How To File A Wrongful Death Case With The Backing Of The Law

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Wrongful Death Statute

Death in any form is something that no one willfully wishes for. It is a tragic event from whichever angle you look at it. In the event of a death of your loved one in an accident that was caused solely because of the negligence of another person, you can make use of the law of the land to gain a rightful compensation for his misfortune. For those unlucky people who have left behind huge commitments, this compensation can prove to be a big help as their families can find some reprise and a way to live further after their demise.

However, there are some Wrongful Death statute of limitations you need to be aware of before filing a wrongful death lawsuit. It is a civil lawsuit and hence it needs to be perfect in all sense. The reason why your loved one died should completely be because of the negligence or irresponsible behavior of the accused personnel and this is absolutely vital for the lawsuit to have a strong legal backing.

If you seek advice from an expert legal practitioner, he will tell you the necessary requirements and conditions for applying for such a compensation claim. Alternatively, you can do a quick search for Wrongful death statute of limitations in the internet to gain more insights into this legal framework.

wrongful death lawsuit

Statute of limitation for wrongful death

There is a time limit for applying for compensation under this legal setup and usually it is two years from the date of demise of the person. However, in cases where the people eligible for the compensation are minors, the deadline can be extended until they reach the age of 19. It is a judicial procedure and hence there will not be any adjustments done in anybody’s favor. In addition, if you are rightfully eligible for a time relaxation, you will get it no matter what the odds are.

Monetary compensation for the death case shall not take too long to reach the eligible loved ones of the demised persons once the lawsuit has been proven to be valid. All you need is the service of an expert legal advisor. As mentioned before, he or she will know how to make the most out of these complex legal frameworks and make sure the wrong done to your loved ones is justified at the earliest.

For further assistance, you may seek the help of a legal practitioner or refer law books at your local library.

Statute Of Limitations For Wrongful Death In U.S.

Wrongful death statute of limitations

Statute of limitations for wrongful death

Statute of limitations is defined as a period of time within which certain kinds of legal actions should be brought forth. In U.S., the statute of limitations for wrongful death is the period within which an action must be filed. This period depends on the state in which the death occurred and is different for different states. Generally, this period can vary from six months to up to 3 years. The actual wrongful death statute of limitations can be changed in certain exceptional situations wherein the period may be extended or restricted.

In the U.S., wrongful death is considered as a civil case. Here, if the family members or close relatives of the deceased have reason to believe that the death happened because of the negligence on the part of another person or party, then they can file a wrongful death lawsuit against them in order to receive damages for the death. Here, that a wrongful death occurred needs to be proved only with a ‘preponderance of evidence,’ unlike criminal cases of murder or homicide where the case has to be proved ‘beyond any reasonable doubt.’ This means that an individual may be found to be not guilty in a criminal court, but at the same time may be convicted for the same offense in a civil court.

Wrongful death lawsuit

       Filing a wrongful death lawsuit

More details

As mentioned earlier, the actual wrongful death statute of limitations varies from state to state and on the circumstances surrounding the death. For instance, the statute of limitations is two years in Arizona, California and Alabama; the two-year period starting from the date on which the death occurred. However, in California, wrongful death due to exposure to asbestos has a statute of limitations of only one year, the period starting from the date of death or from when the claimant realized that the death was due to the asbestos, whichever is later. Such an exception is known as the ‘discovery rule.’ This allows you to extend the prescribed statute of limitations in instances where it was not reasonably possible to realize that the death was a wrongful one.

These are some details regarding the statute of limitations for wrongful death. As the statute of limitations vary from state to state, it is important that you fully understand the laws applicable within the state where the wrongful death occurred. Consult a legal professional within the state to help you with the formalities associated with filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Statute Of Limitations For Wrongful Death

Wrongful death statute of limitations

          Wrongful death and Statute Of Limitations

Every civil suit has a time period within which the claim should be filed. This time period is referred using the term ‘statute of limitations.’ Your case will be thrown out of court and you will not be allowed to reassert a claim for that particular action if you do not file the suit within the prescribed statute of limitations. In case of wrongful death situations, contact a wrongful death lawyer right away who will explain the time period within which the claim must be filed.

Wrongful death actions and the discovery rule

Statute of limitations can sometimes be a bit complicated to understand. This is so because in certain cases, the statute of limitations begins right after the event that led to the claim. However, wrongful death statute of limitations only begins after the claimant discovers that there is a connection between the victim’s death and the defendant’s actions or in other words, the negligence on the part of the defendant was responsible for the victim’s death in one way or the other. On the other hand, if it was reasonably possible for the plaintiff to have discovered that the death was a wrongful one, then the statute of limitations will begin from the time that the discovery was reasonably possible. The discovery rule requires that the wrongful death statute of limitations run from the time that the victim got to know about his injury and its cause.

Special considerations in wrongful death actions

A wrongful death claim can be rebutted by the statute of limitations. For instance, the rules regarding the time period within which a claim may be filed are a lot stricter in product liability cases. Majority of the states require that the statute of limitations run from the date that the victim died because of product liability. This does not take into account whether or not the victim or his family had any knowledge that the product was responsible for causing the death.

Wrongful death lawyer

 Wrongful death statute Of limitations explained

For more info on the same, refer online legal resources. Nevertheless, if you have reason to believe that a loved one or a family member died a wrongful death, it is important that you avail the services of an eminent wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible, as he can assess your claim and help you file it within the prescribed statute of limitations. This way he will also help protect your rights for you.

Guide To Help You File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death statute of limitations

                  Filing a wrongful death lawsuit

If the wrongful act or negligence of an individual is responsible for the death of another, then the survivors of the deceased may file a lawsuit against the person causing the death for all the damages incurred such as lost wages from the deceased, lost companionship and other damages.

How to file a wrongful death lawsuit

  • Before you file a wrongful death lawsuit, ensure that you have all the necessary conditions and requirements satisfied. This will include proof of death, which are the death certificates signed by the coroner in charge, witnesses or evidence to prove that the death happened as a result of negligence on the part of the defendant and also family members or relatives who are undergoing financial and/or emotional trauma due to the death.
  • Consult a court representative or an experienced lawyer who can confirm whether a lawsuit can be filed.
  • Majority of the states prescribe a period within which the lawsuit should be filed. So find out the regulations in your state regarding wrongful death statute of limitations. In addition, you have a chance at convincing the jury that you have been deeply wounded by the death the sooner you file the suit. It is also important that you file a lawsuit within the prescribed wrongful death statute of limitations if your case requires an investigation regarding who is guilty and his/her responsibility in the case.
  • Unless you are familiar with the laws and regulations within your jurisdiction, it is practically impossible to file a death suit on your own. In addition, certain states explicitly prohibit private individuals to file, as it would only unnecessarily delay the court proceedings. In case you are allowed to file on your own, remember that it will involve numerous visits to your local courthouse, filling up various forms and presenting all the necessary papers.
  • Availing the services of an experienced attorney would be a better option. Provide him/her with all the necessary paperwork to get started on your case.
  • Have the lawsuit served to the defendant. You may have to hire a courier service to hand deliver the notice of suit to the defendant if you are filing on your own.

    Wrongful death lawsuit

               Statute of limitations for wrongful death

Those were some guidelines to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. Go through the Rules of Civil Procedure available online for more information on the particulars of filing a suit in your state.

Limitations On Filing A Case

Wrongful death statute of limitations

Limitations on filing cases

George’s fourteen year-old met with an accident last fall and suffered serious injuries. The medical bills ran into the thousands and George, who was a carpenter, was running from pillar to post to find the cash. Young Michael fought against the odds for four years but unfortunately, finally succumbed to his injuries.

The aggrieved father then filed a case of negligence against the driver of the vehicle. However, the case could not proceed as the time for filing the suit had exceeded the wrongful death statute of limitations of the state. However unfortunate this may seem, it is the law and there are good reasons for having such limitations in place.

The Need

Courts decide cases based on evidences brought before it. This may seem heartless, especially after having heard George’s story but the fact is that courts cannot afford to be seen to judge cases based on the emotional state of affairs of the litigant. History has shown that as time passes, some evidence may deteriorate, or could be fudged to distort the truth. As such, the court cannot term such evidences as “reliable” and judgments based on the same would result in serious miscarriage of justice.

There is another aspect to these laws as well. Courts have to ensure that justice is done to all parties and the accused too has to be looked upon as a human being. In this case, there have been many arguments that frivolous litigations could be filed against persons with botched evidences. Moreover, the accused may have reformed or have suffered enough guilt that to punish him further would not be fair.

Personal injury

Filing for wrongful death

The state of Georgia has quite a few limitations depending on the case in focus. For example, if it is a case that has something to do with personal injury and wrongful death statute of limitations, the state declares a period of two years. Property damage on the other hand has a period of four years. A special case is considered for minors who have been involved in car accidents. For them, the statute of limitations provides a term until they attain the age of 18 years.

This period changes with state. There is a statute for limiting the period within which one ought to file a case for almost every case too. To know more, it would be best to consult a practicing lawyer who deals with these cases.

Dental Malpractice Laws In Pennsylvania

Wrongful death statute of limitations

     Filing a wrongful death lawsuit

A patient in Pennsylvania can file a lawsuit against his dentist for dental malpractices such as improper performance or an error in diagnosis. However, it should be kept in mind the lawsuit will be dismissed and the injured party deprived of any compensation if he/she does not file a medical malpractice lawsuit within the prescribed statute of limitations period after discovering the injury. The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act govern the statute of limitations period for medical malpractice in the state of Pennsylvania.

Dental malpractices

Actions that can count as dental malpractice are numerous and can include a diagnostic error or improper performance. Some of the actions that can come under diagnostic errors include failure to recognize complications post some procedure like an infection, failure to diagnose a particular condition or improper diagnosis of a tooth or gum disorder as periodontal disease, gingivitis or cancer of the mouth.

All kinds of inadequate workmanship comes under improper performance and includes actions such as extracting the wrong tooth, poorly executed crowns or fillings, performing a wrong procedure or failure to perform a procedure the dentist said he would perform, leaving foreign materials in a patient and failure to acquire an informed consent from the patient before performing a procedure.

Statute of limitations in Pennsylvania

The statute of limitations for an injury due to medical malpractice or wrongful death statute of limitations is two years in Pennsylvania. According to the discovery rule in Pennsylvania, the period for statute of limitations does not start until it is reasonably possible to discover the injury. However, this rule is not applicable in the case of wrongful death statute of limitations. In addition, in the case of injury to a minor, the statute of limitations period does not start until he/she becomes 18.

MCARE Act Effect on Discovery rule:

Dental malpractices

Statute of limitations for filing a dental malpractice suit

The discovery period is restricted by a seven-year statute of repose starting from the date when the injury was caused for cases that arise after the effective date of the MCARE Act. With the exception of foreign objects that are left in the body unintentionally, all other malpractices should be discovered within a maximum of seven years. Minors are given a grace period of reaching 20 years of age to file a lawsuit.

These are some aspects of the actions that can be considered as dental malpractices, the period of discovery and statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against such injuries. Seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you through the procedure.

Looking Into The Nuances Of Statute Of Limitations

Wrongful death statute of limitations

           Filing wrongful death claims

Many might wonder why should there be a wrongful death statute of limitations. Isn’t it right that a person who has been a victim of negligence should be given appropriate justice even if a case is filed five years after the incident? Another question would be, does a person’s responsibility for causing the death of a person reduce after a period of time for the court to ignore it? Moreover, isn’t the next of kin of the victim or his direct dependants being made a victim without compensating them and leaving them to the rather sad excuse of “fate”? We shall try to answer these questions as fairly as possible.

One thing that one should consider before listening to arguments as to why there should be a wrongful death statute of limitations is that law is very complicated. It has to take into account many factors before arriving at a decision. These could at times seem cruel and painful but it is necessary for the justice to take the right decision and to reduce the number of failings. The only way to reduce these failings is to have such type of laws, the essence of which will be explained in the coming sections.


To prove wrongful death, one has to provide evidence in court. The only persons who would usually bring these cases forward would be the next of kin of the deceased. Now, quite obviously, these evidences, if not brought within a set period of time cannot be considered as credible. The reasoning is that the evidences could be fabricated, would have deteriorated to such extent that one would have to then consider it as “circumstantial” evidence which is a rather poor foundation on which to base a judgment. Hence, claimants should file a case within the period set by the statute.


The statute of limitations

            Statute that governs claims

Now, if a claim were to be given by the court, the calculations involved to determine the compensation award is not simple. To calculate this, one would have to consider the earnings of the deceased if he was alive in accordance with the economic scenario then and other parameters. If a person is to win a case, say beyond the statute of limitations, the court would have to factor in changing economic scenario which could be punishing the defendant or compensating the victim’s kin inappropriately.

Different states have different laws governing the statute of limitations. Students of law should know nuances like these very well before and during the course of serving as an advocate.

Notes On Wrongful Death Lawsuits In Utah

Wrongful death statute of limitations

Wrongful death statute of limitations explained

Wrongful death lawsuits are filed in a court of law when a negligent or wrongful act of the defendant results in the death of a person. The victim’s family then has the right to file a case against a business or organization, a government agency or a person, if they feel that the actions of these groups of people, or of a person, led to the death of the victim. In Utah, the law states that the person has the right to file a case in the event of a wrongful death. If you intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit, there are certain parameters that are to be met, and the case should be filed within a short period of time, as the wrongful death statute of limitations only allows claims to be filed within a certain limited time period.

Filing a wrongful death claim

It should be noted that only the heirs of the deceased person, or any of his personal representatives are allowed to file a wrongful death claim in a court of law. If anyone heir of the deceased person files a wrongful death claim, that claim is considered as representative of all the other heirs.

Time period of filing the claim

As mentioned earlier, the wrongful death statute of limitations permits the filing of the wrongful death claim within a certain time period only. Generally, this time period is 2 years; however, exceptions are made if the heir of the deceased person has not yet reached the age of 18 years at the time of death, or if more information on the death of the person surfaces at a later date.

Employee protection

third-party claim

statute of limitations of wrongful death

The Workmen’s Compensation Act allows the heir of the deceased person, who has been an employee of a company, but was killed by the negligence on the part of a third party, the third party being a person who has no connection to the employer, to claim compensation. Attorney’s fees and other costs are deducted from the compensation received, and if the money is availed through a third-party claim, it must be awarded according to the laws in Utah.

It should be noted that filing wrongful death lawsuits within two years is a must if there are sufficient grounds to believe that the death occurred due to the negligence on the part of any other person. These laws guarantee that the negligent actions of a person are sufficiently punished.

Statute Governing Wrongful Death Claims In Georgia

Wrongful death statute of limitations

Limitations of wrongful death

Wrongful Death means the death caused due intentional, negligent or reckless act of another person or party. There is a provision for the relatives or family members of the decedent to file a wrongful death claim against the person responsible. In Georgia, the wrongful death claim can be filed by the spouse, children or parents, or even the administrator of the decedent’s estate. The wrongful death statute of limitations in effect in the state of Georgia, is discussed below.

Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia

In Georgia, once the wrongful death occurs, it is essential to consult an attorney before filing for a claim. The statute of limitations dictates the time within which you can file, and win a settlement.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Georgia

  • The statute of limitations in Georgia dictates that you must file the wrongful death claim within two years of the death of the decedent. If you fail to do so within this timeframe, you will become ineligible to avail the benefits which you could otherwise have gotten, including any settlements.
  • If the wrongful death of your loved one is caused due to the negligent or careless act of another person or party, it is important for you to contact a Peachtree City wrongful death attorney immediately. Those attorneys, familiar with the wrongful death law and Georgia’s statute of limitations, can certainly help you in availing the maximum benefits in the case of wrongful death action.
  •  There are some incidences of extensions in the statute of limitations. For example, it mayheretofore have been believed that the wrongful death of your dear one was caused due to an accident three years ago, but now it is found that it was a murder. In this case, your statute of limitations starts on the very day the truth is discovered, and not from the date of the death.

    Wrongful death attorney

                       Wrongful death statute

  • In some cases, the parameters outlined in the   statute of limitations can be more confusing. For example, let’s consider a case of personal injury, where your dear one was injured in an accident while working in a poorly constructed department store. If he died several years later because of injuries sustained while at work, you cannot sue the department store if the original accident took place two years or more ago.

This is all about statute of limitations affecting wrongful death claims. For further information on the statute in Georgia, or on that effective in other states, refer to legal resources websites.

Probate Rights Of The Heirs Of A Wrongful Death Victim


                           Uniform Probate Code

In the instance of a wrongful death, the interpretation of the wills and distribution of the deceased’s estates is done under the supervision of a probate court. Irrespective of whether the decedent died with a will or without, the probate oversees the distribution of the estates. Failure to understand the Uniform Probate Code and the extent to which your state has adopted this code and other state specific probate laws, can cause a delay in the distribution of assets and can also lead to the accumulation of additional fees.

Entitlements to estate:

The family members, and extended relatives of the deceased who have incurred losses as a result of the death, are entitled to receive damages. The court will appoint a personal representative if the will does not specify one. All heirs and relatives will be notified of the probate hearing by the court. Before commencing the entrusted duties, the personal representative is required to provide consent and an oath, and in some states, may also be required to retain a bond as security.

Civil and Criminal Prosecution:

The Uniform Probate Code states that probate courts are part of the civil law system, and they have the authority to deny compensation to a person(s) if they were responsible for the ‘felonious and intentional’ death of the victim. Civil action by the probate court could deem an individual guilty, even if the said individual(s) has been proven innocent in a criminal action. In order to obtain a civil determination, interested individuals must petition the probate court.

Limitations on creditors:

According to the Uniform Probate Code, the claims of surviving spouse and minor children over certain assets, have precedence over those of creditors. Creditors’ claims have a lower priority as

compared to homestead shares, and allowances for support of the spouse, or a minor child. Generally, creditors can pursue their claims following a fixed time period after public notice.

Wrongful death statute of limitations

Probate rights of the surviving                         family

Wrongful death statute of limitations:

The statute of limitations for beginning wrongful death claims is different for different states, and in most cases, is usually around 2 to 3 years from the date of death. There can also be another additional limitation based on the amount of time that has passed after the occurrence of the incident first came to light. For instance, in Minnesota, the wrongful death statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is within six years after the incident.

These are some aspects of the wrongful death probate rights of a decedent’s heir.