California Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations Overview

The California wrongful death statute of limitations places significant constraints on how long family members have to take legal action after the death of a loved one. In most cases, you have only two years from the victim’s death to file a civil lawsuit.

The California statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is complex and potentially confusing. If you lost a loved one in an injury accident caused by someone else, trying to interpret these laws and determine how they apply to you is the last thing you need to deal with.

Let the experienced California wrongful death lawyers of the Saeedian Law Group help you through this challenging time.

We understand the fear and uncertainty you’re experiencing. Our compassionate legal team can provide the support you need right now. We fight to get justice and fair financial compensation for the families of wrongful death victims in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

We offer a free consultation and case analysis, so you can determine the best course of action for you and your family. Contact us now or call (310) 288-3000 to learn more.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in California?

Under the California statute of limitations for wrongful death, eligible family members have only two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a lawsuit in civil court. If you do not take action within this timeframe, you could lose your legal right to recover compensation for the loss of your loved one.

In California, the two-year limitations period does not apply to every wrongful death case, however. In some cases, this timeframe can be shorter.

What Are the Exceptions to the California Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?

The two-year statutory time constraint does not apply in every wrongful death case.

If your loved one’s death was caused by a governmental entity, you must provide official notification of your intent to sue within six months of the injury. The governmental entity then has 45 days to respond to your notification. If they deny your claim or fail to respond, you can then file your legal claim.

These exceptions can be highly confusing for the victim’s family members. Talking to an experienced California wrongful death attorney is the best way to determine how these laws might apply to your case.

Can You Extend the CA Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?

In some instances, you may have the ability to “toll” (pause the clock) on the California wrongful death statute of limitations.

If a minor seeks to bring a wrongful death action after losing a parent, they must do so within two years of their 18th birthday. This means that if the minor was ten years old at the time of the parent’s death, he or she has ten years to file a lawsuit.

If family members had no reasonable means to have known about the victim’s death, they may toll the statute of limitations to the date that the victim’s death was (or should have been) discovered.

Other exceptions to the statute of limitations for wrongful death in California may exist. It is critical to determine whether they apply to your case and how they might affect your timeline for filing a lawsuit. Talking to an experienced wrongful death attorney in California will help protect your legal rights to compensation for your damages.

In most cases, victims’ families are best served by starting the legal claims process as quickly as possible. This ensures that your attorney and legal team can investigate the circumstances of the victim’s death while evidence remains fresh and untainted. 

Get Help from a California Wrongful Death Attorney

As frightening and overwhelming as your situation is right now, you don’t have to fight this battle alone. At the Saeedian Law Group, our experienced trial lawyers and compassionate legal team are here to help you through your time of need.

You could be entitled to recover compensation for the victim’s medical bills as well as funeral and burial costs. You could also be eligible to pursue a legal claim for lost financial and household support, lost inheritance, lost care and companionship, and emotional trauma.

When you trust us to handle your wrongful death claim, we immediately begin investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s injuries and death. We build the strongest possible case and submit a demand to the at-fault party’s insurance company.

We negotiate with the insurance company to get you the best possible settlement for your damages. If the insurance company does not make an acceptable wrongful death settlement offer, our lawyers will be prepared to file a wrongful death lawsuit and fight for you in court.

We offer a free consultation and case evaluation. We can come to your location, meet you in one of our five Southern California office locations, or facilitate a consultation via phone or video conference.

Call 310-288-3000 now or contact us online for help with a wrongful death claim or to get answers to your questions about the wrongful death statute of limitations in California.