6 Questions with Iowa Personal Injury Lawyer Tim Semelroth
Who are you?
I’m Tim Semelroth. I grew up in Hiawatha, Iowa. I’m married to my high school sweetheart and I’m a dad to three strong-willed kids.
Who do you represent?
I only work for people dealing with death or injury because of someone else’s fault.
What led you to this work?
My dad worked in a factory and my mom was a teacher. They worked hard, played by the rules and raised five kids. Thankfully, they didn’t have reason to hire a lawyer after a tragedy, but if they did, they would have had no idea who to call.
When you graduate from law school, you have to decide who you want to represent. Some people choose to work for corporations. Some people choose to work for the government.
I decided I was most comfortable representing working people – people like my parents.
What motivates you to do what you do?
When I started high school, I was five feet, two inches tall. I wrestled in the 90-pound weight class. I know what it’s like to be the little guy.
It really bothers me to see those with power – particularly insurance corporations – take advantage of people who don’t have the knowledge or the opportunity to stand up for themselves. I am forever amazed by the lengths that the insurance industry will go to deny or lowball a legitimate claim. It keeps me very busy and a little ticked off.
It’s always an honor when someone asks you to be their voice, particularly at one of the most difficult times in their life. I can sleep at night because I know I’m always working for the right side.
What do you do when you are not working as an attorney?
I volunteer as den leader for my son’s Cub Scout pack even though I’m horrible at making pinewood derby cars.
I play on a sand volleyball team with guys from high school even though our vertical leaps are receding faster than our hairlines.
When the weather isn’t nice enough for volleyball, I coach scary-smart kids on middle and high school mock trial teams.
And when we find an opening in our family’s ridiculously busy calendar, we try to go on vacations. I’ve found that nothing makes me appreciate Iowa more than a little time away from home.
If you weren’t an attorney, what would you be doing?
I would probably be a teacher like my mom. Well, not exactly like my mom because she taught home economics and I’m not a very good cook. But I’ve always enjoyed learning and helping people find answers. There are a lot of similarities between what I try to do in a courtroom and what a teacher does in a classroom.