Sugar Land Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Texas civil law places time limits on various types of legal action. This is done in the interest of protecting the rights of “defendants” targeted by those actions and ensuring claims heard in court will have a reasonable amount of admissible evidence still available. These time limits, known as “statutes of limitations,” apply to both civil and criminal cases. The former category includes claims built around negligent acts that result in someone else’s wrongful death.

The Sugar Land wrongful death statute of limitations is fairly static in most situations, but there are a few situations where the court will allow a claim to continue after the applicable filing deadline has passed. Assistance from a seasoned wrongful death attorney can help you and your loved ones build up a strong claim quickly.

What Is the Filing Deadline for Wrongful Death Claims?

Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003 is the section of state law that sets a filing deadline for the majority of personal injury claims. For claims pursued by people who sustained injury themselves as a result of someone else’s negligence or who are taking action on such a person’s behalf, the applicable deadline is two years after the date on which their “cause of action” accrues. This means two years after the date on which they became aware—or reasonably should have become aware—they had valid grounds to pursue a personal injury claim.

The subsection of this statute for wrongful death claims uses the same language referring to the accrual of a “cause of action,” but there is a crucial difference. While the exact date on which a cause of action accrues for a standard personal injury claim may vary somewhat depending on the circumstances, the deadline set by the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Sugar Land and throughout the Lone Star State is virtually always two years from the date of the decedent’s death.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There are only a few exceptions to the wrongful death statute of limitations in Sugar Land.

  • When the person at fault for a wrongful death cannot be identified for a long period of time, the filing period may be tolled until their identity is conclusively established.
  • When the only people eligible to file a wrongful death claim are mentally impaired or minor children, the filing period can sometimes be tolled until that “disability” goes away—or when the child in question turns 18.
  • When the cause of wrongful death was obscured through criminally actionable fraud, the start of the two-year filing period may be “tolled” until a reasonable person would have become aware that the death in question stemmed from a negligent or wrongful act.

In these cases, the applicable filing period may be extended. To find out if these terms apply to a specific case, connect with an attorney for more detail.

Call a Sugar Land Attorney for More Details on the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Waiting longer than two years after losing a family member to take legal action can cause you to permanently lose the right to file suit over that loss. Act promptly and proactively to enforce your legal rights in this heartbreaking situation.

Representation from a skilled lawyer can be crucial to constructing and filing a comprehensive claim within the Sugar Land wrongful death statute of limitations. Call us today to get started with a free consultation.

Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC

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Lone Star Injury Attorneys, PLLC
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Sugar Land, TX 77478
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