Compensatory Damages In Minnesota Personal Injury Cases

March 25, 2021

If you are injured in a personal injury accident, you have the right under Minnesota law to seek damages. Damages are an award in the form of compensation that personal injury victims can recover for the losses they have suffered because of another negligent party. One type of compensation that victims always seek is compensatory damages.  

What Are Compensatory Damages? 

Compensatory damages are designed to “compensate” a personal injury victim or make them whole. They are awarded for actual injuries and losses sustained in an accident. There are two subtypes  of compensatory damages that are as follows: 

Special Damages 

Compensation for actual financial losses that you must prove with documentation. Some examples include:

  • Medical bills: emergency room visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, outpatient procedures, prescription medications, ongoing treatment, home modifications, etc.
  • In-home medical care
  • Nursing home or rehabilitation costs
  • Property repair
  • Property replacement
  • Lost wages from missed work
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Legal fees 


General Damages

Designed to compensate a victim for intangible harm. Since they do not reflect an actual dollar amount, these non-economic damages are more complicated to prove. Types of general damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Loss of opportunity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Physical impairment (e.g., disability, loss of a limb)
  • Disfigurement 
  • Unjust hardship


Another type of damages that are rarely awarded is punitive damages. This kind of compensation is only recovered in cases involving an at-fault party who acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. They are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from similar harmful actions in the future. 


Does Minnesota Have a Cap on Compensatory Damages? 

Minnesota does not have a law in place that limits the amount of compensatory damages that can be awarded. However, the state does have a deadline for filing a personal injury claim, also known as a statute of limitations. It requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of the date you were injured or within six years for property damage. If this deadline passes, your case will most likely be dismissed, and you will be barred from pursuing compensation. 

To fully understand your rights and the types of damages you are entitled to, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Minneapolis.

Modified Comparative Negligence in Minnesota 

Minnesota follows the rule of modified comparative negligence, or the 51 percent bar rule. In a 51 percent bar state, the plaintiff (injury victim) can recover damages if they are 50 percent at fault or less. However, their damages will be reduced by their assigned percentage of fault. For instance, if a person is awarded $100,000 but was 10 percent at fault, the award will be reduced by 10 percent, or $10,000.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Personal Injury Case

If you have questions about the value of your personal injury claim and the types of damages you are entitled to, contact Hall Law P.A. We will provide a free initial consultation to assess your case and go over your options. Call 800-292-1979 or fill out our contact form online.