When does the discovery rule begin for wrongful death? 

When does the discovery rule begin for wrongful death? 

Trauma occurs when a loved one passes away. It is impossible to express the pain of losing a loved one. Sometimes the last thing you want to think about is the legal claims you may have after a death in the family. But it is essential to make a claim quickly because legal claims expire by laws called “statutes of limitations.” In Texas, you have two years to file a wrongful death action. But there are exceptions to that rule. One of the most prominent exceptions to the statute of limitations is called the discovery rule. 

The discovery rule, which applies to Texas wrongful death lawsuits, holds that the two-year time limit does not start to expire until the point at which a reasonably sensible individual would have recognized they had a cause of action. The statute of limitations may start to run earlier or later depending on the discovery rule. Sometimes an injury that led to a wrongful death was not immediately obvious. That is usually because of the nature of the injury. The harm must then be found or reasonably should have been discovered for the statute of limitations to apply.

An injury case involving drugs is an ideal illustration. Imagine that a man takes medicine from a pharmacy and passes away as a result of side effects. It was discovered a decade years after his passing that the medicine was defective and that he passed away because of that defect.

Even though the standard two-year limit has passed, the decedent’s widow would probably be allowed to present a wrongful death claim. The rationale for this is that the statute of limitations would be extended if the plaintiff did not discover the existence of their claim for several years.

But this also works the other way: if the injury is reasonably discovered one year after it occurs, the two-year period begins on the day of discovery.

discovery rule in wrongful death lawsuits

Talk to a Wrongful Death Lawyer about The Discovery Rule

If a loved one or a family member was killed because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, misconduct, or willful actions, you should talk to a wrongful death lawyer. 

Our board-certified personal injury lawyer has obtained great results for clients, and we will put the same effort into your case too. Although we are based in Houston, we pursue cases from coast-to-coast. We can provide you with an experienced wrongful death attorney to fight for your legal right to economic recovery, financial compensation, and all remedies under the law for your losses. Call us today at 1-800-883-9858. We want to hear your story. 


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