R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
Phone:
732-505-1212
Tollfree:
Manchester Area:
Brick Area:
732-451-0800

Wrongful death time limits and discovery rule considerations

Surviving family members in New Jersey have a right to pursue legal action if wrongful death is suspected. Since such a claim is considered a civil action, however, there are inherent time limits that normally determine how much time is allowed to pass before the right to file a claim expires. New Jersey's wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of the deceased person's death.

In some cases, the time limit to file a wrongful death claim may begin at the point when the cause of the decedent's death is discovered. What's termed the "discovery rule" applies in situations where there is a need to determine if the decedent should have known or knew what caused their injury or illness prior to death. If this is the case, the limitations period may actually begin before the affected party passes.

If a personal injury action becomes a wrongful death action, statute of limitations restrictions that apply. This specifically applies to instances where the decedent either had no personal injury claim filed prior to their death or failed to initiate a claim within the applicable limitations period before passing away. With wrongful death actions related to product liability, some states begin the limitations period at the time of the decedent's death regardless of whether or not the party pursuing litigation knew the circumstances involved with their loved one's cause of death. The discovery rule would not apply to such lawsuits.

In situations when time runs out for a wrongful death claim to be filed, it may still be possible for survivors to seek appropriate compensation. There are three last resort options a lawyer may attempt to apply to a case when the statute of limitations has been reached. Delaying or suspending (tolling) the statute of limitations, for example, is often possible if a child wishes to file a wrongful death claim for a parent since the statute of limitations would not apply until the child turned eighteen. A lawyer may also attempt to either have limitations waived by the court or the opposing party.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors At Law

Call our Toms River office at 732-505-1212, our Manchester office at 732-408-WILL (9455), our Brick office at 732-451-0800, or call us toll free at 800-556-SHEA (7432). You can also contact our firm online.

What Our Clients Say

"My husband and I needed to work with a lawyer due to the tragic loss of our daughter in a car accident. We chose Bob Shea & Assoc. What a good decision that was." 

read more
email us for a response

Contact R.C. Shea & Associates

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
244 Main Street
Toms River, NJ 08754

Toll Free: 800-556-SHEA (7432)
Phone: 732-573-6370
Phone: 732-505-1212
Fax: 732-505-1954
Map & Directions

Phone:
732-505-1212
Tollfree:
Manchester Area:
Brick Area:
732-451-0800