In the months following the sudden loss of a loved one, it is natural for family members to find themselves overwhelmed by the various financial and personal consequences such an event may have. While a comprehensive wrongful death claim may allow recovery for some of a family’s losses, prospective plaintiffs unfortunately have a small window of time in which to take action.
To make matters more complicated, when that filing period begins and ends can vary significantly depending on the nature of a deceased person’s passing and the events leading up to and following the fatal accident. Fortunately, a qualified attorney might be able to provide the clarification you need about the Kenosha wrongful death statute of limitations so you can effectively exercise your right to seek compensation.
Filing Deadlines under State Law
Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations §893.54 codifies what is known as the “statute of limitations” for personal injury litigation in and around Kenosha, including claims involving wrongful deaths caused by a third party’s negligence. Since the purpose of statutory filing deadlines is to ensure that plaintiffs have access to relevant evidence before it is lost or destroyed, there are no circumstances under which the statute of limitations would not apply to a wrongful death claim in Kenosha.
In most circumstances, individuals who want to pursue a wrongful death claim – either as a deceased person’s personal representative or their beneficiary – must start the litigation process within three years of the decedent’s passing.
Are there Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
Notably, there is an exception to this statute of limitations, outlined in WI Stat. & Ann. §893.54(2m) that states wrongful death actions based on fatal motor vehicle accidents have an effective filing deadline of only two years after the collision. Additionally, if someone sustains severe injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence but does not immediately pass away, the statutory filing period for an ensuing wrongful death claim may start on the date of the accident rather than the date of the decedent’s passing.
Given the varied statute of limitations for different wrongful death actions in Kenosha, assistance from a seasoned attorney can be especially crucial in protecting your right to sue. A wrongful death attorney at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd could help you understand the filing deadline for your case and submit your claim in a timely manner to protect your right to sue.
Ask a Kenosha Attorney about the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
Regardless of how much time has passed since a fatal accident, the emotions and losses that stem from such an event can still feel fresh and painful for those directly impacted by the loss. Unfortunately, state law does not make exceptions to statutory filing deadlines, even for claims based on wrongful deaths, so surviving family members have a limited time to demand restitution for their losses.
Fortunately, help is available from a compassionate legal professional who knows how to handle cases like yours with sensitivity and tenacity. Call today to learn more about how the statute of limitations could impact your Kenosha wrongful death claim.