How Long Do I Have In Order to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Russell Button
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Texas Trial Lawyer

Those wishing to file a wrongful death claim following the death of a spouse, parent, or child have two years from the date of death to do so. However, the sooner the surviving family member files the claim, the greater the chance of success. We explain the disadvantages of waiting too long here.

Pay Attention to the Filing Deadline

It is understandable that it will take some time to recover following the sudden death of a close family member. As more urgent business arises—such as planning a funeral, caring for minor children, and locating a will—other concerns may get pushed into the future. However, if the circumstances of the loved one’s death may warrant a wrongful death claim, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to get the process started. Although you have two years from the date of death to file, there are several disadvantages to waiting even a few months, including the following:

  • Evidence of the defendant’s negligence may become more difficult to locate.
  • The survivors’ pain and suffering may be harder to demonstrate.
  • You may encounter additional delays that cause you to miss the deadline.

When you contact an attorney as soon as you suspect you may have a wrongful death claim, he will make sure evidence is gathered and deadlines are met.

Exceptions to the Time Limit

There are some extenuating circumstances that may allow you more than the two years allowed by Texas law to file a wrongful death claim. If new evidence is discovered proving liability in the accident months or even years after the death of your loved one, a wrongful death claim may still be filed. In some situations involving minor children—such as not having a representative to file on their behalf within the two-year limit—a claim may be filed after the deadline. You will need an attorney to help you determine if you have cause to request an extension.

The Button Law Firm Will Be There for You

When you call Russell Button following the wrongful death of a loved one in the Dallas, Midland or Houston area, he will take care of the details you are not yet ready to handle. He will collect police reports, gather financial information, and file the necessary documents to get your wrongful death claim started within the time limit. Contact us today to learn more.