Blurry drunk driving vision of roadway

A drunk driving accident may leave you with many questions. How did the drunk driver kill your loved one? What should you do now? Do you need a lawyer?

You deserve answers to all of the questions as you navigate this difficult time after your loved one’s death in an Iowa drunk driving wreck.

Why Drunk Driving Accidents Often Cause Deaths

Alcohol impairs thinking, interferes with reasoning, and weakens muscle coordination. As a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) increases, the potential dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol also increase. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers with a BAC of just 0.02% have a decline in visual judgment and experience difficulty performing two tasks at the same time.

By the time a driver reaches the legal limit of 0.08% BAC, the predictable effects on driving include:

  • Concentration problems
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty with speed control
  • Reduced information processing capability that interferes with things like signal detection and visual search
  • Impaired perception

Drivers with higher BACs may be unable to maintain lane positions, brake when necessary, or control their vehicles.

Accordingly, drunk drivers may cause fatal accidents by causing:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Pedestrian crashes
  • Wrong-way accidents
  • Rear-end crashes at high speeds

A full investigation will determine what caused the crash that took your loved one’s life.

What to Do After a Fatal Drunk Driving Crash in Iowa

It can be challenging to navigate the legal aspects of a potential wrongful death lawsuit while you grieve. However, you don’t have to do it alone.

You can work with an experienced Iowa wrongful death lawyer to:

  • Investigate the accident. The police will investigate the accident at the scene, but additional evidence may be necessary for a successful wrongful death case.
  • Identify all of the potential defendants. The drunk driver caused your loved one’s death and should be held liable. Other defendants may be liable pursuant to Iowa’s Dram Shop Act or Social Host Liability Law in limited circumstances.
  • File a wrongful death case. A formal complaint that meets all court requirements must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
  • Pursue wrongful death compensation. Damages may include compensation for things such as medical expenses incurred before death, funeral and burial costs, lost income, pain, suffering, and emotional loss.

While nothing can change your family’s loss, you and your Iowa wrongful death attorney can work together to hold the drunk driver responsible and to make sure that your family doesn’t suffer any unnecessary financial harm.

When to Contact an Iowa Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

You have a lot on your plate right now, and contacting an Iowa drunk driving wrongful death lawyer may not be the first thing on your to-do list. However, an experienced attorney can help you through this difficult time.

It’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible because:

  • Evidence needs to be preserved. Evidence may be lost or destroyed unless an attorney requests that it be preserved for potential litigation.
  • You have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death case. In most cases, families have up to two years to file wrongful death lawsuits in Iowa.
  • The sooner you start a case, the sooner it may be resolved. There is no benefit to waiting to file a wrongful death case, and there are many benefits to starting your claim as soon as possible.

Over the past half-century, the attorneys of Hupy and Abraham have helped more than 70,000 clients recover more than $1 billion in damages. Insurance companies know that we mean business and are often willing to settle our clients’ claims rather than risk the uncertainty of going to court.

Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation in our Cedar Rapids, Davenport, or Des Moines office, by phone or video conference, or in your home or hospital room. We would be happy to discuss your family’s rights, possible recovery, and our Win, or It’s Free Guarantee.


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