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Wrongful Death
Scott D. Brown
John P. Lander
Kim R. Snitker
Travis M. Armbrust
Kaitlyn J. Ausborn
Brown, Kinsey,
Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C.

214 North Adams,
Mason City, Iowa 50401
Phone: (641) 423-6223
Fax: (641) 423-9995
WRONGFUL DEATH - Frequently Asked Questions
I. General Information  

D. Loss of Parental Guidance


A. What to do if there is a possibility of a     wrongful death


E. Loss of Potential Inheritance
F. Punitive Damages


B. When questions arise about a death


G. Multiple Defendants


C. The Discovery Rule and Time      Limitations


H. Jury Adjustments
I. Other Reductions

II. Wrongful Death Categories IV. Death of the Elderly, Children, or Unborn Children

A. Medical Malpractice


A. Elderly


B. Transportation Accidents


B. Children


C. Occupational


C. Unborn Children


D. Other

V. Expert Testimony
III. Compensation VI. Why Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer

A. Medical Charges/Funeral Expenses


B. Loss of Wages


C. Loss of Support

"Contact an Iowa wrongful death lawyer representing clients in Forest City, Iowa today to schedule your initial consultation."
Linn County Courthouse Cedar Rapids Iowa  

When questions arise about a death

When questions arise about a wrongful death, begin taking notes. In the case of malpractice, write down times, dates, names of doctors, nurses, tests, medications and even visitors. In the case of accidents (motor vehicle, occupational or otherwise), again, begin taking notes. An experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to help you determine from your notes, and by asking additional questions, the possible validity of your claim and the likelihood of a possible positive outcome in litigation.

The Discovery Rule and Time Limitations are set in what is called the "statute of limitations". 


These limitation periods may begin from the date of death in some areas, yet in others, it will depend on when the claimant discovers, or should have discovered, the connection to the death and its probable cause as a wrongful death. Many states appoint a personal representative to the case that begins the time limitation clock. Varying causes of death, such as toxic materials or disease, may have different time requirements in some states.

To determine how much time may be left in a possible wrongful death case, it is essential to contact an attorney experienced in wrongful deaths. It can not be more strongly emphasized that it is imperative to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible if wrongful death is even suspected. The claimant’s rights to file suit in a wrongful death case are permanently waived if the time limitation has passed in most cases, and you will NOT be able to recover damages. A skilled wrongful death lawyer that is experienced is able to determine the time limitation and all information needed to succeed in a wrongful death case.

Laws are in place for some states to allow survivors to still file suit even if the normal time limitation period (that may start at death) has expired, removing the possibility of seeking damages in a wrongful death action before it may reasonably be discovered. These states see the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit as fundamental. There is also a discovery rule that may be applied in these cases to establish whether the victim did know, or should have known, the cause of the illness or injury before death. In these cases, the time limitation would start before the actual death.

When wrongful deaths occur due to personal injury, or derivative actions, they may be held to the statute of limitations because no personal injury claim was asserted within an appropriate period of time. Product liability cases are also subject to special limitation periods that begin upon death, despite whether or not the claimant knew of the cause of death. There are also some states that have statutes of repose that exclude liability claims when a product has reached a certain age.

The Discovery Rule and Time Limitations

States differ in the case of deaths caused by harmful substances in regard to time limitation periods. The main limitation period is from the date of the death no matter when the cause of death was discovered. The other is from when the cause should have been known or reasonably discovered. For example, if the cause was not discovered until 10 years after death, no case could be filed because the overall time limitation was 6 years, even if it was not possible to know about the cause until that time.

No matter what the cause of a wrongful death, because of the time limitations, it is important to consult an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Even if there is only a slight possibility of a wrongful death, it is better to find out if there is a viable case and what the time limitations are.

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If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa wrongful death attorney, representing clients in Forest City, Iowa at the Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C.. Give us a call at (641) 423-6223 or email us at
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Mason City, Iowa Attorney practicing in Iowa primarily in Workers' Compensation & Personal Injury. Lawyers at the Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C. are dedicated to serve their clients in Iowa, including the cities of Mason City, Algona, Allison, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Clarion, Dakota City, Des Moines, Eldora, Forest City, Fort Dodge, Garner, Grundy Center, Hampton, Marshalltown, Mount Pleasant, Nevada, New Hampton, Northwood, Osage, Toledo, Vinton, Waterloo, Waverly, Webster City and West Union, and the communities that make up Cerro Gordo, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Howard, Humboldt, Kossuth, Linn, Marshall, Mitchell, Polk, Story, Tama, Webster, Winnebago, Worth, Wright counties.
© MMXIV Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C. Email: Address: 214 North Adams, Mason City, Iowa 50401 Phone: (641) 423-6223
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