The statute of limitations for wrongful death

The death of a loved one can be hard to take. It can be even harder when the loss of life is because of others’ negligent acts.

Thankfully, there are means to seek restitution in such situations, such as wrongful death claims. Before pursuing such cases, it is important to understand their key aspects. In particular, there are certain things to understand regarding the statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim.

The law

People must file a claim within a given timeframe after an accident, also known as the statute of limitations. In New York, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years after the victim’s passing. There may also be instances where the party is not aware of the cause of death until after the statute of limitations expires.

The case

While some cases, such as fatal auto accidents, may result in quick claims, there are other instances where this is not the case. For example, a party may survive an accident but suffer extensive injuries that result in her or his passing weeks or months later. The statute allows for the deceased’s loved ones to pursue monetary compensation for the negligent party’s improper acts according to when the party passes. This also allows claimants time to grieve and get into a clear headspace before entering a legal case.


While most cases must abide by the strict statute of limitation, there are certain instances where parties may have more time. For instance, in cases related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, parties have an additional six months to file a claim. To determine when cases may have such exceptions, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney.

While a wrongful death claim cannot bring a loved one back, it can help to relieve some of the ordeal’s financial burden. For some, that may be worth the fight.


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