When you lose a loved one unexpectedly, it is tragic. When your family member dies due to another person’s negligence or wrongful act, you can seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
As you are grieving the loss of your loved one, you may wonder if you have a wrongful death claim and what the time perimeters of filing for compensation might be. We understand no amount of money will bring your loved one back, but it can help minimize the financial burden so that you can move forward from the incident.
While you do not need to decide right away if you are pursuing a claim, it is a good idea to consult a wrongful death attorney early on in the process. If you choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, there are strict time constraints for filing. It is best to act early so that your attorney can gather the necessary evidence and file the claim in a timely fashion. When you are considering filing a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one, speak to an attorney about San Antonio wrongful death statute of limitations.
Under state law, the family members of a deceased person have two years from the date of their loss to file a wrongful death action. The clock typically starts running on the date of the person’s death. Even if your loved one was sick leading up to their death, the cause of action will not accrue until their actual death.
In the event someone does not file within this two-year time frame, they can lose their right to financial recovery. The court may overlook missing the requisite limitations in limited circumstances. For example, when a disability prevented someone from filing. Otherwise, when the claim is not timely, the defendant will move to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit, and the deceased’s family member will be without recovery. As such, it is important to consult a San Antonio lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing the wrongful death statute of limitations.
The certain instances where the court might extend the wrongful death statute of limitations in San Antonio are known as “tolling” the statute. The statute of limitations may be delayed when:
When someone loses their parent as a minor, the statute of limitations will not run until they reach the age of majority. A minor could ask a legal guardian or other parent to file on their behalf.
In some cases, the negligence that contributed to the death is not obvious or immediately apparent. When circumstances that give rise to a wrongful death claim are revealed later on, the statute will not run until the date it was discovered.
When the responsible party actively concealed their involvement in the death, the statute will not run until the fraud is discovered.
Lastly, when someone suffers from a mental or physical limitation, the time period will not accrue until the person is competent.
When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful act, speak to a trusted lawyer about your options for financial recovery. While there are strict filing deadlines for negligent passing actions, some circumstances will excuse a late filing. When you are unsure of the applicable San Antonio wrongful death statute of limitations or believe circumstances justify tolling, contact our team to get started on your case.