Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful Death Attorney in Des Moines, IA
When a loved one’s life has been tragically cut short because of the careless, negligent, or reckless actions of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation under Iowa law. While monetary compensation could never truly compensate for the loss of a beloved family member or spouse, it can help alleviate the financial burden that often accompanies that loss. By filing a wrongful death suit, which is a civil lawsuit, families can hold those responsible for their careless or reckless actions.
Rouse Law P.C. is a personal injury law firm based in Des Moines, IA. Its principal, Attorney Ward A. (Sam) Rouse has practice personal injury law for nearly a quarter of a century. He understands the heartache and loss of material support that families endure after the untimely death of a loved one. He is dedicated to helping family members pursue their claim—their right to compensation. He is relentless in his pursuit of justice. If you’ve lost a loved one because of someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior, contact Rouse Law P.C. and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in the State of Iowa?
A wrongful death suit is a type of civil lawsuit. It falls under the broader category of personal injury law. According to Iowa statutes, if an individual’s death is caused by reckless or negligent actions of another, the family or estate of the deceased has a right to seek monetary damages. There are many different types of wrongful death civil lawsuits that include:
- A malfunctioning piece of medical equipment or device
- A commercial truck driver who fails to perform safety checks on their rig
- An apartment complex owner who fails to repair broken entryway locks
- A residential property owner who fails to repair pool fencing
- A physician who made a medication error
- A dog owner who failed to leash their aggressive dogs
Nearly any death that’s been caused by another’s negligence or wrong-doing could be classified as a wrongful death under Iowa law. If you’re unsure about your claim or rights, schedule a consultation with Attorney Rouse to obtain some free preliminary advice.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Iowa?
According to Iowa law, the following parties have the right to file a wrongful death suit seeking damages:
- Spouse and surviving minor children of the deceased
- Adult children of a deceased parent
- Parents of a deceased minor
- Administrator of a deceased individual’s estate
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
Generally speaking, claimants have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a claim. There are exceptions that Mr. Rouse can discuss with you.
Proof of Negligence
To win a wrongful death claim, Attorney Rouse must prove that the defendant is at fault. In other words, he must demonstrate that the defendant has been negligent or behaved carelessly or recklessly—and that the behavior in question led to the death of his clients’ loved one. These cases vary greatly. Depending on the nature of the accident, he may be tasked to prove that the defendant:
- Ran a red light before striking the deceased’s vehicle
- Allowed their aggressive dog to run loose in the neighborhood
- Failed to have a car seat tested for safety
- Failed to check their commercial truck’s brakes
These are just a few examples of negligent behaviors that have resulted in the death of another person. To prove negligence, Mr. Rouse will:
- Show that the defendant owed a legal duty. In the case of a car accident, he might demonstrate that a driver has a responsibility to drive sober.
- Demonstrate that the legal duty was breached. For instance, he must show that the truck driver ran a red light before striking the deceased on his bicycle.
- Prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused death
- Prove that monetary damages occurred. These damages can include loss of work wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, etc…
Each wrongful death suit is different; each case will necessarily involve different circumstances and damage sums. In Iowa, damages for a wrongful death claim are paid to the deceased’s family to compensate them (or the deceased’s estate) for the losses that resulted in the untimely death. When pursuing wrongful death damages for clients, Mr. Rouse will calculate sums that include:
- Pain and suffering (physical and emotional anguish)
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost care (family members suffer the loss of companionship, care, training, advice, etc)
- Lost love and society
- Lost inheritance
- Funeral expenses
Rouse Law P.C. offers family members a free initial consultation to discuss their situation. Calculating compensation in these cases can be complex. We may consult with an actuary or accountant to achieve a cost estimate that reflects what future material losses will likely amount to.
Rely on Mr. Rouse and His Firm
When you choose Rouse Law to represent your claim, you can count on Mr. Rouse’s experience and intricate knowledge of wrongful death statutes and Iowa personal injury law. He will guide you through each step of the legal process, providing honest counsel along the way. These cases are emotionally charged; that’s why it’s vital to have a strong advocate at your side. Attorney Rouse will do everything he can to alleviate the stress of the legal process. When you hire his firm, you can count on services that include:
- Carefully assess your claim: Mr. Rouse will assess your claim detail by detail to provide you with customized legal counsel.
- File court documents: Mr. Rouse will handle all court filings and manage case-related paperwork.
- Investigate the claim: Mr. Rouse and his team will try to procure evidence that supports your claim. This may include accident reports, video footage, photos, or witness statements.
- Procure professional services: sometimes it’s necessary to obtain services from other professionals like medical experts, an actuary, or accident reconstructionist.
- Communicate with at-fault party: Mr. Rouse will communicate with the insurers as well as the at-fault party’s attorneys on his client’s behalf.
- Negotiate or litigate the claim: Mr. Rouse is an experienced negotiator and litigator. He will tenaciously pursue your right to compensation.
Clients can count on Mr. Rouse to communicate with them regularly, answering questions and addressing concerns in a timely manner. His staff members are extremely helpful to clients and are also committed to providing them with professional service.
Do I Need a Wrongful Death Attorney to Win Monetary Compensation?
It’s always best to have an experienced legal advocate on your side. Many people obtain compensation or a settlement without hiring a bar-certified attorney, but this may not be the wisest course of action.
Frequently, insurance providers who know that their client is at fault for the death of another will attempt to settle a claim with great speed. They may offer an amount that the deceased’s family thinks is fair. But too often this sum is not fair. Insurance companies are notorious for offering settlement sums that are far less than the family is likely to achieve with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Since wrongful death suits are often complex cases, it can hurt your claim to attempt to achieve compensation without legal support. Mr. Rouse understands that families are concerned about the expense involved in bringing a case to court. That’s why he will not charge any legal fees unless he is successful. He hasa long history—more than two decades—of winning lucrative settlements and compensation packages for clients. He will fight aggressively on your behalf.
Contact Rouse Law for a Free Initial Consultation
Are you unsure about your case? Rouse Law offers a free initial consultation for clients. Mr. Rouse can review major aspects of your claim and provide you with some preliminary counsel. He’ll give you his honest thoughts about your case based on his years of experience with wrongful death suits. He can often provide an estimate of the compensation he thinks you may be entitled to, but this requires more in-depth analysis before he can say with a degree of confidence what a fair compensation sum should look like in your situation. There is no obligation for meeting with Mr. Rouse. This initial consultation simply gives him a chance to assess your claim and answer your questions.
If you are searching for a wrongful death attorney in Des Moines, IA, contact Rouse Law P.C. to schedule your free initial consultation. Mr. Rouse will not charge you any fees unless he is able to achieve a negotiated settlement (that is agreeable to you) or win a compensation award by verdict.