What’s the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases?

By Chris Dixon


When someone dies because of another person’s negligence, the surviving family members of the deceased could be eligible to file a wrongful death claim, but it’s susceptible to the state’s statute of limitations. Hiring a lawyer to represent your case makes this process simple and straight forward, and provides support during this trying time.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

If someone is harmed or killed in a personal injury accident, their eligibility to file a claim is capped by their state’s statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the time frame that victims should file a claim by or risk forfeiting their right to recover damages from the negligent party. Each state in the U.S. has its own statute of limitations, which can range from a year to as long as six years after the accident. If you are considering filing a claim for a family member’s wrongful death case, it’s essential to consult a lawyer before doing so.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer can determine whether you are eligible to file a claim based on your state’s wrongful death statute, and ensure that you are claiming the maximum amount of damages that you could be entitled to; it’s not uncommon for unrepresented people to be unaware of true value of their case. Not to mention, the wrongful death process can be time-consuming and include a variety of elements that can be difficult to manage without knowledge of a state’s statute of limitations for wrongful death cases.

How is Wrongful Death Proved?

The wrongful death process has a variety of stages and elements involved. Perhaps the most essential element is whether a claim falls within a state’s statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. A wrongful death claim is required to fall within the state’s statute of limitations and should be supported by the following elements:

  • Proof of death
  • Proof of the accident’s causation
  • Evidence that supports the other party’s negligence
  • Proof of surviving family members’ loss of income caused by the accident

If a family member recently had a procedure performed that you believe caused their unexpected death, or you lost someone in a fatal car or truck accident, you should consult an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A wrongful death lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected, details from the accident are preserved, and that your family is supported during this trying time.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Losing someone in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence and lack of caution is a terrible experience to go through, but is fairly common. Approximately 161,374 people are killed every year because of unintentional injuries, with the top cause being motor vehicle accidents. Medical malpractice is less common, but still a common cause of wrongful death with 0.8% to 1% of hospital patients becoming the victim of medical malpractice.

If someone close to you has been killed because of someone’s negligence and your wrongful death case falls within your state’s statute of limitations, you could be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other expenses that occurred because of the accident. Most wrongful death cases are settled outside of court, but require a lawyer to produce the best results. A wrongful death lawyer has the knowledge and resources needed to collect evidence that is otherwise difficult to obtain, push against the negligent party’s insurance company, and provide support to you and your family during this mentally and emotionally trying time.

How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help with My Case?

Losing a loved one can be traumatic and hard to process. If you have lost a family member in a car accident or truck accident, due to medical malpractice, or other fatal injuries caused by someone else’s carelessness, but are unsure of the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to discuss your case with our experienced attorneys. Our Wrongful Death Attorneys understand how hard it is to lose a loved one, especially so suddenly, and are committed to doing everything in their power to provide you with support and legal advice during this tough time.

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