Austin Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

When your loved one has lost their life because of someone’s carelessness or intentional bad action, you could be able to file a lawsuit in court. Winning will not bring them back, but you might be able to hold the responsible party accountable and get compensation for your loss. A skilled wrongful death attorney can help you consider the costs and benefits of moving forward with a civil court case.

Strict deadlines exist for filing wrongful death lawsuits. Missing one of these critical deadlines can bar you from recovery, so consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and the Austin wrongful death statute of limitations.

Wrongful Death Cases Generally Have a Two-Year Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations apply to wrongful death lawsuits in Austin. This means the family must file their case within that time or the court will likely bar the lawsuit altogether unless an exception applies. These rules are premised on the idea that lawsuits should be adjudicated as close as possible to the date of injury so evidence will be fresh and reliable, and people do not have to worry that they might be sued for something they may or may not have done years ago.

Exceptions can apply, but absent an exception, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. This means when someone was injured and later died as a result of those injuries–for example, after a long hospital stay–the filing deadline is two years from the date they died and not the date of the original injury that led to the death.

Exceptions to the Two-Year Statute of Limitations

One exception applicable to the statute of limitations for Austin wrongful death cases involves children. For minor children, the clock starts to run when the minor child reaches the age of 18. However, a parent can still file the lawsuit on behalf of the minor child sooner than that.

When the person is incapacitated, the period starts when the unsoundness ends. In cases where death was caused by someone’s negligence or wrongful conduct that the person could not have known about at the time of death, the period starts to run after they learn about the cause or reasonably should have learned about the cause. When death is caused by something fraudulently concealed by the perpetrator, the period starts after the person discovers the concealment.

Additional filing deadline considerations may apply in connection with product liability cases, construction cases, medical malpractice cases, cases against architects and engineers, and others. In every case, discuss any exceptions with an experienced attorney.

Special Considerations for Government Entities

Whenever a wrongful death case involves a government entity, additional rules apply. These rules relate to filing deadlines, damage caps, and even whether the case can proceed at all.

In terms of filing deadlines, the general rule is a person can sue a country or municipality under certain circumstances but must first file a tort claim within six months of the incident. For the City of Austin, this timeframe is much shorter, and the family must present the tort claim within 45 days of the incident.

Whatever the facts of the case, a person contemplating filing a wrongful death lawsuit should consult with an Austin attorney who is experienced at filing cases within the relevant statute of limitations and other deadlines.

Call for Information About Austin Wrongful Death Filing Deadlines

To prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must comply with filing deadlines. The rules are as convoluted as they are critical, so seeking information from an attorney who understands the intricacies of Austin wrongful death statute of limitations rules is important.

You can lose your lawsuit simply because you failed to file the case on time. To avoid such an unjust outcome, call for a consultation today.

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