How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

I have been told up to 10 years, then 2 years. It has been 9 years. My mother was sent home before her operation with a draining tube still draining, it quit working properly and she went into septic shock.

Asked on October 1, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Every state has its own statute of limitations, or time period within which you must sue. In your state, for wrongful death suits, that limit is three 3 years the action must be filed within three years of death. If it is not, it is too late to sue. While there occasionally are special circumstances e.g. lack of knowledge being out of the country and unavailable which may extend that period, and so it is worthwhile for you to consult in detail with a personal injury attorney to see if there are any grounds for delayed filing, you need to be prepared that it is extremely unlikely that you can file an action which should have been filed in three years  nine years later.

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