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What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Losing a loved one due to the negligence of someone else is always a tragic and heartbreaking situation. In addition to causing immense emotional pain, an untimely death can leave a family with overwhelming financial burdens, including funeral costs, unpaid medical expenses, and loss of income and insurance.

Although compensation for a wrongful death can never bring a loved one back, it can help reduce the stress caused by unforeseen expenses.  Many individuals, though, delay pursuing civil action while they are coping with their grief, only to discover later that they waited too long and are thus ineligible to file a lawsuit.

How Long Do I Have to File?

The time limit, known as a statute of limitations, for filing a wrongful death lawsuit varies from state to state. In Texas, a spouse, child, or parent of the deceased must file their wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the victim’s passing. There are, however, a few exceptions:

  • The Discovery Rule – The clock doesn’t begin on the statute of limitations until the party bringing suit discovers, or with reasonable diligence should have discovered, the victim’s passing. Moreover, if the victim was killed because of negligence that was uncovered only after the statute of limitations lapsed, the family may still be eligible to file suit.
  • Minors – Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to bring a case to court. However, if the victim’s child was a minor at the time the death occurred, they may be allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years after their 18th birthday, even if the original statute of limitations has expired.
  • Extensions – Statutes of limitations are taken very seriously by courts; therefore, it is uncommon for them to be disregarded by a judge. There are some instances, though, when a lawyer can successfully appeal to have them set aside, in what is known as a motion to toll the statute of limitations. The most common exception is when another party is responsible for ongoing delays in the case.

How Can Zinda Law Group Help?

At Zinda Law Group, we understand the heavy toll a wrongful death can take on a family. Our attorneys have a wide range of experience in handling these complex cases, and we are dedicated to not only helping you seek the full compensation you deserve but also extending care and compassion to you and your family in your time of need. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation about your case.



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