Every lawsuit has a specified time period in which a lawsuit must be filed. This is called the statute of limitations.

In most states, the statute of limitations (or deadline) to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the death of a loved one. Certain exceptions apply to minors (their statute of limitations normally starts from when they turn 18) and persons with disabilities. In some states, the statute of limitations does not begin until the date of discovery, or when the harm was discovered. This is referred to as the “discovery rule” and is generally only seen in cases with product liability and medical malpractice.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Since statutes of limitations vary from state to state and sometimes differ within states from claim to claim, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules in the state you live in, or consult a qualified wrongful death attorney in your area.

In states like Tennessee and Kentucky, you may only have one year to file a claim, while in Maine the statute of limitations is six years. Many states including New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, and Texas all have two-year statutes of limitations.

When Does the Clock Start for Statute of Limitations?

In a standard personal injury lawsuit, the clock starts the moment you are injured, not later when you decide you want to sue for your injuries. Wrongful death cases differ in that they are often handled with more leniency. For a wrongful death action, the countdown on the statute of limitations starts when the party bringing forward the suit discovered the cause of death of the victim. In some cases, this can be the moment the victim died. In other cases, like ones involving medical malpractice, it can take months for evidence to be discovered regarding the cause of the victim’s death.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations applies to when you file the claim, and not for how long it takes the lawsuit to settle or be completed.

Why Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?

When dealing with the heavy toll a wrongful death can have on a family, most state’s complex legal systems are difficult to navigate on your own. Working with a wrongful death attorney may increase your chances of recovering compensation, and allows you to focus your time on yourself and your family.

Why Choose The Ferraro Law Firm?

Our team of wrongful death lawyers has recovered billions on behalf of families and their lost loved ones in difficult situations like yours. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in wrongful death lawsuits and offer fierce representation for our clients when they need it most.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation to learn more.