California Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

front of a courthouse

Statute of Limitations laws limit the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. Statute of limitations laws help to guarantee that the legal process can move forward in a timely manner, that evidence will still be fresh and that witnesses are still available to testify. In the event of a wrongful death, a lawsuit would be brought forward by the victims executor; typically a parent, spouse or child. In California, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death.

Exceptions: The Discovery Rule in a Wrongful Death Claim

In certain circumstances, there are exceptions to the law, known as the discovery rule. The discovery rule states that the statute of limitations begins at the time  an injury was discovered, or became known. For instance, if a wrongful death occurred due to an injury or illness that was brought on by a defective product a year earlier, the statute of limitations would have begun at the time the injury or illness was first diagnosed. This could potentially mean that the time frame an executor has to file a wrongful death suit could run out before death even occurs.

There are other statute of limitations exceptions that may apply statewide as well. For example, in California, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death that occurred due to asbestos exposure is reduced down to one year after the death occurred, or one year from the date the victim knew of asbestos exposure, whichever is later.

Tolling the Statute of Limitations

In addition to the discovery rule, it is possible for the statute of limitations to be suspended, or tolled for a certain period of time. Certain scenarios may cause a wrongful death claim to be tolled, for instance in dealing with a minor, imprisonment or mental health issues.

You May Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer

It is very important to understand the statute of limitations laws where you live. When it comes to receiving the compensation you deserve, time is of the essence. Since wrongful death laws can be very complex, you must contact a trusted attorney to help you understand your rights. If you think that you may have a wrongful death claim, or are interested in learning more, contact wrongful death attorney Frank D Penney today.

Recent Blog Posts

  • barriers erected to prevent caltrans accident

    Avoid CalTrans Accidents: Be Aware of Extra Roadwork

    While local stay-at-home orders were fully in place and freeways were seeing a significant reduction in traffic, state officials were taking advantage of the situation by ramping up their roadwork projects. Road workers were able to work during the daylight hours instead of at nighttime, and were enjoying being able to close down long stretches […]

    Read More
  • fedex truck passing two pedestrians

    I Was in a FedEx Truck Accident: What Now?

    Delivery truck accidents, like a FedEx truck accident, can be very complicated as there are usually many different companies and people involved and accountable for the incident. Unfortunately, delivery truck drivers often have a great deal of pressure on them to deliver their packages quickly, which can lead to speeding, reckless driving, and dangerous situations. […]

    Read More
  • person driving at unsafe speeds during covid-19

    Watch Out for Speed-Related Car Accidents: Reckless Driving on the Rise During COVID-19

    With the state-wide stay-at-home order in full effect, our state freeway traffic is reduced significantly. The problem is that many of those who remain on the road are violating California basic speed law. In fact, according to the LA Times, the California Highway Patrol has reported an increase of over 87% in citations for motorists […]

    Read More
Over $100 Million Collected From Injury Cases. You Can Bank on Frank! (888) 888-0566 Contact Us Today

We'll come to you!

  • Sacramento Office
  • 333 University Avenue, Suite 200
  • Sacramento, CA
  • (916) 756-0772
  • Roseville Office
  • 1544 Eureka Road, Suite 120
  • Roseville, CA
  • (916) 788-1960
  • Oakland Office
  • 1300 Clay St, Suite 600
  • Oakland, CA
  • (510) 962-4610

© 2020 Frank Penney Injury Lawyers, Serving the Areas of Sacramento, Roseville, Fairfield, Modesto, Stockton & Oakland California

Call Now Button