Average Personal Injury Case in Minnesota

 minnesota injury casesThe average verdict in a personal injury case in Minnesota is $271,577. The national average is $885,600.

Does this mean Minnesota juries are not sympathetic to personal injury victims? I think it might, actually. In fact, I think the statistics might actually underestimate how stingy Minnesota juries can be.

Why? The biggest driving force in personal injury verdicts is car accidents because is the most common type of personal injury case. So the state’s law in dealing with car accident claims will make a more meaningful impact on personal injury statistics.

Minnesota allows verdicts in car accident cases to be offset by collateral source payments. This is incredibly unfair to victims – in my humble opinion. They are being penalized for insurance payments that they have been paying for. Completely unfair. But if the desired impact is to quell car accident lawsuits, it does that.

PIP in Minnesota is higher than most states – a minimum PIP policy is $20,000 for medical bills and another $20,000 for lost wages. This means that the cases that go to trial will be bigger cases which should actually increase the average award. I think this is the case, for example, in New York and Florida.

I’m sure that the average jury verdict outside of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester is much lower, although I have not seen statistics that break up individual jurisdictions in Minnesota.

Recent Minnesota Injury Verdicts

WOODWORTH v. ADAMS (2018 – Hennepin County) – DOG BITE = $120,000

Plaintiff was hired by the plaintiff to do landscaping work at Defendant’s house.  Defendants were not home when he arrived and their 22-pound dog was in the yard. The dog had attacked and bit a neighbor the previous year.  The dog attacked and bit the Plaintiff, resulting in a tear of his lip.  The jury awarded $120,000 in damages.

HOY v. MOREM (2018 – Hennepin) – AUTO ACCIDENT = $34,000

Defendant caused a collision with the Plaintiff when he pulled out of parking lot without looking.  Plaintiff alleged that the accident resulted in an intraarticular fracture with permanent joint impairment and also a neck sprain.  The defendant admitted liability but disputed injuries.  The jury awarded $34,000 in damages which were less than what the Plaintiff was seeking.

OLEISKY v. ENTINGER (2017 – Hennepin County) – MOTORCYCLE WRONGFUL DEATH = $90,000

Plaintiff was riding on her boyfriend’s motorcycle when a truck pulled out in front of them.  Plaintiff died in the motorcycle accident and her estate sue both the boyfriend and the other driver.  The jury found boyfriend was 25% at fault (for speeding) and the other driver 75% at fault.  Amount of damages to the estate were disputed because Plaintiff had apparently estranged from her parents. The jury awarded $90,000.

THAO v. FRANCHISE FOOD SYSTEMS LLC (2018 – Ramsey County) – COFFEE BURN = $24,000

Plaintiff was in the drive-thru at a McDonalds when an employee spilled hot coffee on her while handing it out the delivery window.  Plaintiff alleged second-degree burns and permanent scarring of her right breast.  A jury in Ramsey County awarded $24,000 in damages.  Please note the difference between this case and the infamous Stella Liebeck McDonald’s coffee spill case.  In this case, the coffee was spilled on the plaintiff by the employee, as opposed to the coffee being too hot.


Defendant orthopedic surgeon allegedly encountered signs of infection during knee replacement surgery, but negligently elected to ignore infection and continue with surgery, anyway.  Plaintiff allegedly suffered a brain injury and other serious physical injuries as a result of infection.  The jury awarded $2.4 million in damages.


Plaintiff broke his neck and was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life after doing a flip into a foam pit at a trampoline park.  Plaintiff had signed a liability waiver but alleged that Defendant was “grossly negligent” in failing to upgrade and maintain the facility to meet the latest safety standards.  The case was settled just prior to trial for $3 million.

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