What Families Should Know About the Time Limits to File a Wrongful Death Claim

File folder with gavel and wrongful death printed on itWhen a loved one dies, a period of mourning begins. While we all mourn the loss of a loved one differently, it is not uncommon for people to grieve for a lost family member for a long period of time. As a result, days can turn into months and even years before a person is able to think clearly and come out of the sadness and depression that accompanies the grieving process.

For those who are mourning a loved one, the idea of pursuing a claim for wrongful death may be the furthest thought from their minds; however, if a claim isn’t filed within a certain time period, a family may be barred from ever pursuing a legal claim. Because it is critical for a family to get justice and to collect compensation for the losses they suffered due to the negligence of another party, it is important to file a wrongful death claim to collect damages.

How Long Does a Family Member Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

While waiting a few days or months is perfectly fine, waiting too long to seek legal help or file a claim can harm a grieving family. This is because there are statutes of limitations (time limits) that govern wrongful death claims. In Virginia, the statute of limitations law for wrongful death claims is a period of two years, beginning on the date of the victim's death.

If a surviving spouse, child, parent, sibling, or other dependent or beneficiary doesn’t file a wrongful death claim in time, Virginia law will prohibit them from making a financial recovery. This is why it is critical that families who have lost loved ones as a result of negligence or recklessness cannot allow too much time to pass before contacting an attorney.

If you know a family who is grieving their loved one’s death due to a wrongful act on the part of another person, we encourage you to share this article with them through one of your favorite social media sites. You can also have them follow us on Facebook or call us at (703) 591-0067 for a free consultation.