Personal Injury Lawyer
Every state has limits on the amount of time a person has to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In legal terms, this time limit is known as a statute of limitations. Typically, the time frame is one to three years, depending on the rules in your state and type of case. It’s very common for the statute of limitations to begin when the death occurs, but there are other types of cases where the clock may start at a different time.
When Does the Clock Start?
The laws determining when the clock starts are often complex. Each state may have laws that vary depending on the type of case. Here are some general rules:
- When a death is ruled accidental but is later determined to be a wrongful death case, the statute of limitations may not begin until the evidence is discovered that it was a murder.
- Wrongful death claims become more complicated when the person doesn’t die from his or her injuries right away. Suppose your spouse is injured in a car accident and lives for over one year, the statute of limitations for your state on personal injury claims. If your spouse dies as a result of his or her injuries from the accident, you may not be able to claim wrongful death, because the claim will have expired. However, it might be good to talk to an attorney about your specific case.
- In product liability cases, the stature of limitations clock begins at the time of death, even if you aren’t aware that it was a faulty product that caused the death.
- In some states, the statute of limitations for minor children are much different especially when it concerns medical malpractice. Parents and guardians may have more time to file a wrongful death claim.
Don’t Lose Out on a Wrongful Death Claim
The most important thing to remember is that if your family misses out on the statute of limitations, you lose the right to make a claim. If you believe a family member died because of negligence, you should discuss your claim with a lawyer to learn your legal rights. You may have options to file a claim and preserve your claim to prevent time from running out.
Wrongful death claims are extremely complex. There are many elements of the claim that must be managed. A wrongful death lawyer can help you through the process. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Midtown, New York for more information about your claim and your chances for success.
Thanks to Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and understanding the statute of limitations for your wrongful death case.