It's understandable that a wrongful death claim isn't at the forefront of your mind in the aftermath of a sudden loss. Family members may take weeks or even months to consider filing a lawsuit after the death of a relative simply because they're overwhelmed with grief and practical matters.
Fortunately, the law takes this into account by placing a reasonable time limit, called the statute of limitations, on the right of the family to sue for damages.
Florida Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims
In Florida, the statute of limitations on injury cases is four years from the date of the car accident, fall, or other incident that resulted in injury. However, in cases where someone’s negligence results in death, close family members have only two years from the date of death to file a claim for compensation.
It's rare for the two-year time limit to be extended, but it may be possible in a few specific situations:
- Cases against the government. If a government entity is responsible for the death, the case follows a different process with special filing procedures. The notification requirements must be completed within three years, and the statute of limitations is extended to four years.
- Murder. If the death resulted from homicide, the statute of limitations may not begin on the date of death, but on the date that the person responsible is identified or arrested.
- Medical malpractice. If the death resulted from medical negligence, relatives have two years from the date when the cause of death is discovered to file a claim, rather than the date of death.
As you can see, it's better to get advice from an experienced Florida injury attorney sooner rather than later. At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.