Des Moines Fatal Car Accident Attorney
Fatal Car Accidents in Iowa
Losing a family member or loved one due to a fatal car accident is something no one should have to experience. Sadly, these tragedies are all too common. According to decades-long studies, Iowa sees about 300 fatal motor vehicle accidents every year. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that, in 2019 alone, 336 people died in fatal crashes throughout the state.
If you have recently lost a loved one, you likely have many questions—particularly if you believe that someone else was to blame for the fatal crash. Here at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., we understand what you and your family are going through, and we are here to help. We know that nothing can bring back your loved one, but we also know that this loss has likely created many significant emotional and financial challenges in your life.
You deserve justice, and the responsible person or party should be held accountable. Our Des Moines fatal car accident lawyers are ready to fight for you and your family. We can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party and seek the maximum recovery you are owed.
For compassionate, client-focused representation, call LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233. Your initial consultation is completely free and entirely confidential.
What Is the Cause of Most Fatal Car Accidents?
Data shows that several factors increase the likelihood of a car accident being fatal.
These factors include:
- Excessive speed
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving (operating while intoxicated)
- Failure to wear seatbelts
- Nighttime driving
- Reckless driving
- Hazardous road conditions
- Fatigued driving
- Auto defects
While other factors may contribute to or cause a fatal crash, these are the most common elements of deadly car accidents in Iowa and throughout the United States.
In Iowa, specifically, alcohol/drug use is often a factor in fatal crashes. According to the DOT, alcohol-related crashes led to 86 fatalities in 2019, accounting for more than a quarter of all fatal accidents in the state that year. Another 67 deaths resulted from alcohol-impaired crashes, accounting for nearly 20% of all fatal accidents, and drug-related crashes resulted in 57 fatalities, or almost 17% of fatal crashes in Iowa in 2019.
One common factor in most fatal car accidents is negligence. Although hazardous conditions—such as inclement weather and low visibility—play a role in many deadly crashes, human error and negligence are often to blame. When this is the case, surviving family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party and seek financial compensation for their damages.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim filed on behalf of eligible surviving family members. A “wrongful death” occurs when the decedent (the person who died) was killed due to the careless, reckless, or wrongful actions or inactions of another. So, if your loved one died in an accident caused by a drunk driver or someone who was texting while driving, you would likely have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
The purpose of such a claim is to compensate these family members for the economic and non-economic losses they have suffered due to their loved one’s death. Wrongful death claims are also used to hold negligent parties accountable and help ensure that other people do not have to suffer similar losses in the future.
Only certain individuals may file a wrongful death claim in Iowa, including:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- Any surviving child of the decedent, including minors and adult children
- The decedent’s parent(s), whether the decedent was a minor or adult
- The administrator of the decedent’s estate
If the person died without a will and, therefore, has no named estate administrator, the court may appoint one before the wrongful death claim can proceed.
Damages for Surviving Family Members
While nothing can ever truly “compensate” you for your loss, a wrongful death lawsuit allows you to recover specific damages. These damages can be economic, meaning they have an attached dollar value, or non-economic, meaning they are more intangible in nature.
Damages in Iowa wrongful death lawsuits may include:
- Medical costs related to treatment for the decedent’s final treatment/care
- Lost bodily and/or cognitive function experienced by the decedent prior to death
- Funeral and/or burial expenses
- Loss of services provided by the decedent to a spouse, parent, or child
- Lost earnings, including income/wages and other financial benefits
- Property damage costs
- Pain and suffering
Different individuals may pursue different types of damages, and certain damages may be awarded to individuals, whereas others can only be recovered by the estate. Our Des Moines fatal car accident lawyers can help you understand how the law applies to your situation.
Compassionate Representation Focused on Your Needs
At LaMarca Law Group, P.C., we understand the immense grief you are experiencing, as well as the many legal challenges you face. Our team of experienced attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff is here to guide you through the legal process with the care, compassion, and personal attention you deserve. We believe that you and your family deserve justice, and we are ready to use our extensive resources and 100+ years of combined experience to your advantage.
If your loved one died in a car crash and you believe someone else was at fault, reach out to our Des Moines fatal car accident attorneys right away for a free consultation. You only have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in Iowa, so do not wait until it is too late.
Call (515) 705-0233 or contact us online 24/7 to request a free consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys.