Duration of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Things were different in the past when it came to the unfortunate death of a family member. Many years ago, it wasn't even possible to file any kind of civil lawsuit over someone's death. However, things have changed over the years, and you can file wrongful death lawsuits if the death was a result of wrongful actions or negligence.
Many people don't understand the facts behind this or how long it would take, so here are some facts for you to understand the duration periods of it.
Statutes of limitations
This is basically the length of time that the person filing the claim has. It's different in each state, but usually the wrongful death has to have occurred no more than six years after the initial injury. This source also states that it can be within two years of the final DDS approval, so you must inform the employer by submitting a notice of accident within a 30-day time window. Then, you have about two years to get the process underway to be eligible for anything; time can be against you in cases like these. Therefore, if you're trying to secure the rightful compensation legally, you must know the specifics of the statutes that your state is following. Your legal representation will take care of the process and can offer you insight on how cases like this work, so remember to get professional guidance.
How long would the case take?
Unfortunately, wrongful death cases might take several years until a judge passes a final judgement; people might spend the majority of their lives waiting for the final verdict. Relatives or family members of the departed need to understand that it's a long process—it’s a commitment they have to be willing to make, so they can get their justice and monetary compensation. If they are lucky, some families get to settle their cases prior to the trial or when the case drags for too long and the other party makes a deal that interests them. Yet, remember not to take any outside deals if you don't feel comfortable with them.
The discovery rule
The time for it doesn't start until reasonable negligence surrounding the death is discovered. Also, it starts when the party bringing suit discovers it. If the person’s death was because of negligence, but this was found out way after the statutes of limitations had lapsed, then you can still be eligible to file for a wrongful death lawsuit. It can get very complicated, but there are rules for such occasions to help make things fair for the victim's family. In most cases, the clock starts ticking the day the person dies if misconduct is clearly obvious. Nevertheless, if new evidence reveals different details discovered about the death, then the clock starts ticking months later after the discovery of such evidence.
Are extensions allowed?
For the most part, judges would not commonly approve extensions. Disregarding the rules of the statutes of limitations is out of the question for most judges because they take them very seriously in courts. However, depending on how good your lawyer is, they can appease the judge by appealing a motion to toll it. This means that you would have more time if it was proven that the cause for delays was because of another party that hindered the case processes. Still, try not to get your hopes up about an extension; just focus on following the process smoothly and correctly, so you can get what you deserve.
The rule for minors
It is not allowed for children below the age of 18 to file a case like this, but there are certain exceptions for this rule. If the death occurred when they were minors, they have the right to file for this lawsuit in the two-year period after their 18th birthday; this is plausible even after the expiration of the main statutes of limitations. Some children might not have any other family members or next of kin, so the extra leeway room when it comes to this can give the child all the support they deserve within their rights.
The details behind who can file the wrongful death claims differ from one state to another, whether it's immediate family members, partners, or financial dependents. Whoever is going to carry the process out must know every detail about the time window, so they don't have problems in court. As unfortunate as this event might be, everyone must get what they deserve, and justice must be served accordingly.