In the legal world, there are always time limits on when lawsuits can be filed after an incident; these time limits are set by laws known as statutes of limitations. These laws vary from state to state, as well as in different types of lawsuits. For damages related to written contracts, for example, the statute of limitations may be much longer than the statute of limitations for a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
These statutes exist for a purpose, which is to protect both parties in a suit. After a certain amount of time, evidence and witnesses may deteriorate in quality and accuracy, which could harm both parties. This is why the statute of limitations for a written contract is often much longer than other types of suits, because the evidence is cut and dried.
In a wrongful death claim in Georgia, the statute of limitations demands that the claim must be filed within two years of the victim’s date of death. This means that if your loved one dies several months after a serious car accident, the statute of limitations will not start on the date of the accident, but rather the date of death.
Another important thing to note in Georgia wrongful death claims is that the statute of limitations will temporarily pause if there is a criminal case related to the same incident that led to the wrongful death case. In this scenario, the two-year statute of limitation will begin after the criminal case is closed.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years from the date of the victim’s death.
In both states, it is critical that you file your claim as soon as possible following the death of your spouse, parent, or child. While two or three years can seem like a lot of time, many families get wrapped up in the details of funerals, finances, and other details and allow the clock to run out. Once the statute of limitations has expired, the court will not accept your claim.
For assistance filing a wrongful death claim in Georgia or South Carolina, contact our firm today for a free consultation. We can be reached by phone, through our online contact form, or by clicking on the live chat feature on this page.