Schedule a Free Consultation Today! | No Fees if No Recovery | Se Habla Español.

What are the basics of a wrongful death claim?


Wrongful Death Lawyer Des Moines IAWrongful Death Lawyer Des Moines IA


When someone loses their life because of another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, their surviving family members may have the right to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit with the help of a wrongful death lawyer Des Moines, IA trusts. This type of claim would seek damages for the survivor’s losses. In general a wrongful death claim should not be pursued without a Des Moines, IA wrongful death lawyer. This type of lawyer may have a background in personal injury law, and a firm understanding of the relevant state and federal legislation.

The following information is generalized and meant to help you understand the basics of a wrongful death claim. If you lost a loved one and believe it was because of someone else’s’ negligence, you should take time to consult a wrongful death lawyer in Des Moines, IA from Des Moines Injury Law. In doing so, you can explore different options that are best suited to your own circumstances.

Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim exists whenever someone dies because of the fault of another person. These types of claims (or lawsuits) are considerably new, and were not allowed under Common Law (laws that were brought from England to the U.S.). During the 20th century, federal and state courts created legislation for these claims.

A wrongful death case can involve a limitless number of fatal accidents, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Bike and motorcycle accidents
  • ATV accidents
  • Boat accidents
  • Plane accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premise liability accidents
  • Product liability accidents
  • Animal bites
  • Acts of violence
  • + More

An individual, company, government organization or agency, can be found liable. Some claims will involve multiple parties, and others only one. By choosing the right Des Moines, IA wrongful death lawyer, you can ensure all parties are held responsible for their actions.

Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim can be filed by one person who is acting as a representative on behalf of all survivors. In general the representative will be the same person named as the executor of the estate.

In every state, immediate family members can file a wrongful death claim. Only some states allow life partners, putative spouses, domestic partners, and financial dependents to file a claim; the same applies to distant family members, such as grandparents. There are also certain states that allow anyone who has suffered a financial loss or care to recover compensation, even if they are not related by blood or marriage. Parents who lost an unborn child to a wrongful death, may be able to recover damages. This is only available in select states, and generally must involve a situation in which the child was born alive, but died shortly after.

Who Can Be Held Liable

A wrongful death claim can be brought against a broad range of people. Examples include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • The driver of a car
  • The builder of a faulty road
  • A government entity who failed to warn drivers about road hazards
  • A manufacturer
  • A distributor
  • Owners of a bar who gave too much alcohol to an obviously drunk person
  • A doctor
  • A hospital

Immunity for Government Entities

In certain circumstances, a government entity, organization, or agency is immune from a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. In other words, they cannot be held liable. Who this applies to varies by state. For example, railroad collisions and makers of generic drugs may not be applicable for wrongful death claim.

To find out if you have a valid claim, call  wrongful death lawyer Des Moines, IA trusts today.