If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos, you may be wondering about your options, including your legal rights. An important point that victims must consider is how much time they have under the law to take legal action.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that places a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an event has taken place. If a lawsuit is not filed within the time allotted by the statute of limitations, it is barred and you are not able to proceed with the suit. These statutes are in place to promote justice and to ensure that legal action is taken in a timely manner. For example, evidence may not be accessible if too much time has passed since the occurrence of an event. Also, witnesses may be more difficult to locate if too much time has elapsed.
Since mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis tend to develop many years after a person’s initial exposure to asbestos, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to asbestos exposure may be based on either the date of diagnosis of an asbestos related disease or the date of death caused by one of these diseases.
Statute of limitations also may vary from state-to-state. The appropriate statute of limitations for each lawsuit may depend on multiple factors, such as where a person lives, when he or she was exposed, the place of exposure, and the location of any asbestos companies that may be involved. We recommend connecting with a law firm experienced with mesothelioma cases, such as Cooney & Conway, to find out if you are within the statute of limitations.
Any person who is a victim of asbestos exposure and is seeking to file a lawsuit should immediately consult with an attorney to determine specific statutes of limitations that may apply to them. Most lawsuits require time for investigation and preparation, which must also be considered. The sooner that action is taken, the better.