Medically Reviewed By folder

Expert Fact Checked

This page was medically reviewed by on . For information on our content creation and review process read our editorial guidelines. If you notice an error or have comments or questions on our content please contact us.

Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

The statutes of limitations for mesothelioma and asbestos claims are often one to two years. However, these deadlines vary depending on the state and claim type. You should speak with a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Request a Free 2021 Mesothelioma Legal Guide

Key Points

  • 1

    Statutes of limitations are deadlines for filing a claim after a death or diagnosis.

  • 2

    Statutes of limitations range from 1 to 6 years to file a claim.

  • 3

    The statute of limitations time frame can vary depending on the type of claim.

  • 4

    Experienced mesothelioma lawyers can help ensure you file within the correct deadlines.

Legal options and deadlines may be the last thing on your mind when navigating a mesothelioma diagnosis. However, it’s important to keep in mind there’s a limited amount of time to act on your legal rights.

Statute time periods vary from one to six years. A mesothelioma attorney can help you understand deadlines. They can also guide you through the entire process.

What Are Mesothelioma Statutes of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations are laws that set maximum time limits for filing legal claims. For asbestos claims, these time limits begin when an individual is diagnosed with or dies from an asbestos-related disease.

Compensation may be available for patients diagnosed with a number of asbestos diseases, including mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

After the statute of limitations has passed, claimants risk losing the compensation they are entitled to. It’s important to speak with a mesothelioma attorney early on.

Deadlines vary by state and type of claim. The two main types of asbestos claims are personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. Most states have an asbestos claim statute of limitations of one to three years. However, a handful of states have longer statutes.

Types of Statutes of Limitations for Asbestos Claims

The two different types of claims typically filed after wrongful asbestos exposure include:

  • Personal injury claims: Filed by the patient after an asbestos-related diagnosis.
  • Wrongful death claims: Filed by a loved one after a patient passes away from an asbestos disease.

These claims may have different statutes of limitations.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Statutes for personal injury claims apply to asbestos victims filing a claim on their own behalf. The time frame to file a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit is typically about one to four years after diagnosis.

Typical statutes of limitations for personal injury claims begin after the time of injury. However, some asbestos diseases, such as mesothelioma, have a very long latency period. This means they can take decades to present. As a result, the courts implemented the discovery rule for mesothelioma cases.

What Is the ‘Discovery Rule?’

The discovery rule states the statute of limitations for mesothelioma personal injury claims does not begin until after a proper diagnosis.

United States courts implemented the discovery rule in 1973 as a part of rulings from the Borel v. Fibreboard asbestos case. This case highlighted several important intricacies of asbestos claims. It recognized the difficulty of determining exact exposure dates. To give asbestos victims ample opportunity to collect compensation, the court ruled statutes of limitations would begin after the date of diagnosis, not asbestos exposure.

Although the discovery rule gives mesothelioma patients a better window to file, patients should not wait to begin their claim. Claimants want to provide their attorney with ample time to prepare a strong case.

Mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment can take up much of your time and energy. However, contacting a mesothelioma law firm should be at the top of your list to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. An experienced asbestos attorney can help shoulder some of the burden as they pursue the details of your personal injury case.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Statutes for wrongful death cases apply to surviving family members of a loved one who passed away from an asbestos illness.

The limitations period to file a wrongful death lawsuit begins after a mesothelioma victim has passed away. The majority of states have a deadline of just two years. Some states allow three years to file the claim.

When a loved one dies of mesothelioma, legal claims can be painful to think about. Loved ones may also feel confused about claims and legal processes.

As with personal injury claims, it takes an experienced mesothelioma attorney time to properly build a case. Most law firms also offer a free case evaluation. This allows loved ones time to ask questions before deciding if they want to file a claim.

Which Factors Affect Mesothelioma Statutes of Limitations?

To build a successful case, mesothelioma claimants and their lawyers need to keep in mind several factors.

Below is a list of the general factors potential claimants should note. However, this list is not exhaustive. Experienced asbestos attorneys can shed more light on these details.

  • Type of claim: Statutes differ for personal injury and wrongful death claims.
  • Filing location: Statues differ based on where the claim is filed. The state to file in may be where the claimant lives, location of exposure or location of the asbestos company.
  • Time of diagnosis or death: The statute of limitations begins when an asbestos victim is diagnosed or dies, depending on the type of claim.
  • Disease details: Extensions may be possible for patients with multiple asbestos-related diagnoses or severe cases.

Depending on the type of compensation, there may be other factors as well.

For example, in addition to mesothelioma lawsuits, victims may also pursue a trust fund claim. Each asbestos trust fund has its own set of factors impacting timelines and eligibility. Veteran benefits are another possible form of compensation with other intricacies.

For mesothelioma patients and their loved ones, navigating all of these factors may seem daunting. You can discuss these details and how they affect your claim with a mesothelioma attorney.

Which State Should I File My Mesothelioma Claim In?

Several factors can influence where patients file a mesothelioma claim. For many mesothelioma patients, it can be difficult to know which state to file in. However, mesothelioma lawyers have experience with asbestos litigation. They will be able to determine the best location to file.

Patients and loved ones can determine which state to file in based on:

  • Places you’ve lived, even if you weren’t exposed at home
  • Places you’ve worked, including military bases and job sites
  • The location of the asbestos company, in the case of occupational exposure

An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will be able to help you research all of these factors. Your attorney can also help determine the appropriate venue to file a claim, within the appropriate statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations by State

Statute of limitations for personal injury claims and wrongful death claims vary by state. Each state’s statute requires claims to be filed within the given deadline. If a deadline is missed, the claimant may lose an option for financial compensation.

Even if you’ve missed your deadline, check with an asbestos attorney. There may be other forms of compensation available.

The table below outlines claim time limits for each state.

State-by-State Statute of Limitations Table

State Personal Injury Statute Wrongful Death Statute
Alabama 2 years 2 years
Alaska 2 years 2 years
Arizona 2 years 2 years
Arkansas 3 years 3 years
California 1 year 1 year
Colorado 2 years 2 years
Connecticut 3 years 3 years
Delaware 2 years 2 years
Florida 4 years 2 years
Georgia 2 years 2 years
Hawaii 2 years 2 years
Idaho 2 years 2 years
Illinois 2 years 2 years
Indiana 2 years 2 years
Iowa 2 years 2 years
Kansas 2 years 2 years
Kentucky 1 year 1 year
Louisiana 1 year 1 year
Maine 6 years 2 years
Maryland 3 years 3 years
Massachusetts 3 years 3 years
Michigan 3 years 3 years
Minnesota 4 years 3 years
Mississippi 3 years 3 years
Missouri 5 years 3 years
Montana 3 years 3 years
Nebraska 4 years 2 years
Nevada 2 years 2 years
New Hampshire 3 years 3 years
New Jersey 2 years 2 years
New Mexico 3 years 3 years
New York 3 years 2 years
North Carolina 3 years 2 years
North Dakota 6 years 2 years
Ohio 2 years 2 years
Oklahoma 2 years 2 years
Oregon 3 years 3 years
Pennsylvania 2 years 2 years
Rhode Island 3 years 3 years
South Carolina 3 years 3 years
South Dakota 3 years 3 years
Tennessee 1 year 1 year
Texas 2 years 2 years
Utah 3 years 2 years
Vermont 3 years 2 years
Virginia 2 years 2 years
Washington 3 years 3 years
Washington D.C. 3 years 2 years
West Virginia 2 years 2 years
Wisconsin 3 years 3 years
Wyoming 4 years 2 years
Send Me a Free 2021 Mesothelioma Guide Guide Photo
Sources [+]
Written By

Tonya Nelson

Managing Editor

Tonya Nelson is an experienced writer and editor, who has published on a wide variety of topics, particularly in the health field.