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Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is traumatic no matter the circumstances. The event can be even more devastating when that person has been taken from you because of someone else’s negligence. State and federal laws recognize how traumatic this type of loss can be and that the responsible party should be held liable as a result. Although monetary compensation can never completely heal the loss of a loved one, it does ensure that the liable party is being held accountable.

If you have lost someone due to wrongful death, it’s within your best interest to contact an Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Having seasoned legal representation on your side will give you the advantage and guidance you need to recover from your losses. A skilled wrongful death attorney like Gregory Landry can assess your case carefully, identify the liable party, and litigate on your behalf. Don’t wait another moment to secure quality legal representation and call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.

Des Moines Wrongful Death Lawyer in Iowa

There’s no reason you should suffer with financial losses after your family member has died due to the wrongful actions of another party. Get in contact with our experienced legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. to review your legal options. Our wrongful death attorney Gregory Landry has handled wrongful death claims for over 37 years and can do the same for you. 

If you have lost a loved one unexpectedly as a result of another party’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions, Mr. Landry can provide you with legal counsel and representation so you can secure the compensation you deserve. Contact the office of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. at (515) 279-9700. We are based in West Des Moines, but our firm accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Redfield, Minburn, Van Meter, De Soto, Ankeny, Altoona, Johnston, Polk City, Pleasant Hill and Bondurant.

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Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Iowa?

The state of Iowa doesn’t allow anyone to file a wrongful death claim simply because they lost someone due to negligence. In order to file a claim and pursue compensation, the plaintiff must be deemed a “real party of interest.” Under Iowa law, real parties of interest include the following people:

  • Spouse of the Deceased
  • Minor or Adult Children of the Deceased Person
  • The Deceased’s Parents
  • Administrator of the Deceased’s Estate 

As you can see, several different claims can be made on behalf of different persons for wrongful death. Under Iowa law, with some exceptions, all these claims must be joined in one action and then brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s state. To determine whether you’re able to file a claim, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. 


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Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Unfortunately, there are many potential causes for wrongful death including: 

  • Auto Accidents – Car accidents can be deadly and if you’ve lost a loved one because of it, you are entitled to file a suit against the party at fault for damages.
  • Bus Accidents – Crashes involving motor vehicles are dangerous enough, but if a school or city bus is involved the situation can become devastating. If you’ve lost a loved one in a bus accident, you should speak to an attorney regarding filing a wrongful death claim.
  • Truck Accidents – Similar to buses, the sheer size of a truck increases the risk of severe injury or death if an accident occurs. If a negligent trucker or the truck’s defective design caused the death of your loved one, then you could be eligible for compensation.
  • Pedestrian Accidents – It’s the duty of the driver to watch out for pedestrians while they are operating their vehicles. Negligent car, truck, or bus drivers who are the cause of a pedestrian death could be held liable for damages.
  • Motorcycle Accidents – The vulnerability of motorcycle drivers means they could easily be killed if they’re involved in a deadly car accident with a negligent driver. Often these accidents occur because the motorist is not paying attention to the road. If you’ve lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you should speak to a wrongful death attorney.
  • Aviation Accidents – Crashes or accidents involving aircrafts such as an airplane or helicopter are exceedingly rare. However, they can happen for a variety of reasons and can involve multiple liable parties. If you’ve lost someone you love in an aviation accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.
  • Drunk Driving Accidents – People who decide to drink and drive are intentionally making a reckless and highly dangerous decision. It’s important to remember that you can act beyond a criminal case. You can also choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party and if they’re convicted your attorney can use that information as further evidence of their fault.
  • Defective or Unsafe Products – Consumers trust businesses to manufacture products that are safe to use. However, many types of products could become deadly if certain defects exist or poisonous additives are found. In some cases, these defective or unsafe products can even result in another’s death. If you’ve lost a loved one because of a faulty or defective product, you could be eligible to file a wrongful death suit against the manufacturer or company.
  • Medical Malpractice – According to the CDC, medical errors are the third leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Mistakes and missed oversight from healthcare professionals is more common than many believe unfortunately. Some examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, prescription errors, and failure to diagnose. If you’ve lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, you may be able to recover from your losses by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Unsafe premises, land or buildings – It’s the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the general safety of the premises and alert those on the property of potential hazards. Lack of security or hazard warnings while visiting a property could be dangerous for visitors and even result in another’s death. If you’ve lost a loved one because of negligent security or property management, contact a wrongful death attorney to learn your legal options.
  • Nursing Home Abuse – Patients and their families trust nursing homes to provide the best care possible as well as a prevention plan for possible falls or accidents. When staff is negligent or the building isn’t up to standard, problems can arise that could even lead to a patient’s death. Those who have lost a loved one due to a nursing home’s negligence have the option to pursue financial compensation for their losses. 

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How Long Do You Have to Sue for Wrongful Death?

It’s shocking to learn about the death of a loved one, especially if it was preventable and due to negligence. Often families will take some time to grieve and process the event as it’s incredibly painful. However, Iowa law doesn’t give grieving families an unlimited amount of time to consider whether they want to pursue a wrongful death claim. Personal injury claims adhere to a deadline known as a statute of limitations. 

In Iowa, the statute of limitations requires that a wrongful death claim be filed within two years of the event. Even if a criminal case is pending against the potential defendants for your loved one’s death, the statute of limitations will not be extended. Claiming you weren’t aware of the statute of limitations will also not be enough to extend it, so it’s important you secure experienced legal representation if you’re interested in filing a wrongful death lawsuit.


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The Benefits of Hiring an Iowa Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The decision to file a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one is a personal process and can be a daunting one. Only you and your family can make this decision in the end. However, if you do choose to file a wrongful death claim, it’s highly advised you secure legal representation. Wrongful death claims can become complex and must be handled with care. Having an experienced attorney on your side who can understand what your damages are limited to and how to structure the claim to maximize compensation is a necessity. 

The damages you recover for wrongful death will depend on the specific facts of your case. With effective legal counsel, you may receive compensation for the following damages: 

  • Medical bills for the care your loved one received for their fatal injury.
  • Burial and funeral costs.
  • Lost wages and anticipated future income.
  • Loss of services such as accounting, cooking, childcare, landscaping or security.
  • Loss of benefits including healthcare or pensions.
  • Loss of consortium

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Additional Resources 

Laws for Wrongful Death Claims in Iowa – Visit the official website for the Iowa Legislature to learn more about the laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits. Access the site to learn who is entitled to damages, how they are determined, what parties are subordinate to the recovery of another, and what happens to the deceased’s debts after an estate has been established.  

Fatal Work Injuries in Iowa | United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — Visit the official website for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn more about fatal work injuries in the state of Iowa. The BLS is the United States Department of Labor agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. On this section of the BLS website, you can find information about Fatal Work Injuries in Iowa for 2018. The information is broken down by type of incident, industry, and occupation.


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Wrongful Death Claims Lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa

Few things are more agonizing than the loss of a family member. At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., we understand that no amount of money or financial compensation can bring back your loved one. Instead, we want to offer you relief from the losses you’ve suffered by filing a wrongful death claim on your behalf. Our skilled personal injury attorney Gregory Landry has over 37 years of extensive experience handling wrongful death claims and can do the same for you.

Set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry by calling (515) 279-9700. We accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Perry, West Des Moines, Miniburn, Polk City, Ankeny and Altoona.


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