The statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases starts at the time of patient's diagnosis or death and expires at different times depending on each state's laws.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

Patients and families have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in cases of mesothelioma. This is known as the statute of limitations. In general, mesothelioma cases must be filed within 2 to 3 years from diagnosis or the death of the patient, but that can vary by state.

Factors Affecting How Long You Have to File

  • Location

    The state where the company responsible for the patient’s exposure is located strongly affects how long claimants have to file a case. Each state in the U.S. has its own statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases.

  • Type of Case

    The statute of limitations for a typical mesothelioma claim begins when the patient was diagnosed. If the patient has passed away, a spouse or family member has a newly set statute of limitations to file a claim.

Statute of Limitations Explained

Filing a lawsuit is usually one of the last things to cross a cancer patient’s mind. The stress of a mesothelioma diagnosis is a lot to handle, and finding treatment always comes first. However, patients and family members need to file their claim quickly to ensure they can receive compensation.

The statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases is different than other personal injury claims. While the time to file a typical personal injury claim starts at the time of the injury, mesothelioma cases are different because of the disease’s long latency period.

It takes anywhere from 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to develop.

Therefore, special rules apply to mesothelioma cases that allow the statute of limitations to start from the time a diagnosis is made or the time a patient passed away. This ensures the statute of limitations doesn’t run out before a patient realizes anything is wrong.

Statute of Limitations by State

Each state has its own statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases. Sometimes a mesothelioma case is even filed in multiple states if there are multiple exposures or defendants. If the statute of limitations in one state has run out, there are often other states where a case can still be pursued.

Patients who wish to pursue a lawsuit have anywhere from 1-6 years from their diagnosis to file a claim. Wrongful death claims are different, however. The statute of limitations for spouses and dependents filing a wrongful death case begins on the date when the patient passed away. Below is a list of the statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases in each state based on whether the claim is for personal injury or wrongful death.

LocationPersonal injury (years)Wrongful death (years)
Alabama22
Alaska22
Arizona22
Arkansas33
California11
Colorado22
Connecticut33
Delaware22
Florida42
Georgia22
Hawaii22
Idaho22
Illinois22
Indiana22
Iowa22
Kansas22
Kentucky11
Lousiana11
Maine62
Maryland33
Massachusetts33
Michigan33
Minnesota43
Misssissippi33
Missouri53
Montana33
Nebraska42
Nevada22
New Hampshire33
New Jersey22
New Mexico33
New York32
North Carolina32
North Dakota62
Ohio22
Oklahoma22
Oregon33
Pennsylvania22
Rhode Island33
South Carolina33
South Dakota33
Tennessee11
Texas22
Utah32
Vermont32
Virginia22
Washington33
Washington D.C.31
West Virginia22
Wisconsin33
Wyoming42

Filing a Mesothelioma Claim

It’s important for patients and families to act quickly in filing a mesothelioma claim. Since the statute of limitations is only a year in some states, filing quickly can ensure that you don’t miss out on getting the money your family deserves.

Even if you think the statute of limitations for your case has expired, an experienced mesothelioma attorney may be able to file a claim in a state with a longer statute of limitations.

Mesothelioma Guide can connect you with attorneys who can successfully determine the statute of limitations for your case and get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Get connected with an experienced attorney for free legal advice today.