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The Statute of Limitations on California Wrongful Death Claims

 Posted on February 22, 2024 in Car Accidents

Los Angeles County personal injury lawyerWhen a loved one is lost due to the negligence of another, you may find yourself in debt. The funeral costs took a heavy toll, and now you are in a position where you are unable to earn enough for your family. It may be crucial at this moment to file a wrongful death claim. However, you may not know where to begin or how long you have to file. Speaking to an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the situation and ensure you get your claim filed on time

What is California’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?

A wrongful death claim in California must be filed within two years from the time of a person’s death. If the family was unaware of the death or that the death occurred due to the negligence of another, the discovery rule may apply, and the statute of limitations will begin upon the family’s discovery of the negligent death. There are rare exceptions, which include claims:

  • Against a government entity
  • In the case of minors who are filing a wrongful death claim

Against a Government Entity

In the case of a government or public entity, it is important to act as quickly as possible. Wrongful death cases under these circumstances only allow the family of the deceased a period of six months to file an administrative claim with the office or agency you hold responsible for the death. The entity will then have 45 days to accept or deny the claim. A denial by the entity will give you six months to file a lawsuit from the date of denial. An acceptance letter or no response at all will provide you with up to two years from the day of the incident that led to the person’s death to file a wrongful death claim.

In the Case of Minors

Minors have a special rule in place for filing wrongful death claims that allows them to wait until they are 18 years of age before the two-year statute of limitations begins. They then have up to their 20th birthday to file a claim, which allows time for them to grieve the passing of their loved one before any legal action is necessary.

Contact a Los Angeles County, CA Personal Injury Attorney

Two years is not as long as you may think, and it is important to act quickly when wanting to file a wrongful death claim. The first thing to do is consult an experienced Glendale, CA, wrongful death lawyer to help you gather evidence vital to your lawsuit. Tahmazian Law Firm, P.C. will hastily secure the required evidence and ensure your legal matters are taken care of so that you can file your claim in a suitable time frame. Contact our office today at 818-242-8201 for a free consultation.

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