Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

Statute of limitations is a state law which determines the amount of time a possible victim has to file claims against another person or company. Statute of limitations pertain to many types of cases, including personal injury and wrongful death instances involving mesothelioma claims.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

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

The mesothelioma claims time limits are usually between two and four years from diagnosis or the death of the patient. However, some states have one-year limits on personal injury and wrongful death claims. Other states have five- or six-year limits for a type of claim that is relevant to mesothelioma victims.

Factors Affecting How Long You Have to File

location icon

Location

The location of the company responsible for the exposure, where the exposure happened and the victim’s residence all could factor into how long a claimant has to file a case.

types icon

Type of Case

The mesothelioma statute of limitations typically begins when the patient was diagnosed. If the patient has passed away, a spouse or family member can file a wrongful death claim with a mesothelioma statute of limitations separate from a personal injury statute of limitations.

File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations Explained

The stress of a mesothelioma diagnosis is a lot to handle, and finding treatment always comes first. However, patients and family members should file their claim quickly to ensure they can receive mesothelioma compensation. Doing so avoids possibly reaching the end of the statute of limitations for a specific state.

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 mesothelioma statute of limitations doesn’t run out before a patient realizes they have a disease.

Personal Injury Cases

A patient who has mesothelioma may file personal injury mesothelioma lawsuits against the companies that exposed them to asbestos. Since it takes decades for the rare cancer to materialize, patients won’t know they have a disease until many years after their initial interaction with asbestos.

In the large majority of states, the window to file a typical personal injury claim starts at the time of the injury. However, mesothelioma cases are different usually because of the “discovery of harm rule.” This rule allows personal injury cases to be filed within a certain amount of time after a person knew or should have known about their injury.

Wrongful Death Cases

If a mesothelioma patient passes away without being compensated on a particular claim, their family can file a wrongful death claim. The mesothelioma statute of limitations 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. 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 file.

Statute of Limitations by State

Each state has its own statute of limitations for claims relating to personal injury and wrongful death cases. Sometimes a mesothelioma case is filed in multiple states if asbestos exposure incidents occurred in multiple states or if a victim’s residence or company is located in a state other than where exposure happened.

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

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

small mobile map
large mobile map
tablet map
desktop map

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

Note that mesothelioma cases are unique from other personal injury claims 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 personal injury or wrongful death claims.

When to File a Mesothelioma Claim

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

Even if you think the mesothelioma 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 help you get the compensation you deserve. For more information on the mesothelioma case process, connect with an experienced attorney for help.

gavel
gavel

Get Access to Trust Fund Money

$32 billion is available to mesothelioma patients and their families.

How Can Trust Funds Help?

  • Assist in paying for treatment and travel expenses
  • Ensure your family's financial future
  • Quick compensation

Last Edited: October 1, 2019.

Free Mesothelioma Guide Flyout Picture Learn More
FREE Mesothelioma Guide