If your child, parent, partner or spouse passed away, and you feel someone caused their death, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties. If this is something you are considering, you need to know about the statute of limitations. Many people are not familiar with this term. However, it plays a huge role in your ability to file a claim. Here are a few of the questions you may have in regards to the statute of limitations and wrongful death cases.
How Long is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases?
The statute of limitations is how long you have to file a wrongful death case against the other party. Because evidence can be lost, courts require these cases to be filed and presented in a timely manner. This makes it fair for both parties to defend their positions. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims vary based on the state that the death occurred in. Most states have statutes of limitations that run one to three years.
When Does the Time Start Ticking Toward the Statute of Limitations?
In most cases, the time limit for the statute of limitations begins when the injured party passes away. However, there is one main exception to this. In some cases, it is not known at the time of death why the person died, what caused the death or who was responsible. In these cases, the clock may not start ticking until the cause of death is revealed or the the person responsible is identified. This is most common in murder cases or in cases where a product, such as prescription drug or supplement, causes early death but it is not revealed until later. In these cases, the clock does not begin to tick until the culprit or cause is identified.
What Happens if the Statute of Limitations Expires Before a Case is Filed?
If the statute of limitations expires before a case is filed, you may lose your right to file a wrongful death suit. And unfortunately, not knowing is not a defense. As such, it is very important that you understand when the statute tolls in regards to the case you may be looking to file.
If you are considering filing a wrongful death case, it is always recommended that you consult with and hire a wrongful death attorney. This attorney can help advise you on the specific statute of limitations rules and lengths in your state and ensure the case is properly filed and served on the correct party before the statute tolls. This preserves your right to recover money for the untimely loss of a loved one.
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