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How long do I have to file a wrongful death action in Pennsylvania for the death of a family member?

A: Statute of limitations questions are fact specific and will require analysis by a qualified wrongful death lawyer. The following is for information only.

When the death of a loved one was caused by another person or business, Pennsylvania law allows for certain family members to bring claims against the responsible parties.

There are two types of claims: wrongful death and survival. These claims are not the same and provide recovery for different types of damages. Wrongful death actions provide damages for the financial losses sustained by a spouse and dependents of the deceased. Survival actions provide damages for the pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death.

Because the causes of action are different, the corresponding statute of limitations for each action is also different. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. For survival actions, the statute of limitations is not two years from the date of death, but two years from the date of the injury. There are some exceptions which may apply such as the discovery rule or the fraudulent concealment exception.

A qualified wrongful death personal injury lawyer will be able to review the timeline and offer advice on how to proceed.

Related Article: The Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania Wrongful Death and Survival Cases

If you’d like to have your case reviewed by our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

The wrongful death lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case.  See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.



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    Pennsylvania Office
    The Pavilion
    261 Old York Rd., Suite 504
    Jenkintown, PA 19046
    Tel: (215) 925-4451
    Fax: (215) 574-1200

    New Jersey Office
    1415 Route 70 East
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
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