Mesothelioma lawsuits are different from other types of lawsuits, mostly because of the long latency periods for asbestos-related health complications. In other words, they are not considered as typical lawsuits.
The long latency periods are what complicate the many aspects of asbestos litigation, and this includes the specific amount of time a claimant has to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. You might end up losing your rights to filing a lawsuit and a possible compensation by failing to file a lawsuit within a given time-frame. These limitations are what are referred to a Statute of Limitations.
Even if you are no longer working where the asbestos exposure occurred or if the company itself no longer exists, you can still file suit. But you have to be mindful about the statute of limitations.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is basically defined as a law that sets specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit. Once the time runs out, you will no longer have a valid legal right.
These limitations may vary by state where some states give claimants 1 to 6 years from the diagnosis of mesothelioma to file a lawsuit. They may also vary depending on the type.
Types of Statute of Limitations
There are two main types of statute of limitations;
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations in some states can be as short as one year, so it’s important to seek the help of qualified mesothelioma lawyer who will guide you through the entire process. Remember that asbestos litigation can take a long time to prepare and even the slightest delay can affect your ability to file a lawsuit.
In the case of wrongful death, the clock starts clicking right upon the death of the mesothelioma victim. The limitation for wrongful death is basically similar to that of personal injury, although in some states, it’s significantly shorter.
Delaying filing a lawsuit should as well be avoided as it can hurt the chances of receiving a compensation.
In many states statutes of limitations usually give people one to six years from the diagnosis or discovery of mesothelioma to file an asbestos lawsuit.
Factors Affecting the Statute of Limitations
There are various factors that affect how long you have to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
1). Location: The location or rather the state in which the company responsible for your asbestos exposure is situated will affect the statute of limitation.
As stated earlier, the statutes vary depending on the state- some are longer while others are shorter.
2). Type of Case: In this case, personal injury and wrongful death have varying statutory limits depending on the state. In some states like Florida and New York, the statutory limit for wrongful death is much shorter compared to personal injury.
Even if you have the time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, it’s advisable to do it sooner rather than later. These cases may take longer than expected and considering that some states have a short statutory limit, you might not want to lose the chance to obtain a substantial amount of money as compensation.
It’s advisable to find a good mesothelioma lawyer who will represent you in your case and increase your chances of getting maximum compensation. A good lawyer will ease all your worries and answer any questions you may have regarding the lawsuit. (See more about statutes by state)
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