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Is there a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims?

Arkansas residents might benefit learning more about how much time people are afforded to file a wrongful death claim after an accident has occurred. Being aware of the local statute of limitations may prove to be essential in making any legal claim for the death. Establishing the period when the statute of limitations begins for these types of cases is often associated with the discovery rule.

Depending on the jurisdiction, the limitation period may begin when the death occurs or when the plaintiffs learned the cause of death. In some cases, when the imminent fatal injury or illness has already been identified, the start of the limitation period to file a wrongful death claim may begin before the death occurs. Some wrongful death claims receive special consideration as a derivative action, meaning they arose from a personal injury claim that was filed when the decedent was still alive.

Wrongful death associated with product liability claims may also receive special consideration in some cases. When the statute of limitations has already passed, plaintiffs may petition the court to waive the limitations, request the opposing party waive the limitations or attempt tolling, or delaying the end of the limitation period. The success of these strategies often depends heavily on the state laws and the whether or not the circumstances meet specific criteria.

People with relatives killed by another's action, inaction or omission may benefit from consulting a lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to review the events leading to the loss of a loved one and help identify any of the parties who may be held liable for the resulting damages. Plaintiffs in these cases are often entitled to receive restitution to help account for funeral costs and other ensuing hardships.

Source: Findlaw, 'Wrongful Death Claims: Time Limits and the "Discovery" Rule", Accessed on Jan. 14, 2015

Source: Findlaw, 'Wrongful Death", Accessed on Jan. 14, 2015

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