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Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitations

By Matt Quick on November 23, 2018

A statute of Lady JusticeLosing a loved one can take its toll on you and your family. That is why it’s so important to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one is killed due to negligence. The Kirkland, WA lawyers of Quick Law Group, PLLC can help you in your time of legal need, giving you all of the information you need about wrongful death cases.

Attorneys Matthew Quick and Elizabeth Quick always stress that it’s best to get a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit underway as soon as possible. There is a statute of limitations in place, and failure to file a lawsuit within that time can prove disastrous.

What Are Statutes of Limitations?

A statute of limitations refers to a time limit for filing a civil case against a party. This time limit applies to all kinds of civil lawsuits, from personal injury and medical malpractice litigation to wrongful death and breach of contract cases.

There are some kinds of crimes that do not have a statute of limitations, such as first degree murder, but these kinds of rules almost always tend to apply to serious criminal cases rather than civil cases.

Why Statutes of Limitations Are in Place

Statutes of limitations help establish fairness in civil cases to ensure that lawsuits are brought up in a timely fashion and evidence is not negatively impacted by the effects of time. Statutes of limitations ensure fairness and a focus on the incident and the legal process in our country.

For instance, if a loved one died in a car accident a decade ago and a lawsuit is only filed at this moment, there may not be sufficient evidence remaining or on file. Additionally, witnesses to the incident may have forgotten the events as they actually happened.

The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In the state of Washington, the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is three years from the date of death of the loved one.

Keep in mind that a wrongful death case can be filed earlier than that, and doing so may be recommended. Going through the legal process can take many months to reach a settlement, and even years if your case goes to trial. Getting the wheels of justice moving sooner rather than later is for the best.

What Happens When the Statute of Limitations Has Passed?

After the statute of limitations has passed, you will no longer be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There may be exceptions depending on the circumstances of your case, but these are exceedingly rare and require some extraordinary circumstances to have occurred.

Why Working with a Wrongful Death Attorney Is Essential

Going it alone in a wrongful death case is not advisable. It takes a good understanding of the law and a focus on the fairness of process to ensure your case is successful. The emotional toil of mourning can take its toll on you and your loved ones, so having a lawyer on your side can help focus on the case itself, the evidence that supports your legal claims, and holding negligent and irresponsible parties accountable for the loss of your loved one.

Learn More About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

For more information about your legal rights and options following the loss of a loved one, be sure to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. The legal team at Quick Law Group, PLLC is here to help you. You can reach our office by phone at (425) 576-8150.

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