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

lit candles in a dark room

Realizing that the death of a loved one could have been prevented is a difficult concept to grasp. The feelings are amplified even further when it is learned that the statute of limitations has been missed, leaving one with limited to no legal recourse.

Time Limit

Each state adheres to its own rules and regulations regarding statutes of limitations. However, the statute of limitations for wrongful death in Missouri is three years following the individual's death. After three years have passed, a wrongful death claim cannot be filed. Wrongful death due to medical malpractice also carries a 3-year statute of limitations. This is worth noting because medical malpractice cases that do not result in death only carry a 2-year statute of limitations.

Certain Exceptions

Exceptions to the statute of limitations are rare, although they do happen. There are scenarios where a wrongful death claim can be filed beyond the statute of limitations. These situations generally involve what is known as the “discovery rule.”

Discovery Rule

The discovery rule is a legal doctrine that can be used to extend the statute of limitations in some instances. Due to the nature of a fatal injury, a cause of death may not immediately be known. The discovery rule is used in rare cases where a cause of death is discovered after the statute of limitations has passed. This allows for a wrongful death claim to be filed upon discovering the cause of death.

Missouri Wrongful Death Attorneys

Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging parts of anybody’s life. When their passing resulted from another’s negligence, the grieving process can be that much more difficult. At Kolker Law Firm, our wrongful death attorneys know that compensation will not bring them back. But we believe that it can help you in the process of finding peace.

Call us today at (314) 684-8285 or fill out our form online to start your path toward justice.

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