What Is a Depraved Heart Killing?

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against a person who causes the death of another. If the defendant deliberately committed murder, he or she may face criminal penalties in addition to a type of legal action called intentional tort. If the defendant behaved in a careless way that accidentally caused someone’s death, he or she may be targeted by a negligence claim. Some cases, however, involve a fine line between deliberately and accidentally causing a death.

One criminal charge that acknowledges this gray area is known as a depraved heart killing. This occurs when someone behaves in such a grossly negligent way that he or she appears to have no regard for human life. A person convicted of such an action can be tried in both civil and criminal courts. To learn more about legal options for victims of crime, call Iowa intentional tort lawyers LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600.

When Does “Depraved Heart” Apply?

The legal term “depraved heart” describes a situation in which a person deliberately behaved in a very dangerous way, but did not necessarily intend to harm his or her victim. This kind of behavior can be grounds for an intentional tort even if the death was accidental, because the defendant’s dangerous behavior was a deliberate choice.

For example, consider a person who deliberately drives a vehicle in a reckless manner through a crowd of people. He or she may not have the express goal of hurting anyone, but he or she can certainly see that this is a predictable outcome. If a victim is killed as a result of this action, the driver may be found guilty of a depraved heart killing.

Contact a Iowa Wrongful Death Attorney

Survivors of victims of fatal crimes can sometimes pursue compensation for related expenses from the person responsible. To learn more, contact Iowa personal injury lawyers LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600.

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