Did your 83-year-old parent die in a car crash on Merle Hay Road? Did your young child die in a truck crash on the West Mixmaster Interchange? If you’ve lost a young child or older relative in a Des Moines accident, then you may be hearing incorrect information about your legal rights. You may have heard that you shouldn’t bother filing a claim because the person who died did not earn an income.
Earning an Income is Not a Prerequisite to Filing a Wrongful Death Case
Iowa wrongful death law does not require that the victim of an accident have earned a certain income in order for the victim’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, a wrongful death case may be filed if the elements of a wrongful death case are met. More specifically, a case may be filed if it can be proven that the person who caused the accident was negligent, if that negligence resulted in the victim’s death, and if the person bringing the case has standing to do so and does it within the time allowed by law.
In other words, a wrongful death case depends not on who the victim was but rather on the actions (or inactions) of the person who caused the accident. That said, the amount of damages that can be recovered may depend, in part, on the income that was earned and likely to be earned in the future by the victim who died.
Possible Damages Should Not Confuse the Issue
Have you filed a wrongful death case even though your loved one was no longer earning an income or had not yet started to earn an income? How did filing the case benefit your family? Please leave a comment and let others who may be in this situation know how filing a wrongful death case affected your family.