Almost all civil and criminal cases have time limits; the statute of limitations imposes a deadline to file a case. Murder cases do not fall under a statute of limitations, but there is a time limit on wrongful death actions. However, there are certain considerations to be made when a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Lafayette LA files a case before the deadline. Read on to learn how the statute of limitations applies in wrongful death cases.
Discovery of Harm
Every jurisdiction’s statutes of limitation are different, but knowing the deadline is just one part of the equation. It’s equally important to know when the countdown starts. For personal injury cases, the clock begins to tick when the plaintiff knew (or should have been aware) that they were injured. In most cases, the ticker starts immediately because injuries are usually readily apparent. Unfortunately, that does not always apply in wrongful death cases.
Deadlines on Wrongful Death Claims
Some courts hold that people have a fundamental right to bring an action for wrongful death. Therefore, certain jurisdictions have ruled that the statute of limitations does not start until the injured party dies. Conversely, some courts apply the discovery rule when the decedent was or should have been aware of the cause of harm.
Product Liability Cases
Moreover, state laws on product liability are different in wrongful death claims. While state law applies a special limitation period to liability cases that begin at death, some areas bar product liability actions after the product exceeds a set age or has not been sold for a long period. If a client is questioning whether a defective product may have caused a family member’s death, they should consult a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Lafayette LA as quickly as possible.
All losses of life are devastating, but those that occur due to another party’s actions are especially crushing. Despite the complex nature of these cases, there are time limits to be considered. Some jurisdictions have a statute of limitations of just one year. Those considering bringing a wrongful death action should visit chrisrichardattorney.com right away to preserve their legal rights and to ensure that the claim is filed within the allotted time.