If your loved one has died and you suspect that his or her death was caused by someone else’s fault, you may be wondering if you should file a wrongful death claim. Here are things to consider if you want to preserve your right to bring a wrongful death claim in Iowa.
Set Up an Estate
When someone dies, they obviously can no longer bring a lawsuit themselves. Iowa law requires that an estate to be opened for a deceased person before a wrongful death case can be filed.
This is a requirement because any money compensation received in a wrongful death claim must typically be paid into the estate of the deceased person. The beneficiaries of the estate will then receive the money compensation under the terms of the deceased’s will and/or according to Iowa probate law.
A probate attorney can provide you with the steps needed to set up an estate. An experienced Iowa wrongful death attorney can typically offer advice on this step as well.
Consider Asking for an Autopsy
If you suspect a loved one was killed because of someone else’s fault, strongly consider requesting an autopsy. The burden of proving the cause of death falls on the person or people bringing the wrongful death lawsuit. Cause of death is often best proved by doing an autopsy.
There are also potential reasons for skipping an autopsy when pursuing a wrongful death claim. The best course of action is to consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer before deciding on an autopsy for a loved one.
Hire an Experienced Iowa Wrongful Death Attorney
Handling a wrongful death claim is not simple. There is no way to settle a wrongful death case without filing documents with the court and getting court approval. Iowa wrongful death law is a complex field, and not every lawyer is familiar with the rules and procedures needed to handle your case properly.
There are relatively few attorneys in Iowa that specialize in wrongful death cases. To make sure you hire the right attorney to investigate a potential wrongful death case, ask for:
- A list of their experience with wrongful death cases
- Any written information about wrongful death you can read on your own time
You may have further questions. If you do, please call us at 1-319-774-1542 and speak to one of our experienced Iowa wrongful death attorneys today.