Wrongful death can happen due to several reasons. It may be due to an automobile accident, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, etc. If one person’s negligence has caused the death of another person, and resulted in damages to a member of his/her family, it is considered a wrongful death. In such a situation, the member of the family of the deceased, who has suffered damages, will be eligible to sue the person who caused the accident. Nevertheless, the plaintiff will be required to file the claim within the allotted time.
The Statute Of Limitations
In every state of the US, there will be a statute of limitations imposed on every wrongful death case or a personal injury case. In some states, the time within which one has to make the claim will be the same for the personal injury cases as well as wrongful death cases. However, in some other states, both of them vary. It can be observed that the time limit for making a wrongful death lawsuit will be shorter than the one for a personal injury case.
There can also be several factors that may affect a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations can be a bit longer if the victim who suffered the wrongful death was a mentally challenged person. If the government is in the position of the defendant, the statute of limitations can be shorter. It may be the same in the case of medical malpractice as well. In almost all cases, the statute of limitations begins with the day on which the death of the victim occurred. This may change in some special circumstances.
The Rule of Discovery
Usually, the statute of limitations does not begin until the misconduct is discovered. In some cases, the plaintiff may be ignorant of the wrongful death until the reason for the death is discovered later. In such cases, the statute of limitations kicks in only after the misconduct is found out.
Sometimes, the statute of limitations may be tolled if the plaintiff is a minor. Until he or she comes of age, the statute will be withheld.
If your close one has suffered a wrongful death and you are in a position to make a wrongful death lawsuit, it would be good for you to seek the help of a wrongful death attorney who can assist in knowing the legal proceedings of the case. You must remember the statute of limitations so that you do not cross the time limit in which you can sue for the wrongful death of your dear one.