Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitations

Jan 31, 2017 @ 09:00 AM — by Larry A. Tawwater

A statue of Lady JusticeLosing a loved one is difficult and painful, but when the death was caused by another person's negligence and could have been prevented, the loss can feel even greater. A wrongful death attorney can help spouses or children who have lost a loved one seek compensation for pain and suffering. While no amount of money can ease the loss of a loved one, taking legal action can hold those responsible for a wrongful death liable.

When considering taking legal action for a wrongful death, it's important to act before the statute of limitations runs out. For more information about wrongful death statutes of limitations and your legal rights, contact our Oklahoma City, OK practice, Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC.

What May Constitute a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death is essentially a death caused by someone else's negligence or misconduct. A wrongful death may include deaths caused by:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Another person's negligence
  • Homicide
  • Automobile or motorcycle accident
  • Airplane accident
  • Occupational hazard
  • Death during a supervised activity

The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

There is a limited amount of time, or statute of limitations, in which you can file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is different in each state and will vary based on the cause of death. In many states, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is one to two years from the date of the cause of death. The wrongful death of minors, those with mental disabilities, and wrongful deaths caused by fraud often have their own rules regarding the statute of limitations. 

When Does the Statute of Limitations Start?

In most states, the statute of limitations begins at a point called the “date of discovery.” The date of discovery is the date in which the negligence or harm causing the death was discovered. However, some states have time restraints on the date of discovery for certain types of wrongful death cases, including medical malpractice, construction accidents, and product liability. In other words, although the statute of limitations begins at the date of discovery, there is not an infinite amount of time from the date of discovery to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Seek Assistance from a Wrongful Death Attorney

Spouses, children, and parents who have lost someone as a result of a wrongful death may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering or other damages. If you believe a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, it is important to contact a wrongful death attorney before the statute of limitations runs out to ensure the responsible parties are held liable. A wrongful death attorney will consider the circumstances regarding the death of a loved one to determine if there is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact the Attorneys of Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC

If you believe a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, you're encouraged to contact the wrongful death attorneys of Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC.

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