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April 30, 2020

How Long Do I Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Case After a Shooting at a Club?

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Personal Injury Lawyer

Club owners should never allow a shooting to occur on their premises. Guns and alcohol don’t mix. Clubs should have security measures in place to protect patrons.

A negligent failure to provide security might make a club responsible when that failure contributed to a shooting death. Whether the shooting occurs inside the club or in the club’s parking lot, a club owner should anticipate the risk of violence and should take steps to prevent it.

A club owner may also be responsible if a club employee is responsible for the shooting. Club owners who hire violent employees are negligent if they knew or should have known that the employee might commit a violent act.

Wrongful Death Claims After a Shooting at a Club

Club owners are negligent when they fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent a foreseeable shooting. When a shooting at a club ends with a death, the victim’s family can pursue compensation against a negligent club owner under a state’s wrongful death law.

Some states require a wrongful death claim to be brought by the victim’s estate. Others define a set of close family members who can bring the claim. The measurement and distribution of compensation is also defined by state law.

A security negligence lawyer can determine a club’s liability for a shooting death. The lawyer can also advise family members about the procedure in the state where the death occurred for bringing a wrongful death claim.

Families should seek that advice promptly. If they wait too long, they might find that a statute of limitations makes it impossible to bring a successful claim.

Time Limits for Bringing a Wrongful Death Case After a Shooting at a Club

Each state sets its own time limit for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. The law that sets that time period is called a statute of limitations. The time in which a lawsuit is initiated is called the limitations period.

Families of a deceased shooting victim must either settle a wrongful death claim or file a lawsuit before the limitations period expires. If they fail to settle or sue before that deadline arrives, they will lose the right to bring a wrongful death claim in court.

The limitations period for a wrongful death lawsuit may depend on whether the death was based on negligent or intentional conduct. When state law sets two different limitations periods, it usually provides for a longer limitations period to sue for a death that is caused by negligence.

A typical limitations period for a wrongful death claim based on negligence is two or three years. Since the limitations period ranges from one to six years, depending on state law, it is important to ask a security negligence lawyer about the law that applies in the state where the shooting occurred.

Tolling the Time Limits for Bringing a Wrongful Death Case After a Club Shooting

Under certain circumstances, state law may toll the time limit for bringing a wrongful death claim. When a time limit is tolled, it stops running until the tolling ends.

For example, if the only person who can bring a wrongful death claim under state law is a minor, the limitations period might not start to run until the minor reaches the age of majority. Tolling of the limitations period ends when the minor becomes an adult.

Tolling might also occur if the club takes active steps to conceal its responsibility for the shooting. For example, if the gun used in the shooting belonged to the club but the club owner denies any knowledge of the gun, some states might toll the limitations period until the victim’s family learns that the club’s negligence made the shooting possible.

Lawyers understand the tolling rules that apply in the state where the shooting occurred. Asking for legal advice from a personal injury law firm will help a family protect its right to bring a wrongful death claim.

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