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Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations

When considering whether to file a complaint due to an asbestos-related disability or illness, such as mesothelioma, it is important to understand the timeframe necessary to do so. Unfortunately, it is possible to lose your rights for compensation by waiting too long to submit your lawsuit. In particular, given the long latency period for mesothelioma, the rules surrounding legal deadlines can become somewhat complicated.

Statute of Limitations Types

Each state has its own deadline – called a personal injury statute of limitations – during which victims of asbestos-caused cancer can file a legal action. This means that you only have a limited time to file an asbestos-related lawsuit; if you don’t file in time, you could lose any entitlement to receive money for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and other forms of remuneration.

Furthermore, additional considerations can come into play depending on whether mesothelioma victims are filing for themselves, or whether a family member is filing a claim after a loved one has passed away. There are two basic types of statutes covering each situation.

Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations

Personal injury statutes apply to individuals who have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The clock starts ticking once a diagnosis is made, and in some states, like California and Tennessee, the limit can be as short as one year.

In order to meet the appropriate deadlines, it is important to seek a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer immediately upon receiving a diagnosis. It can sometimes take months to prepare a lawsuit against the companies responsible for asbestos exposure, and hesitating even a little while can severely limit your legal options.

Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitations

Wrongful death statutes are important for the family members of a mesothelioma victim who has passed away. The time for wrongful death statutes starts counting down upon the death of the individual who had mesothelioma.

In many states, the statutory limit for wrongful death is the same as for personal injury. However, there are quite a few states, like New York and Florida, where wrongful death statutes of limitations are shorter – sometimes significantly so – than personal injury statutes.

One issue that can delay filing wrongful death claims is that family members may not be aware of where their loved one was exposed to asbestos. It can often take some time to compile a list of former residences, workplaces, and other sites where the deceased individual might have experienced asbestos exposure.

Therefore, if you have a loved one who died due to mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, it is important to seek out a qualified asbestos attorney who can help you get started on researching the necessary information immediately.

Which State’s Statute of Limitations Applies?

Determining which state’s statute of limitations applies to you or your loved one can depend on many factors, including:

  • Place of residence, currently and in the past
  • Job sites or military bases where asbestos exposure occurred
  • The location of the responsible asbestos companies

Some state courts have special provisions for "immediate" trials for individuals with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or severe asbestosis. For example, in New York City, one judge has an asbestos case management order that sets trial clusters in April and October to allow for accelerated trial dates for those whose cases are most urgent (i.e., terminally ill victims).

An experienced mesothelioma attorney will be able to advise you on the appropriate location (venue) to file a claim, based on the statute of limitations and other factors, as applicable.

Statutes by State

The following table provides the time limitations as defined by each state’s personal injury and wrongful death statutes. In each state, lawsuits must be filed before the limit has expired.

State Statute Of Limitations Wrongful Death Statute
Alabama 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Alaska 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Arizona 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Arkansas 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
California 1 Year from Diagnosis 1 Year from Death
Colorado 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Connecticut 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Delaware 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Florida 4 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Georgia 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Hawaii 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Idaho 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Illinois 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Indiana 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Iowa 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Kansas 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Kentucky 1 Year from Diagnosis 1 Year from Death
Louisiana 1 Year from Diagnosis 1 Year from Death
Maine 6 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Maryland 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Massachusetts 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Michigan 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Minnesota 4 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Mississippi 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Missouri 5 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Montana 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Nebraska 4 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Nevada 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
New Hampshire 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
New Jersey 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
New Mexico 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
New York 3 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
North Carolina 3 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
North Dakota 6 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Ohio 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Oklahoma 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Oregon 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Pennsylvania 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Rhode Island 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
South Carolina 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
South Dakota 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Tennessee 1 Year from Diagnosis 1 Year from Death
Texas 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Utah 3 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Vermont 3 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Virginia 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Washington 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Washington, D.C. 3 Years from Diagnosis 1 Year from Death
West Virginia 2 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death
Wisconsin 3 Years from Diagnosis 3 Years from Death
Wyoming 4 Years from Diagnosis 2 Years from Death

Find Out if a Statute of Limitations Applies to You

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can get a free evaluation to discuss which statutes apply to you and how long you have to file a legal action. The evaluation will cost you nothing. Our attorneys will travel to visit you at your convenience. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also call us toll-free at 1-844-401-4277 to schedule an appointment today.

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