Understanding Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitations By Sean Burke on August 31, 2016

A law book, gavel, and scales of justiceWhen a serious accident happens in Orange County or the greater Los Angeles area, you can count on our attorneys to offer sound legal advice and counsel. Our team of experienced wrongful death attorneys will be able to help you after the loss of a loved one.

The death of a loved one can be a difficult time, but it's important to start the legal process as soon as possible since there is a statute of limitations in place with these kinds of cases. Let's consider this issue right now.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations refers to a set amount of time during which a lawsuit must be filed. A failure to bring a legal claim during this set amount of time means that a civil case cannot be brought against a party. This is why it's important to file a legal claim as soon as possible.

Why Do Legal Statutes of Limitations Exist?

While it may not seem like it, a statute of limitations exists to keep the legal system working fairly. By setting a strict timeframe on legal actions, this ensure that any physical evidence presented is not deteriorated or affected by age. Similarly, the statute of limitations helps ensure strong witness testimony that is not affected by poor memory.

Keep in mind that some cases do not have a statute of limitations, though these tend to involve major crimes and felonies, such as murder.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in California Wrongful Death Cases?

In the state of California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is typically two years from the date of an individual's death.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?


If the death was related to the negligence of a health care provider (medical malpractice), the timeframe is typically three years after the date of the death of the individual.

If the death was related to the negligence of a government employee, official, or agency, the statute of limitations is typically much shorter. In the state of California, a wrongful death claim against a government agency must be filed within six months of the death of the individual.

Filing a Legal Claim as Soon as Possible Is Always Ideal

Even though you may have up to three years to file certain legal claims against a negligent party, it's always best to file a case as soon as possible. By filing the legal claim early, you help set the wheels in motion for your case, which means a resolution can be reached sooner rather than later. Wrongful death cases can take time, even just to reach a legal settlement, so speaking with an attorney sooner rather than later is in your best interests.

How Our Attorneys Can Help You

Wrongful death lawsuits can be quite complicated, and they are quite difficult to approach on your own if you do not have the legal know how. By working with our attorneys, you will have solid expertise on your side. We will offer sound counsel to you every step of the way to help you achieve peace of mind while you seek justice.

Learn More About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Fore more information about your legal rights and options, it's of the utmost importance that you contact a personal injury and wrongful death lawyer today. The legal team at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke are here to help you with expert legal counsel.

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