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How long does one have to pursue a wrongful death claim?

| Nov 29, 2018 | wrongful death

The holiday season is upon us. It is a time for gathering together with family and celebrating time-honored traditions.

The loss of a loved one during this time of year can be especially traumatic for the deceased’s survivors. This is even more true when the person’s death was caused by the negligence of another and could have been prevented.

In New Jersey, a wrongful death claim can be pursued in situations where a person’s death is caused by someone else’s wrongful actions, or omissions, and if, had the person survived, he or she would have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are limits to one’s ability to file a wrongful death claim.

For example, there is only a certain amount of time one has to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. This time period is known as the “statute of limitations.” Once the statute of limitations period has passed, it is no longer possible to bring a lawsuit, even if one would have had grounds to do so otherwise. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years. This means that any wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of the date of the decedent’s death. However, if the claim is being brought on grounds of murder or manslaughter for which there has been a conviction, then there is no time limit for pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.

So, if a person in New Jersey wishes to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important that they pay attention to their timing. If they wait too long, they may be barred from filing a claim altogether, despite the wrongful death. As is the case with any legal filing, wrongful death lawsuits can be complex. Therefore, those wishing to pursue one need to make sure they understand the legal requirements for doing so.