How Long Do I Have to
File a Wrongful Death Case?

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Case?

Losing a loved one is almost unimaginably difficult. It shakes up your entire life, especially if you’ve lost your spouse or someone who helps run your household.

But even as you’re coping with this loss, legal issues arise that need immediate attention. One of those issues is whether your loved one’s death was wrongful in the eyes of the law.

Although You’re Struggling, the Clock is Already Ticking

Did you lose your loved one due to someone else’s negligence? Perhaps the liable person was a careless hit-and-run driver who fled the scene. Maybe your loved one was a pedestrian who was just taking their daily walk when their life ended tragically due to a drunk Uber driver.

You may have a wrongful death case, but you’ll have to act quickly. In California, we have a statute of limitations on wrongful death cases that puts a firm time limit on filing a wrongful death case. Simply put, it’s two years.

The clock starts ticking at the moment of your loved one’s death, even if there were circumstances that caused them prolonged injury and suffering. It’s two years from the date of their death.

In some cases, the date of the accident is irrelevant in terms of the deadline for filing a wrongful death suit. If your loved one spent days or even months in the hospital and died long after the accident, the wrongful death claim time limit is based on which day they ultimately passed away.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Recover Compensation You Deserve

Most people aren’t familiar with how wrongful death claims work until they have to handle it during a period of grieving. Now’s a good time to educate yourself in case you find yourself in a situation where you believe a loved one’s death was due to someone else’s negligence.

To clarify, a wrongful death claim isn’t a claim on behalf of the deceased family member. It’s a claim you make on behalf of yourself and your family to claim compensation for your losses due to their death.

You’ll need to prove your losses and in California, only certain types of losses are compensable. Generally speaking, you can claim losses of:

  • Financial support
  • Emotional support
  • Companionship
  • Gifts that the decedent would give you on a regular basis
  • Consortium, or spousal intimacy

Before Time Runs Out, Start Gathering Evidence of Your Loss

The key to making a successful wrongful death claim within the statute of limitations is to quickly gather persuasive documentation and present it skillfully. This is difficult to do on your own after a death, so a wrongful death lawyer can be a huge help.

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we can help you organize documentation that shows the losses you have suffered and how much your life has changed. Contact us as quickly as possible to start the process and secure the compensation your loved one would want you to have.


Patricia D.

"Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers provides excellent service, and makes a bad situation easier to deal with. I highly recommend using their firm (especially the LA location)."

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We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After a wrongful death, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of personal injury claims, including wrongful death lawsuits. We believe you should be able to focus on coping with this challenging situation while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.

Video Transcript
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit? Well, you have two years from the date of the death of the decedent. So, for instance, if they died at the scene of the accident, it's the same, it's two years from the date of the accident. If they died a few days later, then it's two years from the date that they died, not the date of the accident. It's pretty straightforward.

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