If you have questions about whether to pursue an Iowa wrongful death claim, it is always best to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. Why? The death of a loved one is heartbreaking. It can be even more difficult to face when you suspect your loved one died because of another’s fault. Sometimes it’s difficult to get through all the anger, sadness, and grief to make a good decision about whether to file a wrongful death case. A good wrongful death lawyer can help you make informed decisions about whether to pursue a wrongful death case.
An attorney is best suited to help you decide whether filing a wrongful death lawsuit is worth your time by considering these two questions:
1. Can you prove that someone else was at fault for your loved one’s death?
To bring a successful wrongful death claim, you must first prove that your loved one died because someone else was legally at fault. Unless your loved one died because of an intentional act, you will typically have to prove that the at-fault party was negligent. Iowa law defines negligence as:
- Someone doing something that they reasonably should not have done; or
- Someone failing to do something they reasonably should have done.
In other words, a person is negligent if they failed to act reasonably under the circumstances. The burden to prove negligence is on the person bringing the lawsuit.
2. Can you prove that someone else’s fault caused your loved one’s death?
Not only must you prove that your loved one died because of negligence, but you must prove that there is a causal link between the fault and your loved one’s death. For example, in a medical malpractice situation, it is not enough to prove that a doctor made a preventable medical error on a patient who died. You must also prove that the patient’s death was caused by the medical error.
Many types of bad behavior can cause a wrongful death, including:
- A drunk driver who causes a fatal crash
- A careless construction worker who doesn’t pay attention and kills someone else on the job
- A pharmacist who gives a customer the wrong drug
To succeed in an Iowa wrongful death case, an attorney must be an expert both in the law governing the bad behavior that caused the death (like car accident law, construction accident law, or medical malpractice law) and be an expert in Iowa wrongful death law. We have experience in all these types of cases. If you have questions about a potential Iowa wrongful death case, call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1542 today and speak with one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys.