If your close family member passed away due to the negligence of another person or entity, you might be entitled to recover benefits through a wrongful death lawsuit. While any loss of a loved one is tragic, an unexpected death caused by another person’s reckless actions can be particularly frustrating. In these situations, you can benefit from working with an experienced attorney to file a wrongful death suit.
As with all civil lawsuits, there is a deadline that applies to wrongful death claims under state law. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. After losing a family member in an accident, it is important to understand the potential consequences of missing this deadline. A seasoned lawyer from Berry Law can advise you on the wrongful death statute of limitations in Omaha.
Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Omaha
The deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Omaha is governed by Nebraska Revised Statute § 30-810. According to the statute, you must file a lawsuit within two years of an untimely death.
While two years may seem like a long time, you should not delay in seeking legal help. There are steep consequences for missing the statute of limitations.
Consequences of Missing the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is strictly enforced by the courts, and there are serious penalties for anyone who files a wrongful death lawsuit after the deadline. If an individual files his or her claim after the deadline, the negligent party will often file a motion to dismiss a case with prejudice. Outside of a few rare exceptions, the courts will generally grant these motions.
When the court grants a dismissal with prejudice, you lose out on the ability to ever file your lawsuit again. That means the opportunity to pursue justice for your deceased loved one could be gone forever.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
There are some rare circumstances that could allow for an extension of a legal deadline in a wrongful death case. However, it is risky to assume they will apply in any given case. An attorney could review the specifics of your claim and provide insight into whether these exceptions apply to your claim.
Identifying the Decedent’s Personal Representative Before the Filing Deadline
It is vital to understand that only certain parties may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Omaha. The right to file these lawsuits varies from one jurisdiction to another. Some states allow a spouse or loved one of a deceased person to pursue a wrongful death action on their own. However, that is not the case in Omaha.
The ability to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit is governed by Nebraska Revised Statute § 30-810. According to state law, only the decedent’s personal representative may file a wrongful death case.
The personal representative is often named by the decedent’s last will and testament. When the will does not appoint an individual or the person named refuses to serve, the court has the power to appoint someone to fill the position. If you wish to become a personal representative, it is crucial to speak with a wrongful death attorney well before the statute of limitations has run.
Talk to an Omaha Attorney About the Statute of Limitations in Your Wrongful Death Case
If you are dealing with the unexpected loss of a close family member, the grief can overshadow the prospect of holding the negligent party accountable. A compassionate attorney can take the burden of pursuing legal action off your shoulders by protecting your interests in a wrongful death lawsuit. Reach out today to set up a free consultation and learn more about the wrongful death statute of limitations in Omaha.