With any legal claim, the statutes of limitations can often be a largely impactful factor as to whether a case proceeds or fails. While many individuals experienced with legal matters understand this fact, others that are new to the legal environment may not understand why. As such, this article will provide a high-level understanding of what a statute of limitations is and how this may apply to your specific mesothelioma lawsuit.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
In general, the statute of limitations for any legal claim refers to the amount of time a plaintiff has to submit a valid claim in a lawsuit against a particular defendant. For example, a state might determine that a victim of a property damage claim has had plenty of time to realize damages and pursue a legal remedy within five years of the incident involving said property damage. As such, the state will codify the statute of limitations for this type of property damage claim to be five years. If a victim tries to pursue a claim against a defendant beyond this five-year span, the defendant can simply move for the claim to be dismissed based on the statute of limitations alone. This timeframe will vary depending on the jurisdiction and claim a victim is pursuing. As such, it is important for every victim to gather the necessary information related to the particular circumstances at hand. Even more so, victims of asbestos exposure will want to know how a statute of limitations applies to their mesothelioma lawsuit filing.
Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations
As mentioned above, the statute of limitations for any legal claim will often be dependent on the codification of legal decisions made in a particular jurisdiction in the past. In mesothelioma cases, the statute of limitations is commonly somewhere around one to three years from the point in time at which damages (injury) is realized. However, this can vary greatly depending on the jurisdiction you are filing in. If you are looking to proceed with a mesothelioma lawsuit, be sure to do your research and determine if your particular jurisdiction is an option to proceed or not.
Beyond simply researching the statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases, be sure to understand the difference in the types of mesothelioma cases. In general, a civil suit related to mesothelioma will be filed under claims of ‘wrongful death’ or ‘personal injury’.
Personal injury claims are made on behalf of individuals that have been harmed by another, such as finding out that someone has cancer due to the negligent exposure to asbestos from the behavior of someone else. In these cases, the start date for the statute of limitations timeline would begin as soon as an injury is realized. In the case of injuries from asbestos exposure, a doctor’s diagnosis would serve as a firm evidential point at which injuries were first realized.
Wrongful death claims are made on behalf of individuals that have passed away as a result of wrongful exposure to asbestos. While personal injury claims are generally filed while the injured is still living, wrongful death must wait until an injured party has died. The statute of limitations on these filings starts at the point of death.
How to Determine the Statute of Limitations
While you are fully able to research the statute of limitations of your jurisdiction on your own, it may be wise to consult with the expertise of an attorney that is experienced in your area in this type of claim. With their help, you may be able to determine, with much more certainty, if your claim still qualifies under the statute of limitations. If your case has not lapsed on the time requirement, you may be able to file a claim and move forward with your case.