Each state has its own statute of limitation, which defines the time frame during which a lawsuit must be filed. A claim against a government agency, however, may have a different time period for filing. While the time usually begins running from the time of the victim’s death, some states may allow a lawsuit to proceed if the act that caused the death was not discovered until later. An example is when the spouse of the victim does not discover until the following year that the victim’s death was caused by the negligence of the treating doctor. In this case, the time frame to file a lawsuit may run from the date the spouse discovered the treating doctor’s negligence, rather than the date of the victim’s death.