Many people ask us about the differences between an Iowa wrongful death claim and a personal injury claim. If you suspect a loved one died because of someone else’s fault, this may be one of your questions as well. In this situation, it is important to understand the differences between a wrongful death lawsuit and a personal injury lawsuit in Iowa. Understanding your rights will help you make a good and informed decision about what to do next.
Both personal injury claims and wrongful death claims typically start the same way – someone was careless in their actions or inactions and someone else was harmed as a result. The main difference between the two types of claims is that, in a personal injury case, the harmed person lives. In a wrongful death case, the harmed person dies.
That distinction defines who can bring a case against the at-fault party. If an injury results from other’s carelessness, typically the injured party has the right to bring the case. In an Iowa wrongful death claim – since the injured party was killed – only certain people have a legal right to bring the case. Under Iowa law, those people are usually close family members.
Types of Compensation for Iowa Personal Injury Claims
The distinction between personal injury claims vs. wrongful death claims also affects the compensation that can be sought from the at-fault party. In an Iowa personal injury case, the injured party can ask for:
- Payment of injury-related medical expenses
- Payment of injury-related lost earnings
- Compensation for injury-related loss of function
- Compensation for injury-related pain and suffering
What Compensation Can You Ask For After a Wrongful Death in Iowa?
Wrongful death damages are calculated differently than personal injury claim damages. In an Iowa wrongful death case, the estate of the person killed can ask the at-fault party to compensate for:
- Pre-death loss of function
- Pre-death pain and suffering
- Death-related medical expenses
- Interest on reasonable funeral expenses
- Loss of accumulation to the estate (which means the loss of likely future earnings)
- Loss of household services
- Loss of companionship and guidance (for spouses and children)
As you can see, wrongful death claims are very different than personal injury claims in Iowa. For that reason, these cases are best handled by an experienced Iowa wrongful death attorney or a personal injury lawyer. If you have questions about a potential wrongful death claim or a personal injury claim, call our law office today at 1-319-774-1542 and speak to an expert.