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Legal FAQs

Car Accidents Minnesota

What to do in the event of an auto accident

  • Call 911 for help for anyone hurt or if there is property damage in excess of $100.
  • Gather information. Obtain the other driver’s name, address, home phone number, work phone number, driver’s license number, date of birth, insurance company, and policy number.
  • Do not discuss the accident with anyone except to answer questions asked by police officers.
  • Contact your insurance agent or insurance company to notify them immediately of the accident.

Contact us if you would like a brochure to assist you in the event of an accident.

In the event of an automobile accident, who pays the medical bills?

In Minnesota under the No-Fault statute, an injured party looks to his or her own insurance company for payment of medical bills and lost wages even if he or she is not at fault for the accident. The advantage under the No-Fault statute is that an injured person gets compensated quickly and easily for medical bills and wage loss without having to prove who actually is at fault in causing the injuries. Medical and wage loss benefits are found in the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of the individual’s policy.

Is property damage covered under my no-fault coverage?

No. No-fault coverage provides coverage for medical expenses, wage loss, and hired help.

What is No-Fault insurance?

In 1975, the Minnesota Legislature passed a “No-Fault Statute” regulating insurance you must have to operate a motor vehicle. It allows those who are involved in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault, to recover costs for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic losses. No-fault insurance will pay for medical expenses including medical, surgical, hospital, x-ray, chiropractic, rehabilitation services, prescription, and ambulance, and provide mileage to and from treatment. The No-Fault Act also pays for wage loss including 85% of the injured person’s gross income to a maximum of $500 per week.

When damages are more serious, such as in:

  • Death
  • Permanent injury or disfigurement
  • More than $4000 in medical expenses or
  • Disability lasting for more than 60 days

The injured party has a right to file a claim against the person responsible for the accident via a Mankato personal injury attorney.

Under Minnesota law, personal injury protection (PIP) provides minimum coverage of $20,000 for medical care, and $20,000 wage loss per covered person.

Employment Law Minnesota

What is employment ''at will''?

Employment “at will” is a legal doctrine that governs most employment relationships in Minnesota. It provides that an employer may change the terms and conditions of employment, impose discipline on an employee, or discharge an employee for any cause whatsoever, or no cause at all. It allows an employee to quit and to change employment at any time. There are a number of limitations that restrict an employee’s and employer’s actions. An employer’s actions may not be contrary to laws protecting against discrimination or harassment. In some circumstances employment manuals or personnel policies may take an employee out of “at will” employment.

When can an employer discipline an employee?

If the employment is “at will” employment, the employer can discipline or discharge an employee for poor work performance or for any other reason provided the employer’s action is not discriminatory or based on illegal grounds. Employment manuals often provide procedures for imposing discipline or discharge, and the employer is generally obligated to follow the procedures set forth in the manual. An employee under contract cannot be disciplined or terminated except in accordance with the provisions of the contract. Employees who are members of labor unions or work for the government may not be disciplined or terminated without compliance with the applicable terms of the collective bargaining agreement, or applicable civil service policy and rules.

Can an employer restrict an employee from competing after termination of employment?

An employee may be prevented from engaging in competitive activity, or taking confidential information (trade secrets) if the employee has signed a written contract containing a noncompete or nondisclosure clause. A noncompete clause must generally be limited in time, duration, and scope and supported by independent consideration, and must be reasonable in order to be enforceable. Courts are reluctant to enforce noncompete provisions on employees unless they are narrowly defined.

Estate Planning and Probate Minnesota

What is a will?

A Will is a written instrument by which a person disposes of his or her property at the time of their death. A Will can be modified any time prior to death as long as the person is legally competent.

What is a health care directive?

A health care directive is a document that provides a person an opportunity to express, in advance, the type of medical treatment they wish to receive in the event they are unable to make their wishes known. The health care directive must be in writing, dated, state the person’s name, and be properly signed.  It may include health care instructions and/or a health care agent.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is an instrument authorizing another person to act as one’s agent or attorney. The authority of the attorney-in-fact may be general or limited. The power of the attorney-in-fact may be revoked by the principal during life and ceases at the time of the principal’s death.

Real Estate Minnesota

Do I need a Minnesota real estate lawyer to draft or review a purchase agreement?

Real estate agents are trained to fill in the blanks of standard form agreements. They are not trained in the law and cannot advise you on the legal significance or the effect of the terms in the purchase agreement. The purchase or sale of a home is probably the largest transaction in which you will ever be involved and you need to protect your interests. A purchase agreement is a contract and, once signed, is a legal force of the law and becomes binding and enforceable on the parties to the agreement. As with any contract, you should have your lawyer review it before you sign it so that any changes or modifications needed to protect your interests are made before you sign the document.

What is a title opinion?

A title opinion is a letter or memorandum issued by a lawyer after the lawyer reviews the abstract or title or the Torrens certificate pertaining to the property. The attorney drafting the title opinion reviews the abstract or Torrens certificate looking for “defects” affecting the title to the property and will set out objections, if any, to the title.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance is an insurance policy purchased from a title insurance company. A title insurance company will review the abstract of title or Torrens certificate for the real estate, and issue a “policy of insurance” providing coverage in the event of a defect in the title to the property. Our attorneys can assist you in obtaining title insurance.

Family Law Minnesota

What is dissolution of marriage?

Dissolution of marriage (also known as divorce) is a legal proceeding to end a marital relationship. The court order of dissolution will also establish custody, visitation, and support of minor children, address the issues of spousal maintenance, and make a distribution or division of property and debt.

Is a divorce different from legal separation?

Divorce ends a marriage. Legal separation involves procedures similar to divorce, but does not end a marriage.

This webpage contains general information and not legal advice. It is based on Minnesota law in effect at the time of writing. An attorney at Farrish Johnson can advise you about how the law applies to your specific situation.