Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

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If the unimaginable has happened, and you have lost a loved one because of the fault of another party, you would be wise to contact an experienced, skilled Midland wrongful death attorney like Michael Grossman and his staff at Grossman Law Offices. Texas law sets a certain time period within which a wrongful death suit can be filed, so time is of the essence in contacting a competent attorney who can help you recover for things like medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs, and pain and suffering. Grossman Law Offices has handled countless personal injury & wrongful death cases in Midland & Odessa, Texas. We know how to handle the intricacies of often overlapping wrongful death statutes to ease your mind and bring you financial help and justice in this extremely difficult time.

A “wrongful death” is a death caused, in whole or part, by the wrongful acts of another. The spouse, child or parent of the deceased must show that the other party failed to keep his obligation not to harm the victim, resulting in the victim’s death. They must show he was careless or “negligent,” in whole or in part, in causing their loved one’s death. Wrongful death claims are generally settled out of court. When this happens, we advise our clients and let them decide. We never pressure you into taking a quick or insufficient settlement like many firms do.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Wrongful Death?

Wrongful deaths can result from many causes, including things like car and truck accidents, defective products/drugs, workplace injuries, birth injuries and medical malpractice. There is some overlap of statutes involving wrongful death. If the employer of the victim had workers’ compensation, for instance, that would preclude his family from filing a wrongful death suit. Grossman Law Offices can sort these out and make sure you don’t have to settle for less than the maximum recovery you deserve.

The Texas Wrongful Death Act sets a statute of limitations on bringing a claim. A statute of limitations (S.O.L.) is merely a period of time set by law in which a claim must be filed. According to the act, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two (2) years from the time of death. If your loved one died more than two years ago, however, don’t hesitate to call us. We may be able to find a way to move your claim forward.

There are four (4) exceptions to the two-year wrongful death statute of limitations, however. These include:

  • Mental or Physical Incapacity: The plaintiff has suffered some mental or physical harm that has kept him from filing within the two-year period. For example, a surviving spouse suffers a nervous breakdown after her husband’s death and is unable to file within the allotted time.

  • When the defendants or Their Negligence Were Unknown: The two-year statute doesn’t begin to run until a “reasonably prudent” person would have known he had a cause of action. This is called the Texas “discovery rule.” For example, let’s say 15 years after the fact, modern technology has revealed that a certain medicine caused a victim’s death. At that point, the S.O.L. then begins to run.

  • The Plaintiff is a Minor Child: The wrongful death claim of a minor child can’t expire until the child is of legal age to pursue such a claim. Therefore, the S.O.L. doesn’t begin to run until his 18th birthday, and he has until his 20th to pursue it. A preferable scenario, however, would be for the child’s parent or guardian to bring a claim on his behalf, while evidence and memories are fresh and preserved. Any money received would go into a trust for the child until his 18th birthday.

  • Fraud: The defendant deliberately concealed his involvement or liability in the victim’s death.

Grossman Law Offices has a long 24-year track record of winning cases for our Midland-Odessa clients and we are well-versed with the statutes and overlaps surrounding a wrongful death claim. We have the resources and diligence to pursue your case as long as necessary to get you the money you need at this difficult time. We are available 24/7 and will come to you for a free initial consultation. So, if you have been devastated by the loss of a loved one, call us toll-free at 1-855-396-0000, before it’s too late.

Read our other wrongful death articles for more information:

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