The statute of limitations for a mesothelioma case 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?

A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit or deadline for legal claims to be filed. The mesothelioma claims time limits are usually between 1 and 3 years from diagnosis or the death of the patient, but these deadlines vary by state.

Factors Affecting How Long You Have to File

  • Location

    The location of the company responsible for the exposure, where the exposure happened, and the residence of the victim are all potential factors in how long a claimant has to file a case. Each state in the U.S. has its own asbestos claims statute of limitations.

  • Type of Case

    The statute of limitations for a mesothelioma claim typically begins when the patient was diagnosed, although sometimes a particular state’s trigger date to begin the statute of limitations considers different factors. If the patient has passed away, a spouse or family member sometimes has a newly set statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim.

Statutes 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 exposures in multiple states.

If the statute of limitations in one state has run out, there are sometimes other states with more time left on the deadline where a case can still be pursued.

The list below can give you a general idea of how many years you are allotted to file a claim. Since many contributing facts and circumstances, may lengthen or shorten these time limits, you should always consult a lawyer to find out exactly how much time you have to file your specific case in the applicable state.

  • Alabama
  • 2
  • 2

  • Alaska
  • 2
  • 2

  • Arizona
  • 2
  • 2

  • Arkansas
  • 3
  • 3

  • California
  • 1
  • 1

  • Colorado
  • 2
  • 2

  • Connecticut
  • 3
  • 3

  • Delaware
  • 2
  • 2

  • Florida
  • 4
  • 2

  • Georgia
  • 2
  • 2

  • Hawaii
  • 2
  • 2

  • Idaho
  • 2
  • 2

  • Illinois
  • 2
  • 2

  • Indiana
  • 2
  • 2

  • Iowa
  • 2
  • 2

  • Kansas
  • 2
  • 2

  • Kentucky
  • 1
  • 1

  • Louisiana
  • 1
  • 1

  • Maine
  • 6
  • 2

  • Maryland
  • 3
  • 3

  • Massachusetts
  • 3
  • 3

  • Michigan
  • 3
  • 3

  • Minnesota
  • 4
  • 3

  • Mississippi
  • 3
  • 3

  • Missouri
  • 5
  • 3

  • Montana
  • 3
  • 3

  • Nebraska
  • 4
  • 2

  • Nevada
  • 2
  • 2

  • New Hamphshire
  • 3
  • 3

  • New Jersey
  • 2
  • 2

  • New Mexico
  • 3
  • 3

  • New York
  • 3
  • 2

  • North Carolina
  • 3
  • 2

  • North Dakota
  • 3
  • 3

  • Ohio
  • 2
  • 2

  • Oklahoma
  • 2
  • 2

  • Oregon
  • 3
  • 3

  • Pennsylvania
  • 2
  • 2

  • Rhode Island
  • 3
  • 3

  • South Carolina
  • 3
  • 3

  • South Dakota
  • 3
  • 3

  • Tennessee
  • 3
  • 3

  • Texas
  • 2
  • 2

  • Utah
  • 3
  • 2

  • Vermont
  • 3
  • 2

  • Virginia
  • 2
  • 2

  • Washington
  • 3
  • 3

  • Washington D.C.
  • 3
  • 1

  • West Virginia
  • 2
  • 2

  • Wisconsin
  • 3
  • 3

  • Wyoming
  • 4
  • 2

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.

It takes anywhere from 20 to 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 typically 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.

Personal Injury Cases

A patient who has mesothelioma may file personal injury claims against the companies that exposed the patient to asbestos. Since it takes decades for mesothelioma to develop, patients won’t know they have a disease until many years after they were “injured” by asbestos. Therefore, the time span for filing a claim usually starts when the patient is diagnosed.

The statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases may be different than other personal injury claims. This is due to the “discovery of harm” rule. In the large majority of states, the window to file a typical personal injury claim starts at the time of the injury, the window for mesothelioma cases begins at diagnosis.

The “discovery of harm” rule allows personal injury cases to be filed within a certain amount of time after a person knew or should have known about his injury. Mesothelioma patients have no way of discovering that they were injured until decades later when symptoms begin to show and a doctor diagnoses them.

Wrongful Death Cases

If a mesothelioma patient passes away without being paid on a particular claim, their family may be able to file a wrongful death claim. The time span for a wrongful death claim typically begins when the patient passes away. Through wrongful death claims, a mesothelioma patient’s family has the opportunity to receive compensation from the companies that exposed their loved one.

Filing a Mesothelioma Claim

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

Even if you think the statute of limitations for your case has expired, you should contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to be certain. In some cases, an 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.