Wrongful Death Lawsuits: The Statute of Limitations
The loss of a loved one can be an emotionally fraught time for many reasons. The pain involved when someone close to you dies is compounded if another person or party is responsible for the incident. That's when it's crucial to speak with an attorney about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These kinds of cases will help cover the pain and material losses associated with the death of a loved one, and can help offer some sense of closure to the tragedy.
The lawyers of Reed & Terry, L.L.P. have helped countless clients throughout the Sugar Land area with their legal needs. We'd like to go over the basics when it comes to the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases. Knowing the time limits involved in seeking a civil suit helps people understand why time is of the essence.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations refers to a set amount of time for filing a lawsuit after an accident or injury has been sustained. Once the statute of limitations has passed, a person will usually not be able to file a lawsuit. This is why it's so important to pursue legal action as soon as possible, so you can get the machinery of justice moving.
While this may seem unfair, statutes of limitations are actually intended to promote fairness in the legal system. By filing a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, one ensures that the evidence is in good condition and that any witness testimony will not be negatively impacted by the effects of time on a person's memory.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is two years from the date of the deceased individual's death. A wrongful death lawsuit cannot be pursued after this two-year statute of limitations has passed.
Are There Any Exceptions to These Laws?
There are exceptions, but they tend to be rare, limited, and extremely specific to very narrow circumstances. If your loved one died as a result of using a defective product or due to an accident caused by a design flaw in an automobile, there could be a different statute of limitations to consider. Again, we want to stress that these sorts of exceptions are rare.
Rather than take chances with the statute of limitations, it's best to file a wrongful death lawsuit within the two-year window specified by Texas state law.
File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit as Soon as Possible
It can take some time for a lawsuit to get off the ground. In fact, it can take years before a wrongful death lawsuit is properly resolved. Given this fact, it's important that you speak with an attorney and file your wrongful death lawsuit as soon as possible. This will get the process started and allow you to seek justice for your loved one and peace for your family.
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
Wrongful death laws can be complicated, and navigating the legal system can be difficult when you are still in the process of grieving. An experienced attorney can give you the guidance you need in these sorts of cases. They will offer solid counsel every step of the way, and help you understand all of your legal options and which choices may be ideal for your situation. This peace of mind provided by a wrongful death attorney may prove invaluable to you.
Learn More About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
For more information about your legal options following the death of a loved one, we encourage you to contact experience wrongful death attorneys today. The lawyers of Reed & Terry, L.L.P. will help you in your time of legal need and fight diligently every step of the way.