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What is the discovery rule in wrongful death cases?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2014 | Wrongful Death |

Yuma, Arizona, residents may be aware that there is a time limit within which a wrongful death claim may be filed. This time limit is referred to as the statute of limitation. When this period runs out, you lose your right to make a claim.

Each state has its own statute of limitation outlining wrongful death claims. In some states, the period may be one year, while in other states, the period may last up to two or three years. You need to speak with a legal professional in your state to determine the statute of limitation that applies to your case.

The statute of limitations period starts to run when the litigant realizes that the reason behind the victim’s death was wrongful, or, in some cases, when the death occurs. In some states, a person has the fundamental right to bring a wrongful death suit against the party or parties who are alleged to be responsible for the death at issue. Although in many cases, the statute of limitation period starts with the death of the victim, if the person knew the reason behind his or her illness, then the period may start to run even earlier.

Some considerations are made in wrongful death actions. What are these considerations? For instance, when a wrongful death action arises out of a personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations may prohibit the action if the victim failed to file the personal injury claim within the limitation period. Additionally, in some states, there is a statute of repose that does not allow product liability claims when the product is a certain number of years old.

If the statute of limitations has expired in your case, you have three options: attempt to get the statute of limitations waived by the court, get the statute of limitations waived by the opposing party or file a motion with the court seeking to extend the statute of limitations.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death Claims: Time Limits and the ‘Discovery’ Rule” accessed on Oct. 2, 2014