• FELA Injury Case

    • What is the FELA?
      FELA is the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, which was originally enacted in 1906 and passed Congressional legislation in 1908. Although the name seems to apply to all federal employers, FELA specifically applies to railroad workers who are injured on the job. It provides legal protections and guarantees to railroad workers in acknowledgment that their work can be inherently dangerous.
    • What damages and compensation can I receive under FELA?
      Under FELA, injured railroad workers should be provided compensation that helps cover lost wages, reduced income earning capacity, medical treatment costs, and hardships and losses caused by permanent disabilities. Notably, FELA claims can also seek damages for physical pain, emotional trauma, and mental suffering, which is otherwise disallowed in workers’ compensation claims.
    • What should I do if I am injured while working for a railroad?
      You should treat a railroad injury case as you would any other work-related injury case. Begin by seeking immediate medical attention if required. Next, document the scene as much as you safely can. Then, inform your supervisor about the incident and fill out an accident report. Lastly, contact a train accident attorney shortly after reporting the accident and injury.
    • Do I have to fill out an injury report? How soon if so?
      Yes, your employment contract should state that you will submit an injury report after being hurt while working for the railroad or related company. Typically, the worker is required to submit a report “as soon as possible” or no later than 30 days after the incident, with some variance based on the employer’s expectations. Submitting an injury report the same day as your accident benefits all parties, including you, so do not delay in this step.
    • What if the railroad wants to talk to my doctors?
      Does the railroad want to talk to your doctor about your injury? FELA blocks the railroad or your employer from talking with your medical team without your consent. The railroad also cannot attempt to influence what medical treatments you receive. If the railroad is insistent about talking with your doctor, then you should talk with our attorneys right away.
    • Do I need a lawyer?
      You are not legally required to hire an attorney to assist you with your FELA or railroad injury case. But it is highly recommended that you do. FELA is extremely complex and intricate, even more so than other liability laws and federal regulations. You will likely significantly damage your case if you attempt to manage it alone and self-represent.
    • How does your firm get paid for representing injured railroad workers?
      Bolt Law Firm offers contingency fee agreements to personal injury and FELA injury clients. Under a contingency fee agreement, we agree to work on your case and represent you without any upfront attorney fees. We are only paid for our representation if your case ends in your favor, such as with a settlement or award. The amount we are paid will match an agreed-upon percentage of your winnings, Furthermore, we might be able to convince the court to order the opposition to pay our attorney fees, leaving even more of your recovery for you.
  • Train Accidents

    • What are common types of train accidents?
      Based on information from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are nearly 6,000 train accidents each year that involve motorists and pedestrians. Most of these accidents involve vehicles that get hit by a train at a crossing point. Others involve pedestrians who are struck by a train at a station after wandering too close to the tracks. Derailments are devastating, but only a few dozen happen each year.
    • Why do train accidents happen?
      Train accidents can usually be traced back to some form of negligence or another. The question is which party acted negligently? In many crossing accidents that involve a train and a car, for example, the cross guard does not function properly, and the motorist does not know the train is approaching. In this situation, one or more railroad companies and local municipalities could be liable for not maintaining the cross guard correctly.
    • What should I do if a loved one was killed or injured in a train accident?
      If your loved one is too injured to handle a case on their own, or if they passed away from a train accident, then you should seek legal counsel on their behalf. Talk to our attorneys about what happened, and we can advise you about what to do next. In some cases, you might need the court’s permission to continue a case in their name, but we can help you with this step, too.
    • How do I choose the right train accident lawyer?
      Train accident cases are uniquely complicated due to the legal protections that often surround the defendants. When choosing a train accident attorney to manage your case, you should specifically ask your lawyer how much experience they have with this exact type of claim or lawsuit. An attorney who has not worked on a train accident case in any capacity before might not be prepared to handle your case.
    • Where does your law firm handle train accident cases?
      Bolt Law Firm is capable of accepting train accident cases and claims from across the nation. No matter where you live or where your accident happened, we can assist you.
  • Probate, Ect

    • What Is Probate?
      Probate is the process of administering the estate of a deceased person. The probate process has a few general purposes. The first is to determine how the assets of the estate will be distributed, or who will get what. The second is to resolve issues with any outstanding creditors of the deceased person. We act as a guide in helping families navigate the probate process.
    • What Is the Difference Between “Probate” & “Non-Probate” Assets?
      Non-probate assets are assets that you have made a separate plan for upon your death. Assets with proper beneficiary designations, transfer on death designations, or payable on death designations are considered non-probate assets. In addition, assets that are properly transferred into a trust are considered non-probate assets. Probate assets are any assets that are left over and will either pass according to your will, if you have one, or under Minnesota statutes, if you don’t.
    • Do I Need to Go Through Probate?
      Some estates have to go through probate, and some do not. Whether your estate will have to go through probate depends on the assets involved. If you have over a certain amount of probate assets, your estate will have to go through probate. In addition, if you own real estate that is considered a probate asset, your estate will have to go through probate, regardless of the equity in the real estate. If you need help determining whether probate is necessary for you, please contact us.
    • How Do I Begin to Probate an Estate?
      The probate process is initiated by filing a petition in the county in which the deceased person resided or owned real estate. Generally, this petition must be filed within three years of the date of death; however, probate is oftentimes initiated much sooner to protect the assets in the estate and get the property to the heirs. We work with personal representatives across Minnesota to help them file probate in several counties, including but not limited to:
      • Anoka County
      • Hennepin County
      • Sherburne County
      • Isanti County
      • Wright County
      • Ramsey County
      • Washington County
      Our probate practice group provides a step-by-step approach to help personal representatives successfully initiate and complete the probate process.
    • Who Is the Personal Representative?
      The role of personal representative can be predetermined by the deceased person or may be chosen by the courts. Oftentimes, the personal representative is appointed in a will. If there is no will in place, any interested party can petition the court to be appointed as personal representative, and the court will determine who the personal representative should be.
    • What Does a Personal Representative Do?
      A personal representative, formerly referred to as an administrator or executor, is in charge of administering the estate and following through on the written wishes of the deceased person. A personal representative will create an inventory of the estate assets and document all transactions involving the estate. A large part of the job of the personal representative is to transfer the assets from the deceased person to their heirs. It is important for a personal representative to work with an attorney to make sure the probate process is handled properly.
    • What Is the Difference Between Formal & Informal Probate?
      Minnesota provides for both a formal and informal probate process. The formal probate process has a greater level of court involvement. The informal probate process has less court involvement and is paperwork driven. Often, the informal probate process will not even involve a court appearance. The formal probate process is preferred in the following circumstances:
      • Distribution to a minor beneficiary
      • Unknown heirs or creditors
      • Questions surrounding the will or trust
      • Complicated family situations
      • The original will cannot be found
      • Other issues with the will
      • An insolvent estate
      We work with personal representatives to determine whether formal or informal probate is the proper course of action.
    • How Long Does Probate Generally Take?
      The probate process generally takes six months to a year. Depending on the complexity of the estate, this process can take much longer — sometimes even several years. Because probate is lengthy, it is important to get the probate process started right away to prevent unnecessary delays.
    • How Much Does Probate Cost?
      Between filing fees, publication costs, and attorney fees, the probate process generally costs several thousand dollars. These costs will increase greatly with a complicated estate or contesting family members.
    • Do I Need to Pay Estate Taxes with Probate?
      Probate and estate taxes are two separate issues. Probate does not determine whether you will pay estate taxes at the state or federal level. Whether you owe estate taxes upon your death depends solely on the value of your estate.
    • Do I Need an Attorney to Navigate Probate?
      While it is possible to navigate the probate process on your own, some cases may require the assistance of a knowledgeable probate attorney to properly probate the estate. Some small estates do not need to pass through the Minnesota probate process. Rather, they can be transferred via a small estate affidavit. While it can still be worthwhile to consult an attorney, you may be able to transfer the estate without legal help. With larger estates, especially those with real estate, it is wise to discuss probate with a lawyer who understands the process and can ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Generally speaking, the more complex the situation, the more beneficial it is to work with a probate attorney. However, there are numerous benefits to hiring a lawyer even in seemingly simple or informal probate matters.
    • Who Pays for Probate?
      In most cases, probate and associated probate costs are paid by the estate. In other words, the personal representative (or “executor”) of the estate is responsible for paying bills and related costs in the “proper fashion.” There is a specific order of priority that must be followed in Minnesota, beginning with costs associated with administering the estate, such as court costs and attorney fees, followed by funeral expenses, federal taxes and outstanding debts, reasonable and necessary medical expenses, state taxes and outstanding debts, and, lastly, all other claims against the estate. For more information, contact our probate attorneys at Bolt Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Family Law

    • How much does a divorce cost?
      Because every situation is different, there really is no “average” divorce cost. On the low end, a divorce might cost $3,000 to $5,000. Sometimes, the amount may be closer to $10,000 or more. In some cases, a divorce may even cost upward of $90,000 to $100,000, though this is very uncommon. Different factors that affect the cost of a divorce include individual attorney fees, whether or not the divorce is contested, the relationship between the two spouses, both parties’ expectations, whether there are children involved, the total value of marital assets and debts, and various court fees.
    • Do I need an attorney for a divorce?
      You are not required by law to hire an attorney to get divorced in Minnesota. However, there are many advantages to working with an experienced family lawyer. Even the most amicable of divorces tend to have certain challenges. When two spouses cannot agree on every single aspect of the divorce, these challenges are almost guaranteed to escalate. Having an impartial third party on your side can not only help you navigate these issues but also ensures that your rights will be protected throughout the process. At Bolt Law Firm, our divorce attorneys are entirely committed to protecting the best interests of their clients.
    • What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?
      The main difference between legal separation and divorce is that, with legal separation, you and your spouse are technically still married in the eyes of the law. In Minnesota, legal separations and divorces cost about the same and, generally, have the same effects. Just like in a divorce, two parties entering a legal separation must divide debts, marital assets, and shared properties. They must also decide on issues related to child custody, alimony/spousal support, and child support. Note that a legal separation is not the same as a separation. With a general separation, the two parties typically live apart on a trial basis without court involvement. A legal separation, however, involves many of the same elements as a divorce, including court intervention.
    • Do I need a prenup?
      Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, can be beneficial for married couples from all walks of life. While there is no law requiring you to have a prenup, signing one can do much more than just protect your assets and properties in the event of a legal separation or divorce. A prenup can also be used to protect children from a past marriage or partnership, protect your business, and provide you with peace of mind now and in the future. If you are considering entering into a prenuptial agreement, we recommend that you discuss your options with our prenup attorneys at Bolt Law Firm. We can advise you regarding your rights and best interests as they pertain to your specific situation.
    • Do you offer a free consult?
      Yes, our office offers a free phone consult on family law matters.
  • Estate Planning

    • Do I need a trust or will?
      You are not required by law to have a will or establish a trust. However, these are the basic building blocks of any solid estate plan. A last will and testament allows you to ensure that your assets, money, and properties are distributed according to your wishes after your death. Without this document, your estate will be divided according to Minnesota’s inheritance laws. Similarly, a trust can be used to distribute assets and properties after your death while allowing you to maintain control of those assets and properties while you are living. In some cases, trusts can be used to help your beneficiaries avoid certain taxes and, in some instances, probate.
    • Can I write my own will?
      In Minnesota, you are permitted to write your own will. To be considered valid and legally enforceable, a will must be completed in writing, must be signed by you (the “testator”), and signed by at least two witnesses. Additionally, the witnesses must be over the age of 18. In many cases, it is a good idea to have an attorney review or assist you in drafting your will. This is especially true for individuals with high net-worth or considerable assets or properties. Business owners and people who believe their will may be contested will also likely benefit from the assistance of an estate planning attorney.
    • What happens if you die without a will?
      If you die without a will in Minnesota, your estate will be subject to the state’s inheritance laws, also known as “intestate succession.” These laws govern how estates are distributed, regardless of or in the absence of the noted wishes of the individual to whom the estate belongs. Generally speaking, intestate succession mandates that an individual’s assets, properties, money, and belongings be transferred to their closest living relatives, including the spouse, children, descendants, the spouse’s descendants, parents, and siblings.
    • How do I protect my estate for my kids?
      The best way to protect your estate for your kids is to develop a comprehensive estate plan. Typically, this includes, at minimum, a last will and testament. It may also involve placing certain assets or properties into a trust, naming appointed guardians for minor children, and setting up healthcare directives/powers of attorney. Together, these elements can ensure that your children are cared for and provided for according to your wishes.
    • Can a trust protect my assets from the nursing home?
      Sometimes, after a person passes away, nursing homes and other assisted living facilities can seek repayment by forcing the sale of assets in a trust. To protect assets from a nursing home, you must establish an irrevocable trust. With an irrevocable trust, the person who created the trust (known as the “grantor”) does not legally own the assets held within the trust. As such, the nursing home cannot access these assets or force their sale for repayment. With a revocable trust, however, the grantor does legally own the trust assets, meaning these assets could be used to repay a nursing home or Medicaid.
  • Personal Injury

    • How much does it cost to hire or talk to a personal injury attorney?
      At Bolt Law Firm, we offer free consultations to all prospective clients. This means that it does not cost you anything to speak to a personal injury attorney at our firm about your situation, your concerns, and your options. Additionally, personal injury attorneys nearly always provide legal services on a contingency fee basis. Under this pay structure, you do not pay attorney fees out of pocket; instead, your attorney’s fees are paid via a percentage of your recovery. In other words, a certain percentage of your settlement or verdict is used to pay your attorney’s fees. The exact percentage that will be used to pay these fees is something you can discuss with your attorney during the initial meeting. We invite you to contact us today to learn more.
    • What does no-fault mean?
      In relation to motor vehicle accidents, “no-fault” refers to a type of auto insurance structure. Under a no-fault system, motorists are required to purchase minimum amounts of personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage. When a motorist is involved in an accident, they can file a PIP claim with their auto insurance company and receive compensation for specific losses, such as medical bills, regardless of who was at fault for the crash (i.e., “no fault”). Minnesota is one of several states to follow a no-fault car insurance system, meaning you are automatically covered for certain damages if you have insurance.
    • Do I need to sue someone to receive compensation?
      You do not necessarily need to sue someone to be compensated for injury-related damages. In fact, filing a lawsuit is rarely the first step in seeking compensation. After a motor vehicle accident in Minnesota, an injured individual may turn to their no-fault insurance (or “personal injury protection/PIP” coverage) to receive compensation for certain covered losses. If PIP coverage is insufficient, the injured individual may bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider (in some instances). This is true of other types of accidents and injury-causing events, as well; usually, your first step in seeking compensation is filing a claim against the liable party’s insurance provider. Only when the insurance provider fails to offer a fair settlement do you typically need to file a lawsuit.
    • Do I need an attorney for my car accident case?
      You are not required by law to hire an attorney to resolve a car accident case. However, if you were injured in a car accident in Minnesota, it is wise to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer. The state’s no-fault laws can be difficult to navigate, and you may have trouble recovering a fair settlement without the help of an attorney. When you work with a lawyer at Bolt Law Firm, you can count on your attorney to communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and aggressively negotiate a fair settlement. If necessary, our attorneys are even prepared to represent you at trial.
    • Should I talk to my insurance company about the accident? What about the other person’s insurance company?
      While you should report an accident to your insurance company, you should avoid signing any documents or making any official statements without first speaking to an attorney. When it comes to discussing the case with the other person’s insurance company, refrain from saying anything until you have talked to a lawyer. Remember, the insurance company is not on your side. They will often do everything they can to devalue or deny your claim, including misconstruing statements you have made or taking these statements out of context to dispute your injuries, claim you were at fault, or allege that your claim is invalid. You should always talk to a lawyer first before talking to either your insurance company or the other party’s insurance provider.
    • If I got hurt by an uninsured driver is there anything I can do? What about a hit and run?
      If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, injured by an uninsured motorist, or were otherwise unable to obtain the at-fault driver’s insurance information, you may have several options when it comes to pursuing compensation. In Minnesota, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is mandatory, meaning you already have this coverage if you have auto insurance. You are required to carry at least $25,000/$50,000 in UM insurance for bodily injury per person/per accident, but you can elect to increase your coverage voluntarily. If you are injured by an uninsured driver or in a hit-and-run accident, you can file a UM claim and recover compensation up to your policy limits for your damages.
    • Who will pay my medical bills?
      The question of who will pay your medical bills depends on the type of accident you were involved in, or how you were injured. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, your auto insurance provider is responsible for paying your medical bills, even if you have health insurance. If you were injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, you may be initially responsible for paying your medical bills, but you are likely entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses from the property owner’s insurance company. In some cases, you may need to file a lawsuit against a liable party to recover compensation for medical bills and related expenses. Our personal injury lawyers can provide more detailed information specific to your situation during a free initial consultation. Contact Bolt Law Firm today to learn more.
    • How much is my case worth?
      The exact value of your case depends on numerous factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, your degree of fault (if any), and more. It is impossible to determine how much your case might be worth without first reviewing these and other related issues, such as the extent of your physical and mental pain and suffering. We invite you to reach out to our attorneys at Bolt Law Firm to set up a free, no-obligation consultation today.
  • Catastrophic Injuries

    • What is a “personal injury?”

      A personal injury is any type of injury that results in harm or death. Even if you have only suffered emotional pain, you may qualify for a personal injury lawsuit.

    • Do you offer a free consultation?
      Yes, we offer a free consultation. Call us today.
    • What types of personal injury cases do you handle?
      Bolt Law Firm handles all types of personal injury cases, including premise liability, product defects, burn injuries, traumatic brain injuries, wrongful death, and more.
    • What is “contingency?”
      We bill for personal injury services on a contingency fee basis. That means you will not pay unless we resolve the case and recover money for you.
    • Do I have a case?
      If you are dealing with a personal injury or wrongful death issue, it’s important for us to understand any details that might impact the outcome of a case. Call today to schedule your free initial consultation and case evaluation.
    • Can’t I just handle a case between myself and my insurance company without hiring a lawyer?
      You could, but keep in mind that a personal injury and wrongful death attorney will work for you, while an insurance company agent will work toward the company’s interest – paying the smallest possible settlement.
    • What is a statute of limitations?
      A statute of limitations caps allows only a certain amount of time you are able to sue. Every case type has a different statute of limitations, so contact our office today to discuss your situation.
    • Define recklessness
      Recklessness occurs when an individual blatantly ignores the potential consequences of their actions.
    • What is premise liability?
      When someone fails to keep their property safe for visitors, they can be held accountable for injuries that occur on the premise.
    • What is a product defect?
      A manufacturer can be held liable for injuries that result from use of product that is not safe or does not warn of potential hazards