Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful Death Laws (laws are subject to change):

1.    Alabama:  Ala. Code §§ 6-2-38 and 6-5-410 (1993).  A wrongful death action must be brought within two years after the decedent’s death.

2.    Alaska:  AS 09.55.580.  The action shall be commenced within two years after the death, and the damages therein shall be the damages the court or jury may consider fair and just.

3.    Arizona:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

4.    Arkansas:  A wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the date of death.

5.    California:  In most cases, a wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death; however, the action must be filed within one year from the date of death if it is related to the exposure of asbestos.

6.    Colorado:  In most cases, a wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death; however, if the death resulted out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle, the action must be filed within three years of the date of death.

7.    Connecticut:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death. In no event can suit be filed more than five years from the date of the act or omission complained of.

8.    Delaware:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be brought within two years of that date.

9.    Florida:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

10.    Georgia:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be brought within two years of that date.

11.    Hawaii:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

12.    Idaho:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

13.    Illinois:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

14.    Indiana:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

15.    Iowa:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

16.    Kansas:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

17.    Kentucky:  A wrongful death action must be filed within one year of the date of death.

18.    Louisiana:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within one year of that date.

19.    Maine:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

20.    Maryland:  A wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the date of death. In cases where the action is based on exposure to any toxic substance in the person’s workplace and contracted by the person in the course of employment, however, suit must be filed within ten years of the date of death or within three years of the date when the cause of death was discovered, whichever time period is shorter.

21.    Massachusetts:  A wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the date of death or within three years of the date the deceased’s executor or administrator knew, or should have known, the factual basis for the cause of action.

22.    Michigan:  A wrongful death action accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date.

23.    Minnesota:  A wrongful death action based on negligence must be filed within three years of the date of death.

24.    Mississippi:  A wrongful death action based on a negligence must be filed within three years of the date of death. In cases where the claim arose from an intentional tort, such as assault and battery, suit must be filed within one year of the date of death.

25.    Missouri:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date.

26.    Montana:  A wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the date of death.

27.    Nebraska:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

28.    Nevada:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

29.    New Hampshire:  A wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the date of death.

30.    New Jersey:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years.

31.    New Mexico:  A wrongful death action must be brought within three years of the date of death.

32.    New York:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

33.    North Carolina:  A wrongful death action must be brought within two years of the date of death.

34.    North Dakota:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

35.    Ohio:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

36.    Oklahoma:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death. This statute of limitations is tolled in favor of minors.

37.    Oregon:  A cause of action for wrongful death must be filed within three years after the injury causing the death is or should have been discovered. In no event can a wrongful death action be filed more than three years after the date of death.

38.    Pennsylvania:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

39.    Rhode Island:  A wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the date of death.

40.    South Carolina:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date.

41.    South Dakota:  Except in cases of medical malpractice, wrongful death actions must be filed within in three years of the date of death. In cases where the action is based upon medical malpractice, suit must be filed within two years of the date of death.

42.    Tennessee:  A wrongful death action must be filed within one year of the date of death.

43.    Texas: A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

44.    Utah:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

45.    Vermont:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within two years of that date.

46.    Virginia:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

47.    Washington:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date.

48.    West Virginia:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

49.    Wisconsin:  A cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date.

50.    Wyoming:  A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the date of death.

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