Due to the increase in awareness and media campaigns touting the devastating consequences of asbestos exposure, more people than ever before are aware of the disease mesothelioma. However, many people remain in the dark about the time limit for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit due to asbestos exposure in the workplace. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this disease, it’s important to understand the laws affecting how long you have to pursue compensation.

Is There a Time Limitation for Mesothelioma Cases? 

Yes. Mesothelioma cases are subject to a statute of limitations, a state-specific law that specifies how long a claimant has to initiate certain forms of legal action. Different statutes of limitations apply to different forms of mesothelioma claims. Failing to file yours within the time frame provided by the relevant statute of limitations means the court can dismiss your case, and you lose the ability to pursue compensation and accountability.

First, someone diagnosed with mesothelioma may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company that exposed them to asbestos. Most statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits are between one and five years. For example, Illinois state law gives you two years from the date of injury or diagnosis to file a personal injury lawsuit. Since mesothelioma takes so long to develop, the date of discovery rather than the date of exposure is usually the point at which the proverbial clock starts ticking.

Another common type of mesothelioma claim is a wrongful death suit, which is typically filed by either the patient’s estate or their survivors after their death. Wrongful death suits sometimes have statutes of limitations different from those governing personal injury suits. The start date is usually the day of death. In Illinois, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is also two years.

Finally, people who developed mesothelioma because of workplace exposure may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Illinois has a 25-year statute of repose on workers’ compensation claims, meaning that in no cases may a claim be filed more than 25 years after exposure, regardless of when the worker was diagnosed. However, in 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law allowing workers diagnosed with occupational diseases with long latency periods, such as mesothelioma, to sue their employers after the statute of repose has expired on their workers’ comp claims.

Why You Need a Mesothelioma Lawyer 

Managing the strict legal deadlines involved in complicated mesothelioma cases can be challenging. Working with an experienced mesothelioma attorney is the best way to ensure you file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. While you focus on your treatment and spending time with loved ones, your attorney can pursue your case within the deadlines provided by state law. 

Contact an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney Today 

Have you been diagnosed with mesothelioma? Speak with a compassionate attorney at Menges Law Firm about your options. We understand your situation and can explain your legal rights. Contact our office today and arrange a free initial consultation. We want to help you pursue the money and justice you deserve.