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What if a wrongful death statute of limitations expires?

In wrongful death suits, there is a statute of limitations that governs how long after the death a claim can be pursued. If the statute of limitations has run out on your particular claim, there are still ways you can pursue justice for the loss of your loved one. To extend the time frame of the claim, you may either request that the court waive the limit, or request that the opposing part waive the limit, or use circumstances to toll the statute.

To have a court consider delaying the statute of limitations, the nature of your situation must meet extremely specific guidelines, which are state-specific. Because the situational criteria is usually quite specific, it is a long shot that your case will qualify, but it is certainly worth pursuing. It is also possible to request that the opposing party waive the statute, but this is unlikely to be done.

If the courts and opposing parties are unwilling to extend the timeframe, it may be possible to use special circumstances to suspend the statute. For instance, if the plaintiff is a minor, then the statute of limitations cannot begin to count down until the child is 18 years of age. In this way, a plaintiff could use their age to delay the timeframe.

Wrongful death suits are innately heartbreaking, and can be extremely draining to carry all by oneself. The guidance of a qualified attorney can help ensure that you are not overwhelmed with the burden of pursuing justice, and can get back to the hard work of healing from your loss.

Source: Randolph & Associates, "Wrongful Death," accessed Aug. 05, 2016

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