If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, your mind may be reeling. You may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit – but that’s a big decision. We will outline 3 secrets that a wrongful death attorney wants you to know – so you can make an informed decision about bringing a claim.
1. You don’t have much time to file an Iowa wrongful death claim.
The amount of time you have to file a wrongful death claim in Iowa is two years. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you do not settle your wrongful death claim or file a lawsuit within that time frame, you cannot recover any damages.
That doesn’t mean you should wait until two years is nearly up before contacting a lawyer. Most wrongful death claims are complex cases and need an experienced Iowa wrongful death attorney to investigate them properly.
This investigation can include:
- Gathering your loved one’s medical records
- Interviewing witnesses
- Consulting experts
- If your loved one was killed in an accident, the attorney must often analyze the crash scene through pictures or other methods
2. You should not post about the wrongful death case – or your loved one – on social media.
We understand that you are likely missing your loved one. To remember them, you may feel the need to share memories and photos on Facebook or Instagram. Before you do so, know that the insurance company for the other side is likely watching your social media for any posts they can use against you.
Even if you believe you haven’t posted anything bad, the insurance company can still try to use these posts to lowball you in settlement negotiations. They will stop at nothing to keep you from getting fair compensation for the loss of your loved one.
Privacy settings won’t help, either. In the recent years, judges have ordered plaintiffs to send defendants any social media posts they have made during their wrongful death claim – even if their privacy settings are activated. It’s important to remember that what’s considered “private” online isn’t really private.
That is why your attorney will often ask you to stop posting on social media until your case has settled or gone to trial.
3. Your wrongful death case will take a while.
Wrongful death cases can take years to resolve. If you do not settle your case and instead go to trial, your case can take even more time.
These types of cases can be complex and certain investigations must happen before either side can negotiate a fair settlement. In addition, the court will require some types of wrongful death damages to be calculated by an economic expert. Such damages include loss of income and loss of household services.
For example, let’s say the victim is a worker whose spouse stays at home and takes care of the children. Under Iowa law, the spouse may be entitled to the money that the worker would have earned during his lifetime. This amount can be difficult to calculate – raises, bonuses, cost of living increases, and other factors must be figured into the amount – so an attorney will likely have to hire an economic expert to make these calculations.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will explain each step of the claim process to you during your initial consultation. They want you to be aware of what exactly the process involves and how you will be affected.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s fault and would like to speak with an experienced Iowa wrongful death lawyer, call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.