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My daughter died shortly before her wedding. Who has the right to recover damages in a wrongful death case?

We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter during what should have been one of the happiest and most promising times of her life, and we understand your question. Your daughter was engaged. She had identified the person whom she was going to marry, she had promised to marry him, and arrangements were made for the legal ceremony to take place. However, at the time she died she was not yet a wife and she was considered single under Iowa law.

What This Means

Generally, it is the administrator of your daughter’s estate who has the right to bring a wrongful death case. If your daughter did not name an administrator in her will, then the court will appoint one for her estate. As the parent of an unmarried adult child, you may have the right to receive damages that are recovered by the estate. Your daughter’s fiancé may not have that right.

That means that you may have a choice to make. You may decide to give a portion of the wrongful death damages to the person whom your daughter would have married if a crash on Interstate 235, Highway 5, or another Iowa road had not tragically ended her life.

Want to Learn More?

You don’t have to decide whether or not to file a wrongful death claim without knowing all of the facts. Instead, we encourage you to browse our free library articles and videos and to contact us directly via this website to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
 

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham