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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 Northwood, Iowa today to schedule your initial consultation."
Linn County Courthouse Cedar Rapids Iowa  


Courts define “pecuniary injuries” as those of medical and funeral expenses, in addition to loss of possible inheritance, support and services. Laws in most states provide for fair and just compensation when awarding damages resulting from a wrongful death. The statutes vary in determining if interest may also be claimed from the date of death on damages awarded. 

Calculations on the amount of pecuniary losses take into consideration the condition of the decedent prior to the injury causing the death, their age, life expectancy, earning capacity, as well as their character and intelligence. The circumstances of the plaintiffs bringing the action are also considered when determining compensation. Analyzing these losses is complicated, as only actual pecuniary loss may be compensated.


If a lawsuit for personal injury was initiated prior to a victim’s death, survivors may be entitled to the damages that may have been awarded, depending on the statutes in the state it was filed in. The suit for personal injury survives the victim, changing the type of suit from personal injury to a “survival action” and is usually brought together with the wrongful death proceedings. Juries consider various conditions of the victim before death when allowing compensation for pain and suffering. These include the gravity of pain and suffering, how much of this the victim was conscious of, if the victim knew of impending death and how long the suffering was endured.

Medical Charges/Funeral Expenses.

The claimant in the wrongful death case must be responsible for the medical charges and funeral expenses to have these amounts included in a wrongful death action.

Loss of Wages.

Determining the loss of wages depends on the circumstances of the decedent. If the victim was in poor health and unlikely to complete a normal life expectancy, less would be awarded. Current earnings with normal increases in pay may be used, yet other conditions should come into review, such as enrollment in college or technical schools and potential for advancement from the latest position held. The victim’s age and family history of lifetime expectancy are also factors for potential future earnings.

Loss of Support.

When a parent of minor children or caregiver of others passes away due to a wrongful death, the loss of support is also considered. This may be loss of monetary support, yet additional support of time, domestic help and advice is also something to be reviewed by the jury. For example, replacing the skills and abilities of a homemaker would include babysitting, housecleaning, meal preparation, secretarial work (i.e. bill paying and record keeping as well as scheduling, preparing for and keeping doctor appointments, school and sport activities, lessons (music, dance, gymnastics, etc.), animal care and the like as a partial list.

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If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa wrongful death attorney, representing clients in Northwood, 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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