Are there time limits on filing a wrongful death claim?

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A number of events may occur that could lead Ohio residents to consider filing a wrongful death claim. The loss of a loved one due to another person’s negligence or intent can be difficult to bear, and the financial consequences can devastate families. For those considering a wrongful death claim, it is important to know that these types of cases are subject to certain time limits.

As with most legal claims, statutes of limitations do exist for wrongful death claims. These statutes vary by state, but in Ohio, the time limit is set at two years from the date of the victim’s death. While it is possible to file after this time has passed, the defendant would be well within his or her rights to request that the case be dismissed.

In some cases, it may be possible to suspend the statutes of limitations. This is called tolling. While this may not be possible in every case, there are certain situations where tolling the statutes of limitations period will be necessary. For instance, situations where a child’s parent or parents are killed in an accident — or other event — may qualify for tolling, until the child is no longer a minor. In circumstances such as this, the statutes of limitations would then be two years from when the child turns 18.

Wrongful death claims, if handled successfully and within the required time limits, can result in compensation for monetary losses suffered. A sense of closure may also be gained by surviving family members, which could help them move forward. Ohio residents who have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligent or intentional behavior, have every right to consider this and other possible legal remedies available for their specific circumstances.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death Claims: Time Limits and the "Discovery" Rule“, Dec. 15, 2014