What is the statute of limitations in a wrongful death in Rhode Island?
Statutes of limitations are set by each state and determine how long after the incident a person can pursue the matter in court. Most statutes of limitations are very clear cut and well defined. However, there are others that have a little more flexibility.
A wrongful death is caused by someone else’s negligence. In the state of Rhode Island, residents have up to three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Those three years are meant to span from the time of one’s death or from the time when the body is discovered.
There is yet another circumstance that contributes to this statute. There is a three-year window from the time the death was actually determined to be a wrongful one. Therefore, the starting point of the statute of limitations has a much broader definition.
For exmple, a death could be ruled a murder many years after the death occurred. This would be due to new evidence coming to light, something that is not completely out of the ordinary. This kind of circumstance is commonly referred to as the ‘discovery rule.’ From the time new evidence was discovered, the clock then begins ticking on a fresh three years.
In these cases, the cause of the death can include murder to some faulty equipment that was recently discovered. The bottom line is that is not just a three-year window from the time of death as there can be extenuating circumstances.
When it comes to paying out a wrongful death lawsuit, Rhode Island also has its way of arriving at that sum. The court calculates the loss of future and current earnings of the deceased on its way to arriving at a figure. The court will take into consideration funeral costs, inheritance and loss of insurance and social security.
Losses do not stop there as the loss of companionship and care is also considered along with the pain and suffering of the deceased’s surviving descendants. Punitive damages can also be awarded as a further means of punishment to the person responsible for the wrongful death.
If someone you love has fallen victim to a wrongful death, the legal team at Calvino Law Associates can be of assistance. A wrongful death Providence attorney can guide you through what can be a very trying process and help you to find some peace of mind in the wake of tragedy.