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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Learn How to File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death in Iowa

Losing a loved one is never easy, but when that loss is due to someone else's negligence, the pain can be overwhelming. In Iowa, like in many states, there's a legal way to pursue justice for such heartbreaking losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. 

While nothing can bring back the deceased, holding those responsible accountable can provide some sense of closure for the deceased person's family.

Filing an Iowa wrongful death case can be tricky and emotionally taxing. Still, with the right support, victims can ensure their loved one's untimely passing isn't in vain.

Step 1: Gathering Evidence and Documents 

Step 1: Gathering Evidence and Documents 

The first stage in filing a wrongful death lawsuit is gathering evidence to support the claim. This may include medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any other paper that demonstrates the negligence or wrongful actions that led to the loved one's passing. 

Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney can be invaluable during this phase. They can help the victim's family members identify relevant evidence and ensure nothing is overlooked. They can also consult on how to file a lawsuit for a dog bite in Iowa.

Step 2: Identifying Responsible Parties

In wrongful death lawsuits, it's crucial to identify all parties who may be responsible for the loved one's death. 

This could include individuals, companies, or even government entities whose actions or negligence contributed to the fatal incident. 

An attorney will run a thorough investigation to determine liability and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. They are also able to help with how to file a lawsuit for workers compensation in Iowa.

Step 3: Filing the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Once the claimants gather sufficient evidence and identify the responsible parties, the attorney will file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person's estate and their surviving family members. 

In Iowa, a personal representative of the departed victim's estate will have to file the lawsuit. A family member typically appoints a representative. 

Step 4: Steering the Legal Process 

Wrongful death cases start a process that can involve negotiations, depositions, and potentially a trial. Throughout this process, the attorney will advocate on the victim's behalf, representing their interests and seeking fair compensation for their losses. 

While the legal proceedings can be lengthy and complicated, a skilled lawyer can alleviate some of the burden and effectively present the Iowa wrongful death lawsuit in court. 

Step 5: Seeking Compensation 

One of the main objectives of wrongful death claims is to seek compensation for the damages incurred as a result of a loved one's passing. 

This usually includes medical and hospital expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. 

An experienced lawyer knows how to pursue the maximum compensation available under Iowa law, providing financial support for the deceased person's family during this difficult time. 

Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Case 

Having to deal with a loved one's untimely death is a heart-wrenching experience that nothing can fully compensate for. It's natural for families to grieve during this difficult period. 

However, there is a time limit to how long people have before they are legally barred from filing an Iowa wrongful death claim. 

In the Hawkeye State, the statute of limitations for filing most wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the deceased person's passing. 

Unfortunately, families have a limited window of opportunity to take legal action against those responsible for their loved one's wrongful death.

Certain exceptions may extend or shorten this timeframe. The court may extend the limit if the wrongful death happened due to medical malpractice or if the responsible party is a government entity. Time is of the essence, and taking quick action is essential for those filing wrongful death lawsuits. For more information, a wrongful death law firm in Des Moines may be able to help.

Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Iowa? 

As mentioned before, a personal representative has the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members.

While the personal representative is the immediate party responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the damages awarded in such cases ultimately benefit the victim's family members, like:

The compensation can help them cope with the emotional and financial burdens of their loss. Distant relatives or people who were not financially dependent on the deceased may not have the right to bring a wrongful death claim. 

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful death lawsuits in Iowa and across the United States. 

Whether due to reckless driving, distracted driving, or drunk driving, these accidents can result in devastating consequences. 

Medical Malpractice 

Errors such as misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, and medication errors can have fatal consequences. Unfortunately, wrongful death is pretty common due to medical malpractice. 

Workplace Accident 

Negligence, lack of safety protocols, and hazardous working conditions can contribute to fatal accidents in construction sites and office settings. 

Faulty Manufacturing 

Defective products, such as faulty machinery, automotive parts, or pharmaceuticals, can pose serious risks to consumers. 

When these products cause deadly injuries, the court may hold manufacturers, distributors, or retailers liable for their failure to ensure product safety. 

Hiring an Expert Lawyer Before Filing a Wrongful Death Claim 

Grieving families often find themselves grappling with a myriad of emotions, from anger and frustration to sadness and confusion. 

During such a vulnerable time, having a compassionate and empathetic wrongful death attorney can provide much-needed support and reassurance in a personal injury lawsuit. 

They also leave no stone unturned in their quest for justice in an Iowa wrongful death claim. Facing off against insurance companies, corporations, or other parties in a wrongful death claim can be challenging. 

These entities usually have teams of lawyers and vast resources at their disposal. However, with an expert wrongful death attorney by their side, families can level the playing field.

Final Words 

While nothing can erase the pain of losing a loved one, victims who file a wrongful death lawsuit can experience a sense of closure and financial support. 

Qualified lawyers from Tom Fowler Law in Des Moines, Iowa, can help families receive the justice they deserve. These professionals will also assess the strength of the case and fight fiercely on the victim's behalf. 

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