traveling from Michigan on its way to the Box Canyon wildfire in Utah when it crashed on Interstate 35W in Minnesota. The truck left the road, hit the median cable barriers, rolled several times and ripped apart. Two of the men, both passengers, tragically died. Seven others were injured.

Chicago Bicyclist Killed by Semi Truck in Bike Lane

A woman was tragically killed Tuesday morning when her bicycle was struck by a semi truck hauling a load of bricks. She was riding her bike in the 800 block of Milwaukee Avenue, in the bike lane, headed downtown Chicago when she was stuck by an Illinois Brick Company 18-wheeler semi truck.

Xcel Energy Truck Hits and Kills Pedestrian

An Xcel Energy truck  was traveling south on Nicollet. At about 6:50 a.m., it ran up the curb and hit a man from Richfield, pinning him under the truck. According to news reports, the truck “swerved to avoid a car that was making a left turn from northbound Nicollet onto westbound 86th street” (Star-Tribune).

Boy Killed by Tow Truck

A four-year-old boy died Sunday afternoon, November 8 , after he was struck by a tow truck. The boy was riding his bike in an alley.

St. Josephs Hospital Legionnaires’ Disease

Officials at St. Joseph’s Health Center in Syracuse, New York, have revealed that earlier this year, in March 2015, another patient contracted Legionnaires’ disease at the hospital and subsequently died.

Drunk Driver Arrested in Crash

A beloved mother and daughter who helped anyone in need was driving on a stretch of state highway when her vehicle was swiped by an alleged drunk driver and sent into a telephone pole. About one in three fatal accidents in the United States involve a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher.

Dump Truck Tire Kills Man

A man from Backus, Minnesota, lost his life when a tire came off of a dump truck and hit him. The driver of the truck said he did not notice that it had come off and kept driving.  Attorney Fred Pritzker won a 7-figure settlement for a family in a similar case.

4 Killed in Accident Involving Speeding

Speeding was probably a factor in an accident on NC 42 east of Pinetops that killed 4 people and injured one, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol. A Toyota sedan was going east on NC 42 when it crossed the center line and hit head-on a Mazda sedan.  The driver of the Toyota, 2 passengers in that car and a passenger in the Mazda were killed.

Drinking and Driving Accident

A tragic car crash in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, resulted in death of a 44-year-old woman. She was a passenger in the vehicle involved in the crash. The driver of the vehicle has been charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.

Driver Turns onto Wrong Lane

A car exited off I 94 to Minnesota Highway 23, turned onto the wrong lane, traveling west in an eastbound lane. A vehicle traveling eastbound crashed head-on into the car, killing a teenage girl.

States: Alabama AL, Arkansas AK, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, District of Columbia DC, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Idaho ID, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Iowa, Kansas KS, Kentucky KY, Louisiana LA, Maine ME, Maryland MD, Massachusetts MA, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, Mississippi MS, Missouri MO, Montana MT, Nebraska NE, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New York NY, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC,  South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Vermont VT, Virginia VA, West Virginia WV, Wisconsin WI, and Wyoming WY.

We are a nationally-recognized law firm and represents clients throughout the United States.  The firm’s offices are in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We have helped people sue and win against truck drivers, railroads (for crossing crashes), hotels, restaurants, schools, multinational companies, and others.

You can contact a MN wrongful death attorney at our law firm