The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death LawyerAny time someone dies due to the negligence of another, it’s a hard pill to swallow for the surviving family members. What might make it even harder are the financial consequences the family is suddenly faced with. If you have found yourself in this situation, you and your family might be entitled to compensation for wrongful death. The following are some important things regarding the statute of limitations and wrongful death lawsuits that you should know.

Why Is It Important?

The statute of limitations is important because if you miss the deadline, you may not ever have a chance to seek compensation for the negligent death of your loved one. The law takes the statute of limitations very seriously, as being lax about it could send the wrong message to other people in the same situation, and it could open the legal system up to more lawsuits that could be difficult to prove because of the age of the situation. Taking care of your lawsuit in a timely manner is the best way to ensure you receive fair compensation.

What Is the Statute?

The statute of limitations is different in every state, though it’s typically two years. Some allow a longer time period, such as four years, and a few might only allow one year for loved ones to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Are There Exceptions?

There are some exceptions when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits and the statute of limitations. Though your case would typically be thrown out if you missed the deadline, the following are some situations in which you might be able to file beyond the original statute.

  • Minors – Children who are under age 18 at the time of their loved one’s passing are not allowed to file wrongful death lawsuits. Even if the child’s loved one died when the child was ten years old, the statute of limitations wouldn’t begin until his or her 18th
  • Discovery – You have to know negligence occurred before you can sue someone for a negligent death. Sometimes those types of facts aren’t brought to light until a while after death. If you don’t discover your loved one died due to the negligent actions of another individual until two or three years later, the statute would begin at that time.
  • Extensions – Though it’s very rare, some circumstances allow a judge to provide an extension to the party filing the lawsuit. This most often occurs when the other party delays the case over and over again, though there are some other unique situations that could warrant an extension as well.

Getting Started With Your Case

Wrongful death is a horrible situation to be in. If your loved one died because another person or institution was negligent, you deserve compensation. Contact your wrongful death attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT, today to get started with your case.


Thank you to the experts at Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into wrongful death and the law.