Losing a loved one is the hardest thing you will ever have to go through. When the loss is due to the negligent or careless actions or inaction of another person, you will likely have feelings of anger and frustration along with grief. If you have lost someone due to the reckless actions of another person, you can file a wrongful death claim. However, you only have a limited amount of time to file. Below, our Miami wrongful death lawyer explains what you need to know about the statute of limitations in these cases.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time limit in which you must file your claim. All personal injury claims in Miami have a statute of limitations because the law recognizes that over time, memories may fade and evidence becomes lost. The law also recognizes that people should not have to live with a potential lawsuit hanging over their heads for an indefinite period of time.
In Florida, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the death. If you do not file within this time, you will likely forfeit your right to claim any legal damages at all. The statute of limitations is quite strict in the Sunshine State. Still, there are exceptions that could either lengthen or shorten the amount of time you have to file a claim.
Exceptions to the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
There are many factors that may impact the amount of time you have to file a wrongful death claim. These are as follows:
- Medical malpractice: When a death is due to medical negligence, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the injury was discovered, or should have been discovered. Even with this stipulation, the law states that no medical malpractice action can be filed four years after the date of the accident. This means that in some wrongful death cases, there is an argument that the four-year statute of limitations applies, and not the two-year time limit.
- Government entities: Government agencies can sometimes be to blame for a wrongful death and when this is the case, the statute of limitations can be extended to four years. Still, there may be other deadlines in your case that are much shorter, so you should always speak to an attorney.
- Death of the defendant: There are times when the defendant passes away before a claim is finalized. For example, two people may be involved in a car accident and they both pass away from their injuries. In these cases, you have 90 days to file a motion with the court to ask a judge to allow the personal representative of the defendant to represent the deceased.
Call Our Miami Wrongful Death Lawyer Before Time Runs Out
If you have lost a loved one and another person is to blame, time may be running out on your claim. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our wrongful death lawyer in Miami can advise you of your legal options and make sure your claim is filed promptly so you recover the full damages you are entitled to. Call us now at (786) 504-7874 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case.