Wrongful death actions, as well as all other civil actions, have time limits in which individuals must file their claims. Known as statutes of limitations, these periods must usually be strictly adhered to. Once the statute of limitations window closes, you can lose your right to sue another party with the help of a personal injury attorney Newport Beach. Each state has its statute of limitations laws regarding wrongful death claims, in most states, the time frame is only two or three years, with a few states offering a wider window of time. If your loved one was killed in an accident, it can be helpful to talk to an attorney about statutes of limitations in your state.
When Can A Person File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you and your family suffered losses as the result of the death of a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim if you believe their death is the result of another person or party’s negligence. You may file a wrongful death claim with the help of a wrongful death lawyer in the Newport Beach area under such circumstances, especially if their death was caused by an accident or medical malpractice. Individuals may also be able to obtain more compensation if they can prove their loved one suffered before their death.
The Discovery Rule
Statutes of limitations usually extend from the time the party intending to bring suit discovers the cause of death of a loved one. Many states have ruled that the right to bring a wrongful death claim is fundamental, and courts in these states hold that the limitation period for a wrongful death suit starts at the time of death unless there is some other reason it should not. This is known as the “discovery rule.”
If the loved one of a deceased person discovers evidence of a wrongful death outside of the allotted time frame, they may still be able to file suit with the help of a wrongful death attorney Newport Beach. In some cases, the law may be able to provide claimants with additional time.
If a wrongful death claim is considered a derivative action, which means it arises from a personal injury action, the claimant may be able to file their action outside the statute of limitations. They may do this if they had no wrongful death claim while during a personal injury lawsuit, but they later discover they have reason to believe their loved one’s death was wrongful.
In some states, product liability cases involving wrongful deaths are subjected to unique limitations periods. These periods usually start at the time of the deceased individual’s death, even if their loved ones had no reason to suspect a wrongful death. Loved ones of a deceased person should consult a wrongful death suit law firm in Newport Beach if they believe a defective product is responsible for the death.