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Important Facts About Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

  • The statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases is usually 2-4 years.
  • Personal injury and wrongful death claims may have different time limits.
  • Location affects the statute of limitations the most.
  • Legal experts recommend patients file their claims immediately.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

The mesothelioma statute of limitations starts at the time of a patient's diagnosis (for personal injury claims) or death (for wrongful death claims). It expires at different times depending on each state.

The time limits for mesothelioma claims. are usually between two and four years. However, some states have one-year limits. Other states allow for five or six years.

Factors Affecting Your Statute of Limitations

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Location

The location of the company responsible for your exposure, where the exposure happened, and the victim’s residence all factor into how long you have to file a claim.

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Type of Case

The mesothelioma statute of limitations typically begins when the patient is diagnosed. If the patient has passed away, a spouse or family member can file a wrongful death claim. This statute of limitations may be different than if the victim was still alive.

Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations Explained

Finding treatment for mesothelioma always comes first. However, patients and family members should file their claim quickly to ensure they receive mesothelioma compensation.

It usually takes between 20 and 50 years after a patient’s first asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to develop. Therefore, special rules apply to mesothelioma cases.

These special rules allow the statute of limitations to start from the diagnosis date or when a victim passes away. This ensures the time allotted doesn’t run out before the victim realizes they have a disease.

Personal Injury Cases

Victims may file mesothelioma lawsuits against the companies that exposed them to asbestos. Since the cancer takes decades to materialize, patients won’t know of it until many years after their exposure.

In most cases, the window to file a personal injury claim starts at the time of the injury. However, mesothelioma cases are different because of the “discovery of harm rule.” This rule allows cases to be filed within a certain amount of time after a person knew about their cancer.

Wrongful Death Cases

If a mesothelioma patient passes away before being compensated, their family can file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim typically begins when the patient passes away.

These claims allow a patient’s family to receive compensation from the responsible companies. Each state has different rules for who can file wrongful death claims after a loved one passes. In most states, the surviving spouse and children are the only people who can do so.

Statute of Limitations by State

Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases. Sometimes a mesothelioma case is filed in multiple states if asbestos exposure occurred in multiple locations. The victim’s residence or company’s headquarters may also support filing in multiple states.

If the statute of limitations in one state runs out, there may be other states with more time left.

The list below — retrieved from different legal websites such as lawyers.com and statelaws.findlaw.com — provides a general idea of how many years you have to file your or your loved one’s claim. Since many circumstances may lengthen or shorten these time limits, you should find a mesothelioma lawyer to review the specifics of your case.

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West

West

State

Alaska

Arizona

California

Colorado

Hawaii

Idaho

Montana

Nevada

New Mexico

Oregon

Utah

Washington

Wyoming

Personal injury

2

2

1

2

2

2

3

2

3

2

4

3

4

Wrongful death

2

2

1

2

2

2

3

2

3

3

2

3

2

Central

Central

State

Arkansas

Illinois

Iowa

Kansas

Louisiana

Minnesota

Missouri

Nebraska

North Dakota

Oklahoma

South Dakota

Texas

Wisconsin

Personal injury

3

2

2

2

1

2

5

4

6

2

3

2

3

Wrongful death

3

2

2

2

1

3

3

2

2

2

3

2

3

Northeast

State

Connecticut

Delaware

Indiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Vermont

Washington D.C.

Personal injury

2

2

2

6

3

3

3

3

2

3

2

2

3

3

3

Wrongful death

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

3

2

2

2

2

3

2

2

Central

State

Arkansas

Illinois

Iowa

Kansas

Louisiana

Minnesota

Missouri

Nebraska

North Dakota

Oklahoma

South Dakota

Texas

Wisconsin

Personal injury

3

2

2

2

1

2

5

4

6

2

3

2

3

Wrongful death

3

2

2

2

1

3

3

2

2

2

3

2

3

Northeast

Northeast

State

Connecticut

Delaware

Indiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Vermont

Washington D.C.

Personal injury

2

2

2

6

3

3

3

3

2

3

2

2

3

3

3

Wrongful death

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

3

2

2

2

2

3

2

2

Southeast

Southeast

State

Alabama

Florida

Georgia

Kentucky

Mississippi

North Carolina

South Carolina

Tennessee

Virginia

West Virginia

Personal injury

2

4

2

1

3

3

3

1

2

2

Wrongful death

2

2

2

1

3

2

3

1

2

2

Mesothelioma cases are unique due to the latency period of the disease, among other characteristics. For this reason, some states may have a different statute of limitations on mesothelioma cases than they do for other claims.

When to File a Mesothelioma Claim

It’s important for patients and families to file a claim quickly. The mesothelioma statute of limitations is only one or two years in some states. Filing as soon as possible can ensure victims don’t miss out on the money they and their family deserve.

Even if you think the statute of limitations for your case has expired, you should contact an experienced attorney. In some cases, legal experts may direct you to filing in a state with a longer time limit.

Mesothelioma Guide can connect you with attorneys who understand each state’s mesothelioma statute of limitations. These experienced lawyers will do everything possible to get you your deserved compensation.

Common Questions About Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

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How long do I have to file a mesothelioma claim?

Each state has a different time limit, called the statute of limitations, for mesothelioma claims. Some states allow for as little as one year to file a claim, while other states grant five or six years. Most states allow between two and four years, for both personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you don’t file within your deadline, you may be forever barred from filing a case or claim.

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When does the statute of limitations start for mesothelioma?

The statute of limitations for mesothelioma usually begins when the patient learns of their cancer diagnosis. Mesothelioma takes 20-50 years to reveal itself in symptom form, so victims won’t realize they have the cancer immediately after their asbestos exposure.

Last Edited: January 21, 2021.

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