The statute of limitations is an important aspect of any personal civil law case, including wrongful death claims. Understanding this aspect of the law is important as it can make  the difference between a successful or unsuccessful lawsuit. A statute of limitations is a set amount of time within which a plaintiff is legally allowed to  file a complaint or lawsuit against an accused party. 

The  statute of limitations varies from state to state. It can also vary depending  on the cause of death, and the circumstances of the deceased’s death. 

The purpose of the statute of limitations is to:

  • Allow legal matters to be resolved swiftly. 
  • Make sure that both parties involved in the legal action are treated fairly.
  • Ensure that critical evidence is still available at the time of the legal action.
  • Prevent a defendant from facing legal consequences for incidents that took place many years ago.

How does the statute of limitations vary depending on  the case?

Generally, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the deceased’s death. However, the statute of limitations can vary depending on  the case. For instance:

  • Special Circumstances: In some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended due to special circumstances. These special circumstances typically include the accused person’s age, the negligent party’s identity, and the extent of the damages caused. 

For example, if the at-fault person is a minor, the statute of limitations  will be extended until  he reaches legal age. Also , if there is a  a criminal investigation involved, the amount of time can be extended to allow  for prosecution. This type of information can help determine if an extension is available under specific state law. 

  • When suing a government entity: In cases in which  the perpetrator of the wrongful death is a government entity, the statute of limitations is typically shorter. In  Boston, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a government entity is three years.
  • Statute of Repose: In addition to the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, most states also have a statute of repose, which sets a definitive period within which a lawsuit can be filed, beginning with an event such as the date of occupancy of a building or the date of substantial completion of its construction. Depending on the state, the period may range from three to ten years.

It is crucial to file a lawsuit within time allowed by the statute of limitations. However, filing a lawsuit is a complex task. So, you should  contact a wrongful death lawyer immediately if you have lost your loved one in a fatal accident. He will help you file  a wrongful death lawsuit before the court within the time allowed by  the statute of limitation in your state. He will help you find justice for your loved one and get you the compensation you deserve for property damage, medical costs, funeral costs and other related expenses. 

Why is it Important to Hire a Qualified Attorney?

  • A lawyer has the experience and expertise to identify and understand the applicable legal issues in a wrongful death case.
  • A lawyer is knowledgeable about the rules of court procedure and evidence that may apply in the case to ensure the best outcome.
  • A lawyer can advise the family on their legal rights and options and provide guidance on settlement negotiations or proceedings.
  • A lawyer can help the family understand the loss of support and companionship caused by the wrongful death and how to seek compensation for it .
  • A lawyer can handle all of the paperwork, legal filings, and appeals, if necessary, and can provide legal representation in court.
  • A lawyer can ensure that the family’s rights are protected throughout the case and that they recover any damages to which they may be entitled.


The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is an important aspect of any civil law case and impacts the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a claim. The statute of limitations varies by state, as do special circumstances that may affect it . Therefore, it is important to consult with a qualified lawyer to understand the statute of limitations on a wrongful death lawsuit to file a claim promptly.

If you are wondering which is the best wrongful death lawyer in Boston, you can rely on Swartz & Swartz. We are a reputable law firm that has years of experience in handling wrongful death lawsuits. No matter how complex your case is, you can rely on us to help you get the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us to discuss your case now!

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If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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