When a person is killed in a car accident, their grieving family may feel they need some sense of justice that could only be found through a wrongful death claim. However, they should be aware that these claims must be brought in a timely manner, or else they may unintentionally waive their right to any compensation whatsoever.
A Massachusetts man was recently involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident. According to police, the 29-year-old man was driving a pick-up truck when he crossed over into the opposite land of traffic and collided with a minivan being driven by a 42-year-old woman. A 13-year-old boy was also in the minivan at the time of the accident. The woman was rushed to an area hospital but ultimately succumbed to her injuries. The boy escaped with only moderate injuries. The driver of the pick-up truck was also hospitalized following the crash. The accident remains under police investigation.
When a loved one is killed in a car accident, the victim’s loved ones may wish to pursue a wrongful death suit. However, it is important to be aware that these suits are subject to a statute of limitations. This means that the claimant only has a certain amount of time in which they could file a lawsuit. If the claimant fails to do so, they may permanently give up the right to file suit later.
Usually, the time for which a statute of limitations period begins in a wrongful death suit is the minute the claimant is or should be aware of the victim’s death and what caused it. In some states, if the claimant knows of the cause of the victim’s death before the victim actually dies, the statute of limitations period may start to run at that point. This is known as the discovery rule.
When a victim’s loved ones wish to file a wrongful death claim, they must take care to do so within the applicable statute of limitations. Should they fail to do this, it may extinguish any hope they have of recovery from the incident. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide more information on statutes of limitation.
Source: CBS Boston, “Police: Mansfield Man Involved In Fatal NH Car Crash,” April 7, 2013