A statute of limitations is a law which sets a maximum amount of time parties have to initiate legal proceedings from the date the offense occurred. In personal injury law, this essentially is a time limit you have to file your personal injury claim.
While you may think you have a longtime to file a claim that deals with a tragedy as great as a wrongful death, the statute of limitations for filing such a claim is actually based on the precipitating event and not on the damages that occurred (i.e. the death of a loved one). That is why it is so important to contact an attorney as soon as an accident resulting in death occurs.