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Wrongful Death Cases in Council Bluffs & Southwest Iowa

When someone dies due to another party’s negligent or intentional actions, including in motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and workplace accidents, it is considered a “wrongful death.” Most people who've been injured in an accident understand they’re entitled to pursue a personal injury claim to obtain compensation for their losses. But what if an accident causes someone’s death? In those circumstances, a wrongful death claim can help surviving family members recover compensation from the party or parties at fault.

Consulting with a compassionate personal injury attorney at Peters Law Firm can provide clarity and guidance on the legal steps necessary to secure justice and compensation for your loss.

Contact Peters Law Firm to arrange a confidential free case review on your wrongful death matter.

Signs You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a loved one is a challenging experience, especially if their death was caused by another party's negligence or intentional actions. Recognizing the signs that you need a wrongful death attorney can be crucial in making an informed decision.

  • Sudden or unexplained death. If your loved one died suddenly in circumstances that suggest negligence, such as in a car accident or due to medical malpractice, legal expertise is vital.
  • Complex legal or financial issues. If the case involves intricate legal questions or substantial economic interests, a skilled attorney can manage these complexities effectively.
  • Difficulty in obtaining compensation. If one or more insurance companies are reluctant to pay or disputes arise over the cause of death, an attorney can advocate for your rights and ensure fair compensation.
  • Emotional distress. Navigating a wrongful death claim while grieving can be overwhelming. An attorney can handle legal burdens, allowing you to focus on healing.


What Types of Deaths Are Considered Wrongful?

Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the possible misconduct of another party, even if only from negligence. These cases can arise from various scenarios where the actions or inactions of an individual or entity lead to a fatal outcome.


When a death is the result of intentional criminal behavior, such as murder, manslaughter, or assault, it can lead to criminal charges and a wrongful death claim. A victim’s family or representative can seek civil remedies for the loss, which are separate from and run parallel to criminal proceedings, allowing them to claim damages for emotional suffering and financial losses resulting from the death.

Auto Accidents

Deaths caused by vehicle accidents can lead to wrongful death claims if they involve reckless or negligent driving, such as speeding or driving under the influence. Potential compensation includes medical expenses incurred before death and loss of income. Loss of consortium claims may be compensated for the loss of care, comfort, and companionship the survivor has suffered after a family member passes away. 

Medical Malpractice

Deaths caused by healthcare professionals not adhering to their duty of care, such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or improper medication management, can result in a wrongful death claim. If it can be shown that the medical professional's negligence directly led to the patient's death, families can seek various damages, including loss of companionship and funeral and burial expenses.

Workplace Accidents

Some professions, such as construction and manufacturing, are inherently risky. However, when a fatality occurs in the workplace due to safety violations or other negligence, there could be grounds for a wrongful death claim. Compensation can help families deal with financial burdens, including lost wages and potential future earnings.

What Damages Can Be Claimed?

If you lose a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to hold the negligent party accountable for financial damages, including:

  1. Personal injury damages that the deceased could have pursued if they survived, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  2. Funeral and burial expenses to cover the cost of services, burial or cremation, and other related expenses.
  3. Loss of future wages that would have contributed to the financial support and well-being of a surviving spouse and children.
  4. Loss of consortium, also known as loss of companionship. A financial award can help loved ones seek the resources they need to recover from loss of care, comfort, and companionship.

Why Choose Peters Law Firm?

Recovering compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death can be complex. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Peters Law Firm can determine if you have a wrongful death case and help you pursue legal action within the time allotted by law to obtain fair compensation for your wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death FAQs

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Not everyone is legally entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Typically, immediate family members like spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children can file, as can administrators of the deceased’s estate, but the specifics vary by state.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?

The time allowed for filing a wrongful death lawsuit differs by state and the wrongful act. The statute of limitations in Nebraska and Iowa is within two years after a person’s death. This can apply even if a criminal case is pending or if you claim ignorance of the statute. In Nebraska, medical malpractice cases might run from the date of the error. Missing these deadlines could forfeit your right to file, so proper legal representation is critical.

How is the amount of compensation determined?

Factors such as the deceased’s earning capacity, the financial and emotional impact on the survivors, and the circumstances of the death all go into determining the amount of compensation.

Peters Law Firm Has You and Your Family Covered in Council Bluffs

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Peters Law Firm’s lawyers in Council Bluffs and throughout Southwest Iowa have been serving families with dignity, compassion and client loyalty since 1895. After over a century of serving residents and business in Council Bluffs and throughout Southwest Iowa, we‘re confident in our skills to represent your best interest in a range of legal matters. Give us a call in Council Bluffs for additional information.

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