Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death suit may be brought by the surviving beneficiaries or dependents of a deceased victim. This typically includes the victim's spouse and children.
When Must a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Be Filed?
Each state has its own statute of limitations within which the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed:
- California: 2 years
- Florida: 2 years
- Illinois: 2 years
- New York: 2 years
- Texas: 2 years
The deadline starts to run from the time of the victim's death, but occasionally, if the cause of death is not discovered until later, a court may allow the statute of limitations to being running from the date of discovery. This is called Tolling the Statute of Limitations.
What Are the Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors bring a claim that the victim's death was a result of the defendant's conduct. In order to prevail on a wrongful death claim, the survivors must show:
- That the victims death was caused by the defendant
- The defendant intentionally, recklessly or negligently caused the victim's death, or that the defendant was strictly liable for the victim's death
- There are surviving beneficiaries or dependents
- The victim's death has caused monetary damages to the surviving beneficiaries or dependents
Should You Hire a Lawyer Experienced in Wrongful Death Matters?
If your loved one died due to the actions of another, you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about preserving your rights and remedies. The statute of limitation deadlines are strict, and a valid claim may be denied if the lawsuit is brought even one day late. A lawyer will be able to explain the value of your case and help you navigate through the complicated legal process.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 03-22-2011 12:19 PM PDT
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