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Iowa Wrongful Death Settlements: When is the Right Time to Ask for a Settlement?

Posted By Tim Semelroth - 05.06.20

It is never fair when a loved one is taken from you because of someone else’s mistake. It is natural to focus on grieving rather than holding the wrongdoer accountable.  At some point, however, someone may suggest that you may be entitled to a settlement because of your loved one’s death.

How can you know if they are right?  If they are, how do you know how to make a wrongful death claim and when to seek a settlement?  The short answer is that you can typically get free answers to these questions by talking to a lawyer experienced in wrongful death claims.

Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim in Iowa?

Iowa law says only certain people can seek compensation after a wrongful death. Typically, they are:

  • The spouse of the person who died;
  • The children of the person who died, and/or
  • The parents of the person who died.

Those categories of people may seek compensation in an Iowa wrongful death settlement for things like:

  • Medical costs incurred before death
  • Pre-death pain and suffering
  • Loss of the deceased’s earning capacity
  • Loss of the deceased’s household services
  • The family’s loss of comfort, guidance, and companionship provided by the deceased

How Long You Have to Make a Wrongful Death Claim in Iowa

How long you have to make a wrongful death claim in Iowa depends on what caused your loved one’s death.  For example, if the death occurred in a car accident, you typically have two years from the date of death to settle your case or file a lawsuit.  If the car accident was caused by a drunk driver, you may have only six months to satisfy your legal deadline.  If the crash involved a commercial motor vehicle like a semi-truck, you may have only 90 days to request important records before they can be legally destroyed.

The bottom line is that if you believe you may be entitled to a wrongful death settlement, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to find out what legal deadlines govern your situation.

Getting a Fair Settlement For Your Iowa Wrongful Death Claim

It is a mistake to assume that you will be offered a fair settlement amount from an insurance company after a loved one’s death.  While the death is a tragedy for you, insurance companies are not above denying claims or making low settlement offers to see if they can take advantage of grieving families.  The only way to be sure that you are getting a fair settlement offer in an Iowa wrongful death claim is to talk to a lawyer experienced in Iowa wrongful death cases.

If you would like a free, no-obligation case evaluation of your Iowa wrongful death claim, call RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.

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