What is the Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Claim? 

A wrongful death suit must be filed within the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a deadline by which your case must be filed. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death case varies by state. Parties have at minimum one year in all states to initiate a lawsuit. A lawsuit for wrongful death is not a court charge; it is filed in civil court to recover compensation for the financial and noneconomic damages suffered by surviving family members, such as pain and suffering.

If you do not file a wrongful death lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you may lose your ability to sue. You should talk with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Atlanta as soon as possible following the death to ensure that your lawsuit is filed appropriately and on time.

Are there exceptions to the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case? 

While the courts normally enforce the two-year statute of limitations, various circumstances may allow this limit to be extended.

Exceptions may exist, such as:

  • Medical malpractice 

It may take a while for a family to learn that their loved one died due to medical negligence. In this situation, the two-year statute of limitations may begin when family members discover the cause of death rather than when the death occurs. In some states, the statute of limitations may even be extended for the length of a reasonable investigation before making a claim or filing a lawsuit. 

  • Homicides and murder 

Because homicide investigations might take years to find and prove a party accountable for the killing, the statute of limitations might not commence until law enforcement discovers or apprehends the perpetrator. 

  • Government entity 

The statute of limitations is extended to four years if a government entity is at fault for wrongful death. This enhanced procedure allows for particular notification requirements to be met before filing a lawsuit. 

What qualifies as a wrongful death according to the statute of limitations? 

A wrongful death lawsuit is not appropriate for every tragic death. When a person dies due to wrongful conduct, negligence, default, or breach of contract or promise, the estate of the decedent may file such a case. 

The following elements must be included in the lawsuit:

  • Misbehavior – constituting wrongful conduct, negligence, default, or violation of contract or warranty.
  • Proof that the decedent died as a result of this behavior.
  • Evidence that the decedent would have received compensation in a case if the death had not happened. 

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