A fatal accident victim’s negligence may not prevent a successful Iowa wrongful death lawsuit. You could have a case even if your loved one was partly at fault.

It depends. Illinois comparative fault law applies to wrongful death cases. According to Iowa Code §668.3, contributory fault of the person who was killed does not prevent a wrongful death recovery unless the person who died bore a greater percentage of fault than all of the defendants in the action combined. In other words, if your loved one was less than 51% responsible for the accident, you may still have a successful wrongful death case.

How Comparative Fault Impacts Your Recovery

If your loved one was 1% to 50% responsible for the fatal accident, then your family’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to your loved one. You may still recover for damages, including:

  • Medical expenses incurred because of the accident
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Past and future lost income
  • Any pain and suffering suffered by your loved one
  • Loss of services, companionship, society, or consortium

These damages will be valued, and a percentage of fault will be attributed to each defendant and your loved one (if applicable).

Call an Iowa Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Wrongful death cases are often complex and contested. You have a lot at stake, and you deserve to have an experienced Iowa wrongful death lawyer evaluate your claim, negotiate a fair recovery with the insurance company, and, if necessary, represent you in court.

So far, our lawyers have helped more than 70,000 clients recover more than $1 billion. We provide each client with personal attention and the skilled representation they deserve.

Contact us today to find out how we may help you. We would be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights, possible recovery, and our Win or It’s Free Guarantee. We can meet with you by video conference or phone, or in our Cedar Rapids, Davenport, or Des Moines office, whatever is most convenient for you.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.