Can I File a Wrongful Death Case for My Loved One?
A wrongful death claim can arise when a person dies as a result of a negligent or intentional act of another person or legal entity. Wrongful death cases are not criminal cases. They might be brought at the same time as a criminal prosecution for the same act or failure to act, but the criminal courts have no authority to award damages. These claims are civil in nature as opposed to criminal prosecutions. They seek money damages as compensation for the loss of a loved one. They even have a different burden of proof. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil wrongful death case, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence in that the claimant’s case is more likely true than not true.
Only the administrator of a decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Iowa. What that means is that an estate must be opened, and an administrator must be appointed by the probate court before a wrongful death case can be filed. Both processes are legally complicated. Insurance companies know that they face significant financial exposure in wrongful death cases, so they do whatever is legally possible to try and devalue or even deny the claim. Our Des Moines wrongful death attorney at the Reid Law Firm can professionally and effectively guide you through both the probate and wrongful death processes.
If your family member was lost as a result of the negligent or intentional act of another person or legal entity, you’re probably eligible to make a wrongful death claim for damages. Contact the Des Moines wrongful death attorney at the Reid Law Firm as soon as possible to arrange for a free consultation and case review. We’ll listen to you carefully and advise you of your full range of legal options.