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When is it appropriate to file a wrongful death claim?

Considering a wrongful death claim after the death of a family member? Civil claims must be filed within a specified amount of time, so it is important to take legal action before the statute of limitations expires. West Virginia laws will determine the length of time that a family has to file a wrongful death claim, but a lawyer familiar with state laws should evaluate the individual situation and advise on all available options.

After a serious accident, the injured party could require medical attention for an extended amount of time. If he or she eventually dies, the family may be left with a significant financial burden and emotional pain. A wrongful death action may be an appropriate means to secure a judgment for monetary damages sustained.

In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the time of death, but some exceptions exist. A family grieving over the loss of a loved one after a fatal accident may benefit by seeking advice concerning the viability of a possible claim. The success of a claim will depend upon the evidence that is presented in court, which may be more difficult to procure if a significant amount of time has passed since the accident.

A wrongful death claim will not erase the grief over the death of a family member, but it can be a feasible way to pursue a claim for financial relief after a fatal accident. When negligence or an intentional act results in a fatality, the party deemed responsible may be sued for damages. Deciding to file a claim is an important legal choice and one that must be made within the timeframe provided by applicable law.

Source: Findlaw, "Wrongful Death Claims: Time Limits and the "Discovery" Rule", Accessed on Feb. 9, 2015

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