Many legal claims are subject to a statute of limitations. This means that you have a specific time period in which to take legal action against a liable party. In the event that the action of another party causes death, someone—generally, a surviving family member—may want to consider filing a wrongful death claim and will thus need to adhere to the statutes of limitations applicable to the situation.
The statute of limitations in California generally begins from the date of the injury or death. The person wanting to file a wrongful death claim will have two years to initiate the process in most cases. Documents that prove the date of the incident will need to be available along with other evidence that supports the claim that the intentional or negligent actions of someone else caused the death.
Statutes of limitations are designed to have an incident managed during an optimal time period. Restricting the time a person can file a wrongful death claim will help avoid the loss of important evidence, the disappearance of vital witnesses, or fraudulent claims from being initiated.
Often, it can be beneficial to obtain the legal services of a personal injury attorney experienced in handling wrongful death claims. Depending on the nature of the circumstances that caused the death, there may be exceptions to the general terms of the statute of limitations. Understanding the law that pertains to your specific case can play a critical role in the filing of the claim.