Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations Lawyer
If your family member died due to someone else’s negligence, you have a limited amount of time to pursue justice on your loved one’s behalf. A wrongful death claim gives you a chance to hold the responsible party accountable and fight for the financial resources you may need after an unexpected death. Unfortunately, if you file your claim too late, you will be barred from receiving compensation for your loss.
Don’t wait to take the first step. The legal team at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian is ready to take action for your family immediately. Our experienced attorneys will investigate the circumstances of your family member’s wrongful death and demand the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations places a limit on the amount of time you have to file a claim for compensation after a wrongful death. In Texas, the statute of limitations is typically two years from the date of death. This means that if you try to file a claim after the deadline has passed, you may not be able to recover any compensation.
Date of Discovery
In some wrongful death claims, the family may not immediately discover what caused their loved one’s death. For example, after the death, they may eventually discover that a dangerous medication was the cause of death. In these cases, the two-year countdown starts on the date the family discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, that the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions.
It is important to understand how this “discovery rule” may apply to your case. So talk to a lawyer as soon as possible about the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case.
At What Point Does the Clock Start Ticking?
The time limit of wrongful death claims depends on the circumstances of the individual claim. The statute of limitations may be based on:
- The date of death: This is the most common starting point for wrongful death claims, especially if the deceased died suddenly from a clear cause, such as in a motor vehicle accident.
- The date on which the cause of the death is discovered: Sometimes, the cause of death is not immediately discovered. When this is the case, the clock does not start ticking until the date that the family discovers a wrongful action led to the fatality.
- Other circumstances: There are additional exceptions to the statute of limitations when the defendant is a minor child or suffers from mental or physical incapacities.
Considerations to Take in a Wrongful Death Case
There are many special considerations to be aware of during a wrongful death claim. For example:
- A judge may bar a wrongful death claim if he or she finds the claim to be derivative. That means that the judge finds that the claim arose out of a personal injury claim filed before the person died.
- There are also legal considerations that apply to wrongful death claims related to certain kinds of accidents. Product liability cases, for instance, follow special rules.
- There may also be statutes of repose related to certain wrongful death claims. These laws are designed to prevent wrongful death claims when a product has been off the market for a long time.
The bottom line is you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible about the details of your case. A wrongful death attorney from our firm can review your case for free and answer all your questions.
Can You Toll the Statute of Limitations?
What happens if you want to file a wrongful death claim, but the statute of limitations has passed? In most cases, you’re out of options. Under the right circumstances, though, courts may toll the statute of limitations and allow your claim to proceed.
The most common situation in which courts may toll the statute of limitations is when the claim involves a minor and the death of one or more of the child’s parents. In these cases, minors may have until two years from their 18th birthday to file a wrongful death claim. However, the minor does not have to wait until that time to pursue a claim. A surviving parent or guardian can pursue a claim on behalf of the minor before the child turns 18.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we understand the toll that a wrongful death can take on you and your family. We want to help however we can. Our bilingual staff is available to talk 24/7. Schedule your free initial consultation today.