What Damages Can Be Recovered For Pain, Suffering & Emotional Injuries In Minnesota?

March 30, 2022

If you suffer a severe personal injury in Minnesota due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation, including for your pain and suffering and emotional injuries. However, pain and suffering or emotional injuries are not actual financial losses. Instead, their value is determined on a case-by-case basis since no two people experience pain the same way. 

What is Pain and Suffering? 

Pain and suffering refers to the physical pain you have had to endure due to a personal injury. For example, chronic pain, any physical impairments, or permanent disability. The more severe the injury and its impact on your quality of life, the more compensation you may be entitled to for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are often calculated using one of two methods, the multiplier method or the per diem approach. The multiplier method is more commonly used. The first step is totaling your economic damages, which are your actual financial losses (e.g., medical bills, lost income, property damage, etc.). The insurance company then chooses a multiplier number, typically between 1.5 and 5, to multiply the economic damages by to calculate pain and suffering. The more severe your injury, the higher the multiplier number will be. With the per diem approach, a dollar amount is assigned to each day you suffer from your injury until you recover. That amount is typically the daily wages you would have earned. 

What are Emotional Injuries? 

Damages for emotional injuries refers to the compensation awarded for the psychological harm or emotional distress you have suffered as a result of the accident. The symptoms can vary person-to-person, but some common ones include:

  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory issues
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Sleep disturbances
  • PTSD (i.e., severe anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about the abuse)
  • Trouble focusing on daily life

Severe emotional distress can also result in physical symptoms, such as appetite changes, panic attacks, insomnia, lack of energy, weight loss or gain, gastrointestinal issues, and headaches. 


Are There Caps to Pain & Suffering Damages in Minnesota?

Minnesota does not place a cap or limit on the amount of pain and suffering damages a person can recover in most personal injury cases. However, if you suffered an injury in a workplace accident, pain and suffering damages are not available in a workers’ compensation claim. 

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Pain & Suffering Damages in Minnesota?

The statute of limitations for pain and suffering damages, which is the amount of time a victim has to pursue compensation, will depend upon the type of claim. Under Minnesota Statutes section 541.07, personal injury victims have two years to file a lawsuit, typically beginning on the date the accident occurred. It is important to note that this deadline does not apply to insurance claims. Insurance companies require accident victims to report an incident promptly or “within a reasonable time.” It is usually in your best interests to begin the claims process relatively soon since evidence can start to disappear. 

Statute of Limitations for Government Claims

If your claim is against a Government agency in Minnesota, you are required to give notice of your claim within 180 days of the injury. Your claim will be reviewed then a determination will be made on whether it should be paid. 

Statute of Limitations for Survival Actions

When an accident results in the death of a loved one, the surviving family members have three years to file a wrongful death claim. If the victim did not die immediately, the family can also pursue a survival action. The two claims are typically combined, but a survival action can recover pain and suffering damages for the deceased’s conscious pain and suffering they endured prior to their death.