RSH Legal has always fought for justice for those we represent. For over 30 years, we have helped families of people who have been killed because of the wrongful actions of others to recover the money they deserve. We’ll fight for fairness for you and your family too.

How Do I Know If I Have a Wrongful Death Case in West Des Moines?

The unexpected loss of a loved one in West Des Moines can be devastating. If someone else’s actions or negligence caused their death, you might be wondering if you have a wrongful death case. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding the Legal Definition of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when the negligence or misconduct of another causes a person’s death. It’s different from murder charges because it’s a civil action seeking compensation for losses experienced by the deceased’s family.

Establishing the Elements of a Wrongful Death Case

To have a case, you must establish four elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The defendant had a responsibility not to harm the deceased. For example, drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws.
  2. Breach of Duty: The defendant failed in their duty. In a car accident, this could be running a red light.
  3. Causation: The defendant’s actions directly caused the death. This means that if not for their actions, your loved one would still be alive.
  4. Damages: There are actual losses, such as funeral costs or loss of income, which can be compensated.

Potential Scenarios for Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases can arise from various situations, including medical malpractice, vehicle accidents, workplace incidents, defective products, or criminal acts.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Iowa, the Administrator or Executor of the Estate must file the lawsuit. Surviving family members may also have claims for the loss of their loved one.

Statute of Limitations

There’s a time limit to file a wrongful death claim. In Iowa, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.

Gathering Evidence

Having documentation such as medical records, witness statements, and any relevant information is crucial in building your case.

Consulting a Wrongful Death Attorney

Consulting an experienced attorney is essential. They can help you understand if you have a case and guide you through the legal process.

Determining if you have a wrongful death case involves understanding the legal definition, establishing the necessary elements, and seeking expert legal counsel. In this challenging time, it’s essential to act swiftly to seek the justice and compensation your family deserves.

Top 5 Best Practices of Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys in West Des Moines

When tragedy strikes in West Des Moines and a loved one is lost due to someone else’s negligence, having an experienced wrongful death attorney is crucial. Here are the top 5 best practices employed by seasoned attorneys in this field.

1. Thorough Case Evaluation

First and foremost, an experienced attorney will meticulously evaluate the merits of the case. They will gather all the relevant documents and information to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case. This initial assessment is fundamental to devising an effective legal strategy.

2. Meticulous Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Building a solid case requires a thorough investigation. Experienced lawyers leave no stone unturned. They collect crucial evidence, including medical records and police reports, and often engage expert witnesses to reconstruct events. This evidence is key to proving negligence and establishing liability.

3. Effective Communication with Clients

Top West Des Moines attorneys understand that losing a loved one is emotionally wrenching. They maintain transparent, honest, and sensitive communication with their clients. They keep clients informed about the case’s progress and provide them with a realistic assessment of possible outcomes.

4. Comprehensive Damages Assessment

Understanding the full extent of damages is essential. A skilled lawyer will evaluate economic damages like medical bills and lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. By comprehensively assessing all damages, they ensure the claim seeks maximum compensation.

5. Skilled Negotiation and Litigation Strategies

Finally, experienced wrongful death lawyers are adept at negotiating favorable settlements. They tailor their strategies based on the specifics of each case. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, they are ready and willing to take the case to trial.

Having an attorney who employs these best practices is vital in a wrongful death case. Through meticulous evaluation, investigation, compassionate communication, comprehensive damages assessment, and skilled negotiation, experienced attorneys strive to achieve justice for the families they represent. When faced with the tragedy of losing a loved one, ensure you have an advocate who understands the depth of your loss and fights tirelessly on your behalf.

What Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Suit in West Des Moines?

When a loved one is tragically taken due to another’s negligence, West Des Moines families are left grieving and often facing financial strain. A wrongful death suit can provide monetary compensation to alleviate some of these burdens. Here’s what you can recover:

Economic Damages:

  • Medical Bills: Compensation may cover medical expenses incurred before your loved one’s death. This includes hospital stays, medication, and any treatments.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: Iowa calculates this loss as the interest on the premature burial and funeral.
  • Lost Income and Benefits: Compensation for the earnings and benefits your loved one would have provided had they not passed away is recoverable. This considers their expected career length and earning potential.

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering and loss of function of the deceased: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress together with the loss of function of mind and body the deceased experienced before their death.
  • Loss of Consortium or Companionship: This accounts for the loss of a relationship and companionship, particularly for spouses and children of the deceased.

Factors that Can Affect the Compensation

The amount of compensation can be affected by factors such as the age and health of the deceased, the financial dependency of survivors, and the defendant’s conduct.

Legal Assistance in Recovering Damages

Navigating a wrongful death claim can be complex. Hiring an experienced lawyer is vital. They can help evaluate the case, gather evidence, and negotiate or fight for the compensation you deserve.

Losing a loved one is immeasurably painful. While no amount of money can replace them, a wrongful death suit can offer financial relief and a sense of justice. An experienced lawyer can be instrumental in this endeavor.

RSH Legal Handles Wrongful Death Cases in West Des Moines & Across Iowa

A call to us for an evaluation of your case is completely free. If we take your case, we’ll fight for fairness for you, with no charge until we win. There’s no reason not to call us today. Call us at 319-409-6575.

<span>Tim</span> Semelroth
<span>Tim</span> Semelroth signature

Tim Semelroth

Board-Certified Trial Attorney

<span>Pressley</span> Henningsen
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Pressley Henningsen

AV-Rated Trial Attorney