All wrongful death cases have a statute of limitations. This means there is a certain time period after someone dies to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations depends on where the death happens. California’s statute of limitations is two years after the date of the original incident. After this time period, a complaint will be considered too late, and the lawsuit will not be able to go forward. This is what is known to attorneys as “time barred” or “past the statute of limitations.”

The statute of limitations is different if the death was caused by the government. The legal term is “governmental entity,” which means any government worker or agency that caused the death. The government worker or agency must be at work, or have their work be the cause of their death. If a governmental worker causes an accident while not working, the standard 2 year statute of limitations applies.