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.
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.Google+