Wrongful Death

ALABAMA
2 Years

An action by a representative to recover damages for wrongful act, omission, or negligence causing the death of the decedent under Sections 6-5-391 and 6-5-410 must be commenced within two years from the death. Ala. Code § 6-2-38

The time between the death of a person and the grant of letters testamentary or of administration, not exceeding six months, is not to be taken as any part of the time limited for the commencement of actions by or against his executors or administrators. Ala. Code § 6-2-14

ALASKA
2 Years The action shall be commenced within two years after the death, and the damages therein shall be the damages the court or jury may consider fair and just. Alaska Stat. Ann. § 09.55.580.
ARIZONA
2 Years Except as provided in § 12-551 there shall be commenced and prosecuted within two years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, the following actions:
2. For injuries done to the person of another when death ensues from such injuries, which action shall be considered as accruing at the death of the party injured. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-542
ARKANSAS
3 Years Every action authorized by this section shall be commenced within three (3) years after the death of the person alleged to have been wrongfully killed. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-62-102.
CALIFORNIA
1 Year Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1
COLORADO
2 Years (1) The following civil actions, regardless of the theory upon which suit is brought, or against whom suit is brought, shall be commenced within two years after the cause of action accrues, and not thereafter:
(d) All actions for wrongful death; Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-80-102

(2) A cause of action for wrongful death shall be considered to accrue on the date of death. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-80-108
CONNECTICUT
2 Years (a) In any action surviving to or brought by an executor or administrator for injuries resulting in death, whether instantaneous or otherwise, such executor or administrator may recover from the party legally at fault for such injuries just damages together with the cost of reasonably necessary medical, hospital and nursing services, and including funeral expenses, provided no action shall be brought to recover such damages and disbursements but within two years from the date of death, and except that no such action may be brought more than five years from the date of the act or omission complained of. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 52-555
DELAWARE
2 Years No action to recover damages for wrongful death or for injury to personal property shall be brought after the expiration of 2 years from the accruing of the cause of such action. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 8107
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
2 Years An action pursuant to this chapter shall be brought by and in the name of the personal representative of the deceased person, and within 2 years after the death of the person injured. D.C. Code § 16-2702
FLORIDA
2 Years

Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced as follows:
(4) Within two years.--
(d) An action for wrongful death.

GEORGIA
2 Years Actions for injuries to the person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues, except for injuries to the reputation, which shall be brought within one year after the right of action accrues, and except for actions for injuries to the person involving loss of consortium, which shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues. Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33
HAWAII
2 Years Actions for the recovery of compensation for damage or injury to persons or property shall be instituted within two years after the cause of action accrued, and not after, except as provided in section 657-13. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 657-7
IDAHO
2 Years "… within one (1) year following the date of accrual as aforesaid or two (2) years following the occurrence, act or omission complained of…" Idaho Code Ann. § 5-219
ILLINOIS
2 Years

Every such action shall be commenced within 2 years after the death of such person but an action against a defendant arising from a crime committed by the defendant in whose name an escrow account was established under the “Criminal Victims' Escrow Account Act”1 shall be commenced within 2 years after the establishment of such account. For the purposes of this Section 2, next of kin includes an adopting parent and an adopted child, and they shall be treated as a natural parent and a natural child, respectively. However, if a person entitled to recover benefits under this Act, is, at the time the cause of action accrued, within the age of 18 years, he or she may cause such action to be brought within 2 years after attainment of the age of 18. 740 ILCS 180/2

INDIANA
2 Years

When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the action shall be commenced by the personal representative of the decedent within two (2) years, and the damages shall be in such an amount as may be determined by the court or jury, including, but not limited to, reasonable medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses, and lost earnings of such deceased person resulting from said wrongful act or omission. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-23-1-1

IOWA
2 Years Injuries to person or reputation--relative rights--statute penalty. Those founded on injuries to the person or reputation, including injuries to relative rights, whether based on contract or tort, or for a statute penalty, within two years. Iowa Code Ann. § 614.1
KANSAS
2 Years

(a) The following actions shall be brought within two years:
(5) An action for wrongful death. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-513

KENTUCKY
1 Year

(1) If a person entitled to bring any action mentioned in KRS 413.090 to 413.160 dies before the expiration of the time limited for its commencement and the cause of action survives, the action may be brought by his personal representative after the expiration of that time, if commenced within one (1) year after the qualification of the representative.
(2) If a person dies before the time at which the right to bring any action mentioned in KRS 413.090 to 413.160 would have accrued to him if he had continued alive, and there is an interval of more than one (1) year between his death and the qualification of his personal representative, that representative, for purposes of this chapter, shall be deemed to have qualified on the last day of the one-year period. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.180

LOUISIANA
1 Year The right of action granted by this Article prescribes one year from the death of the deceased. La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2315.2
MAINE
2 Years An action under this section must be commenced within 2 years after the decedent's death. If a claim under this section is settled without an action having been commenced, the amount paid in settlement must be distributed as provided in this subsection. A settlement on behalf of minor children is not valid unless approved by the court, as provided in Title 14, section 1605. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 18-A, § 2-804
MARYLAND
3 Years Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection, an action under this subtitle shall be filed within three years after the death of the injured person.
(2)(i) In this paragraph, “occupational disease” means a disease caused by exposure to any toxic substance in the person's workplace and contracted by a person in the course of the person's employment.
(ii) If an occupational disease was a cause of a person's death, an action shall be filed:
1. Within 10 years of the time of death; or
2. Within 3 years of the date when the cause of death was discovered, whichever is the shorter. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904
MASSACHUSETTS
3 Years An action to recover damages under this section shall be commenced within three years from the date of death, or within three years from the date when the deceased's executor or administrator knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the factual basis for a cause of action, or within such time thereafter as is provided by section four, four B, nine or ten of chapter two hundred and sixty. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 229, § 2
MICHIGAN
3 Years Sec. 5805. (1) A person shall not bring or maintain an action to recover damages for injuries to persons or property unless, after the claim first accrued to the plaintiff or to someone through whom the plaintiff claims, the action is commenced within the periods of time prescribed by this section.
(10) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the period of limitations is 3 years after the time of the death or injury for all actions to recover damages for the death of a person, or for injury to a person or property. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805
MINNESOTA
3 Years

Any other action under this section may be commenced within three years after the date of death provided that the action must be commenced within six years after the act or omission. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 573.02

MISSISSIPPI
3 Years

(1) All actions for which no other period of limitation is prescribed shall be commenced within three (3) years next after the cause of such action accrued, and not after.
(2) In actions for which no other period of limitation is prescribed and which involve latent injury or disease, the cause of action does not accrue until the plaintiff has discovered, or by reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury. Miss. Code. Ann. § 15-1-49

MISSOURI
3 Years Every action instituted under section 537.080 shall be commenced within three years after the cause of action shall accrue. Mo. Ann. Stat. § 537.100
MONTANA
3 Years

The period prescribed for the commencement of an action to recover damages for the death of one caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another is within 3 years, except when the wrongful death is the result of a homicide, in which case the period is within 10 years. Mont. Code Ann. § 27-2-204

NEBRASKA
2 Years

Every such action, as described in section 30-809, shall be commenced within two years after the death of such person. It shall be brought by and in the name of the person's personal representative for the exclusive benefit of the widow or widower and next of kin. The verdict or judgment should be for the amount of damages which the persons in whose behalf the action is brought have sustained. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-810

NEVADA
2 Years Within 2 years:
(e) Except as otherwise provided in NRS 11.215, an action to recover damages for injuries to a person or for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another. The provisions of this paragraph relating to an action to recover damages for injuries to a person apply only to causes of action which accrue after March 20, 1951. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 11.190
NEW HAMPSHIRE
3 Years I. Except as otherwise provided by law, all personal actions, except actions for slander or libel, may be brought only within 3 years of the act or omission complained of, except that when the injury and its causal relationship to the act or omission were not discovered and could not reasonably have been discovered at the time of the act or omission, the action shall be commenced within 3 years of the time the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury and its causal relationship to the act or omission complained of.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:4
NEW JERSEY
2 Years Every action brought under this chapter shall be commenced within 2 years after the death of the decedent, and not thereafter, provided, however, that if the death resulted from murder, aggravated manslaughter or manslaughter for which the defendant has been convicted, found not guilty by reason of insanity or adjudicated delinquent, the action may be brought at any time. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:31-3
NEW MEXICO
3 Years

Every action instituted by virtue of the provisions of this and the preceding section must be brought within three years after the cause of action accrues. The cause of action accrues as of the date of death. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 41-2-2

NEW YORK
2 Years The personal representative, duly appointed in this state or any other jurisdiction, of a decedent who is survived by distributees may maintain an action to recover damages for a wrongful act, neglect or default which caused the decedent's death against a person who would have been liable to the decedent by reason of such wrongful conduct if death had not ensued. Such an action must be commenced within two years after the decedent's death; provided, however, that an action on behalf of a decedent whose death was caused by the terrorist attacks on September eleventh, two thousand one, other than a decedent identified by the attorney general of the United States as a participant or conspirator in such attacks, must be commenced within two years and six months after the decedent's death. When the distributees do not participate in the administration of the decedent's estate under a will appointing an executor who refuses to bring such action, the distributees are entitled to have an administrator appointed to prosecute the action for their benefit. N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1
NORTH CAROLINA
2 Years Within two years--
(4) Actions for damages on account of the death of a person caused by the wrongful act, neglect or fault of another under G.S. 28A-18-2; the cause of action shall not accrue until the date of death. Provided that, whenever the decedent would have been barred, had he lived, from bringing an action for bodily harm because of the provisions of G.S. 1-15(c) or 1-52(16), no action for his death may be brought. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 1-53
NORTH DAKOTA
2 Years

The following actions must be commenced within two years after the claim for relief has accrued:
4. An action for injuries done to the person of another, when death ensues from such injuries, and the claim for relief must be deemed to have accrued at the time of the death of the party injured; provided, however, that when death ensues as the result of malpractice, the claim for relief is deemed to have accrued at the time of the discovery of the malpractice. However, the limitation will not be extended beyond six years of the act or omission of alleged malpractice by a nondiscovery thereof unless discovery was prevented by the fraudulent conduct of the physician or hospital. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01-18

OHIO
2 Years (D) (1) Except as provided in division (D)(2) of this section, a civil action for wrongful death shall be commenced within two years after the decedent's death. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2125.02
OKLAHOMA
2 Years A. When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the former may maintain an action therefor against the latter, or his or her personal representative if he or she is also deceased, if the former might have maintained an action, had he or she lived, against the latter, or his or her representative, for an injury for the same act or omission. The action must be commenced within two (2) years. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 1053
OREGON
3 Years

(1) When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the decedent, for the benefit of the decedent's surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents and other individuals, if any, who under the law of intestate succession of the state of the decedent's domicile would be entitled to inherit the personal property of the decedent, and for the benefit of any stepchild or stepparent whether that stepchild or stepparent would be entitled to inherit the personal property of the decedent or not, may maintain an action against the wrongdoer, if the decedent might have maintained an action, had the decedent lived, against the wrongdoer for an injury done by the same act or omission. The action shall be commenced within three years after the injury causing the death of the decedent is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered by the decedent, by the personal representative or by a person for whose benefit the action may be brought under this section if that person is not the wrongdoer. In no case may an action be commenced later than the earliest of:

(a) Three years after the death of the decedent; or
(b) The longest of any other period for commencing an action under a statute of ultimate repose that applies to the act or omission causing the injury, including but not limited to the statutes of ultimate repose provided for in ORS 12.110 (4), 12.115, 12.135, 12.137 and 30.905. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 30.020

PENNSYLVANIA
2 Years

The following actions and proceedings must be commenced within two years:
(1) An action for assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution or malicious abuse of process.
(2) An action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5524

PUERTO RICO
1 Year The following prescribe in one (1) year:
(1) Actions to recover or retain possession.
(2) Actions to demand civil liability for grave insults or calumny, and for obligations arising from the fault or negligence mentioned in § 5141 of this title, from the time the aggrieved person had knowledge thereof. 31 L.P.R.A. § 5298
RHODE ISLAND
3 Years With respect to any death caused by any wrongful act, neglect or default which is not known at the time of death, the action shall be commenced within three (3) years of the time that the wrongful act, neglect or default is discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have been discovered. R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 10-7-2
SOUTH CAROLINA
3 Years Within three years:
(6) an action under Sections 15-51-10 to 15-51-60 for death by wrongful act, the period to begin to run upon the death of the person on account of whose death the action is brought; S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530with Discovery Rule.
SOUTH DAKOTA
3 Years Every action for wrongful death shall be commenced within three years after the death of such deceased person. S.D. Codified Laws § 21-5-3
TENNESSEE
1 Year The following actions shall be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of action accrued:
(1) Actions for libel, for injuries to the person, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, breach of marriage promise; Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104
TEXAS
2 Years A person must bring suit not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues in an action for injury resulting in death. The cause of action accrues on the death of the injured person. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.003.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
2 Years The Virgin Islands Wrongful Death statute provides that the action “shall be brought by the decedent's personal representative.” 5 V.I.C. § 76(d). Unlike the majority of American wrongful death statutes, 5 V.I.C. § 76 does not provide for a limitations period. However, a two-year limitations period was judicially imposed. Cintron v. Bermudez, 6 V.I. 692 (D.V.I.1968). Hatchette v. W. Indian Co., Ltd., CIV. 1979-389, 1980 WL 626252 (D.V.I. July 18, 1980)
UTAH
2 Years An action may be brought within two years: (2) for recovery of damages for a death caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another; Utah Code Ann. 78B-2-304
VERMONT
2 Years Such action shall be brought in the name of the personal representative of such deceased person and commenced within two years from the discovery of the death of the person, but if the person against whom such action accrues is out of the state, the action may be commenced within two years after such person comes into the state. After such cause of action accrues and before such two years have run, if the person against whom it accrues is absent from and resides out of the state and has no known property within the state which can by common process of law be attached, the time of his or her absence shall not be taken as part of the time limited for the commencement of the action. If the death of the decedent occurred under circumstances such that probable cause is found to charge a person with homicide, the action shall be commenced within seven years after the discovery of the death of the decedent or not more than two years after the judgment in that criminal action has become final, whichever occurs later. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 1492with Discovery Rule.
VIRGINIA
2 Years Every action under § 8.01-50 shall be brought by the personal representative of the decedent within two years after the death of the injured person. If any such action is brought within such period of two years after such person's death and for any cause abates or is dismissed without determining the merits of such action, the time such action is pending shall not be counted as any part of such period of two years and another action may be brought within the remaining period of such two years as if such former action had not been instituted. However, if a plaintiff suffers a voluntary nonsuit pursuant to § 8.01-380, the nonsuit shall not be deemed an abatement nor a dismissal pursuant to this subsection, and the provisions of subdivision E 3 of § 8.01-229 shall apply to such a nonsuited action. Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-244
WASHINGTON
3 Years The following actions shall be commenced within three years:
(2) An action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including an action for the specific recovery thereof, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another not hereinafter enumerated; Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.16.080
WEST VIRGINIA
2 Years Every such action shall be commenced within two years after the death of such deceased person, subject to the provisions of section eighteen, article two, chapter fifty-five. The provisions of this section shall not apply to actions brought for the death of any person occurring prior to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-eight. W. Va. Code Ann. § 55-7-6
WISCONSIN
3 Years The following actions shall be commenced within 3 years or be barred:
(1) An action to recover damages for injuries to the person.
(2) An action brought to recover damages for death caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 893.54
WYOMING
2 Years  An action for wrongful death shall be commenced within two (2) years after the death of the decedent. If the decedent's death involved medical malpractice this limitation period shall be tolled as provided in W.S. 9-2-1518 upon receipt by the director of the medical review panel of a malpractice claim. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-38-102

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