When a person or party is responsible for causing the death of a family member, whether it was caused by someone else’s negligence or a wrongful act they committed, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against them within two years from the date of their death. This timeframe that an individual has to take legal recourse is known as the statute of limitations. It is important that if your loved one was killed as a result of someone’s negligent behavior, that you file your lawsuit within this timeframe otherwise the court will not accept your case.
Now, wrongful death lawsuits are filed for various reasons, some of which we will highlight below. And if your loved one was the victim of any of the incidents mentioned or another type that wasn’t discussed, you are encouraged to contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. so that you can speak with one of our experienced Iowa wrongful death lawyers who can explain the steps you will need to take to hold liable party responsible for your loss.
Examples of When You Might File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
- When a medical error is made that results in a person’s death.
Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals have a duty to provide their patients with a standard level of care. Any type of care rendered that doesn’t meet this, which would be classified as substandard and results in your loved one’s death is at risk of having a wrongful death lawsuit filed against them. For example, let’s say your mother underwent surgery to have a tummy tuck and the doctor performing the surgery wasn’t properly monitoring her while under anesthesia. Complications arose and your mother’s heart rate dropped and eventually stopped. The physician failed to take the proper steps that would have allowed her to survive. This doctor could be held liable for medical malpractice and a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed against him/her.
- When a reckless or negligent motorist causes a car crash.
Car accidents occur for a number of different reasons. However, when a driver engages in behavior that violates one or more laws, such as operating a vehicle while under the influence which leads to your loved one suffering fatal injuries in a collision, that driver is at risk of being sued.
- When a worker isn’t properly trained and sustains fatal injuries in a workplace accident.
Employers are not only required to train their employees or hire those that are qualified already to perform the work that is needing to be done, but they also must not place them in a hazardous environment with defective or unsafe equipment that could lead to an injury or death. When an employer fails to do so, they can be sued for wrongful death if a workplace accident occurred and your loved one was the unfortunate victim.
- When a law enforcement officer applies excessive force.
Although police officers have the right to apply force and even deadly force, they cannot use excessive force. Excessive force “refers to force in excess of what a police officer reasonably believes is necessary.” If a law enforcement officer abuses their rights and power and causes your loved one to suffer a fatal injury, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against them and even the department in which they work for.
In most cases, the surviving family members looking to file a wrongful death suit are not only seeking justice for their loss but also compensation as well. The court will generally award compensation, which is referred to as damages, for “loss of services and support of a deceased spouse, parent, or child” [Source: Probate Code §633.336]. The court will generally award these damages to “the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the decedent in a manner as the court may deem equitable consistent with the loss of services and support sustained by the surviving spouse, children, and parents respectively.”
Now that you are familiar with some examples of what might constitute as a viable wrongful death case, it is time you contact our office and allow one of our helpful and dedicated wrongful death lawyers in Iowa review your matter and help you determine what course of action you should take. Our attorneys understand how difficult life might be for you and your family, both emotionally and financially, which is why we are here to help you and guide you through this unfortunate time.
To schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers, simply call us at 319-393-1020 and we will be happy to set you up with a time that is convenient for you.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000