No one deserves to suffer the loss of a loved one in a horrific traffic accident. However, careless drivers continue to exist and kill innocent lives every day. There is nothing that could fill the gap created by such loss. Still, Stockton laws allow the deceased family to file a wrongful death case to seek justice and financial support.
There are laws regarding the timeline within which you can file a case. These laws are known as statutes of limitations, and it is important to know how long you have until you can file a case. Having a Stockton personal injury attorney helps you comply with the state’s laws and increase your chances of winning.
What is the statute of limitation for a wrongful death case in California?
Under California law, you are allowed to file a case of wrongful death within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. To clarify, you have two years from the date of the death and not when the accident took place. For example, suppose an accident caused by another party injures your loved one, and then they succumb to their injuries one week later. Here the countdown will start when they die and not when the accident occurs.
To clarify further, the statute of limitation means you have two years to file a complaint. Many people get confused and think they have two years’ time to resolve the case. Indeed, a court case can take way more time than two years.
Are there any exceptions?
There are certain exceptions where the judge can either extend the statute of limitation or shorten it. Whether one of them applies to your case will depend on your situation’s unique facts. It is important to let a legal expert take a look to make sure you are headed in the right direction.
The discovery rule.
The discovery rule allows the court to extend the date of the limitation if the victim was unaware of their injuries and the damages until after the passing of the deadline. For example, this could apply to claims where the victim suffers from injuries that can be discovered only after a few weeks or months.
In the case of wrongful death, the deadline is extended when the family members do not find out about their death until after a certain period. The statute is paused until they discover the death.
If a minor lose their parents in an accident, they may be allowed to bring a claim after two years of their death. In simple words, a minor has two years from the time they turn 18 cycle of steroids to increase strength to initiate a case. However, these are complex laws and should only be handled by a legal expert.