Statute of Limitations Wrongful Death in USA briefly explain the legal prospects of this particular scenario. We would also try to explain all the processes involved so that you don’t need to panic during the needful hours. Depending upon the state you live in, there can be significant variations in terms of damages available in wrongful death lawsuits. Many states might have a limit on the amount and type of damages, especially in cases of medical malpractice. It’s important to consult an attorney when you are dealing with the wrongful death statute of limitations. You can contact us anytime without any hesitation at Injury lawyer for further more details and clarification.
Statute of Limitations Wrongful Death – Detailed Description
Everything you must know about the statute of limitations wrongful death
Here is the most common question people ask: how much time do I have to file a claim against criminals or other people who are responsible for someone’s death? In most cases, the statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death or personal injury claim is two years from the date of the incident.
You will be precluded from recovering financial compensation if you wait too long to initiate your complaint. There are, however, some exceptions. Knowing these will help you grasp the statute of limitations wrongful death in a better manner.
- The statute of limitations in a medical malpractice action, for example, is two years from the day you knew or should have known that malpractice had occurred.
- When a minor has a claim, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the child reaches the age of eighteen.
- To put it another way, whatever the applicable statute of limitations is, it does not begin to run for a kid until he or she reaches the age of eighteen.
- Other statutes of limitations are shorter. A written claim for a particular sum of money must be filed against a governmental municipality or government employee within 180 days of the cause of action occurring.
- Furthermore, any lawsuit against a government body or public employee must be filed within one year of the occurrence of the cause of action.
Examples of real-life situations
We’ve seen incidents when a police department chased a suspect down a crowded city street only to have the culprit collide with and kill an innocent female.
Expert testimony was offered in that case, proving that the chase should not have happened. The person they were chasing was actually a man who had done nothing wrong. He had left a message on her door in an attempt to reunite with his wife. The man fled from police, fearing he was breaking a court order prohibiting him from seeing his wife.
What if you have no idea who the criminal is? Although the Arizona appellate courts have not specifically addressed the issue, in this author’s opinion, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the victim knows or should have known the perpetrator’s name.
Is the victim eligible for compensation under the statute of limitations wrongful death?
The loss of companionship is frequently the most severe form of harm. In most cases, when a parent loses a kid, it may be argued that the child would have lived for the rest of the parent’s life. As a result, courts use annuity calculations to assess the parent’s life expectancy. There is no set formula for calculating the amount of damages.
Lawyers, on the other hand, give proof of the intimate relationship between the survivors and the decedent when determining the amount of damages. To establish the closeness of the relationship, tangible evidence, such as the following, are employed:
- Phone bills
- Copies of photographs
- Videotapes, etc.
Similarly, anecdotal testimony is allowed to prove the decedent’s intimate relationship with the survivor. Additionally, economists may be recruited to determine the family’s income loss. Finally, funeral costs and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the decedent’s death are recoupable.
To know in detail about the statute of limitations wrongful death, continue reading.
Statute of Limitation Wrongful Deaths – Types of Damages Involved
In general scenarios, there are three types of damages that are available for the survivors to claim for in cases of a wrongful death lawsuit. And they are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages: This mentions the value of financial contributions the deceased would have made to the survivors in case he/she was still alive. This includes:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of the victim’s earnings
- Loss of benefits, namely pension and medical coverage
- Loss of inheritance due to an untimely death, and
- The value of goods and services that the deceased would have provided
Non-economic damages: Generally, these are less tangible, non-economic damages. However, they might be more valuable than economic damages. They are:
- Damages related to the survivors’ mental anguish and suffering
- Loss of the care, guidance, protection, advice, training, and nurturing from the deceased
- Loss of love, and companionship, and
- loss of consortium
Punitive damages: These damages are awarded for punishing the defendant, especially for bad conduct. However, not all the states offer these damages in wrongful death lawsuits. In some states, such damage isn’t recoverable against most defendants that belong to most governmental agencies.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations –Time Limits
Each state has a certain time limit, which is called the “statute of limitations.”
In most cases, the general rule of thumb is that a lawsuit related to statute of limitations wrongful death must be filed within two years of the date of the death caused due to misconduct. Let us know more about that:
- In certain cases, however, the statute of limitations might just span for one year. Special rules are often applied to minors and people with mental disability.
- Many states don’t entertain the completion of the statute of limitations period until the harm is discovered. For instance, if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer but the situation is not discovered for years after the error is caused, the statute of limitations might not start until the patient discovers he has cancer.
- Some of the states put an upper limit on the date of discovery in certain cases, namely construction, medical malpractice, product liability, and legal malpractice claims. For instance, a state might allow the survivor to bring a lawsuit within two years since the date of discovery. However, it might not be entertained in case the claim is filed more than five years from the date of the victim’s death.
We hope that our article has cleared some of the major doubts you had related to statute of limitations wrongful death. It’s important, however, to understand that each of the states has its own time limit for filing wrongful death cases. In case, you need any further guidance, contact us without hesitations. We can answer all your queries at Online Lawyer.