Every potential lawsuit must satisfy the relevant statute of limitations. This is a time limit under each state and federal law that determines how long a person has to file a lawsuit after an injury.
All states have their own unique statutes of limitations on asbestos-related claims. These can vary in length from one year to never. However, if the asbestos exposure resulted in death, this time limit may change. A knowledgeable lawyer could provide further guidance concerning the time limits that relate to mesothelioma and asbestosis cases.
Time Limitations on Personal Injury Lawsuits
Many people who suffer asbestos-related injuries seek compensation through traditional personal injury lawsuits. However, there are numerous nuances.
For example, the Federal Employers Liability Act, or FELA, states that railroads are directly liable for any injury or illness that impacts their workers. In addition, FELA sets a statute of limitations of three years on these claims. This means that a worker must submit a formal demand for compensation within three years of a diagnosis. Because asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma may not become apparent for decades after leaving a job, affected workers should work with an attorney to evaluate their legal rights upon receiving a diagnosis.
The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases
It is an unfortunate fact that illnesses related to asbestos exposure often result in a poor prognosis. This means that an individual may pass away before they get the opportunity to file a lawsuit or seek out workers’ compensation benefits.
Fortunately, the law allows surviving family members to pursue these cases on behalf of the deceased. Depending upon the exact legal circumstances and facts that led to the death, the statute of limitations on these wrongful death cases can vary. However, in general, the time limits on wrongful death cases tend to be shorter than those for personal injury claims, usually as short as one year. Speaking with an attorney could help families to determine whether they still have the right to seek out compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Speak with an Attorney About the Statute of Limitations on Asbestos-Related Claims
Every demand for compensation in the various court and other compensation systems operate with a statute of limitations. However, with asbestos-related claims, the extent and causes of your losses may not be apparent for decades after exposure. As a result, the statute of limitations on these cases can be confusing.
To see if the time is right to seek out the payments that you deserve, reach out to our office today. A dedicated attorney at Brayton Purcell LLP could assess your case and help you pursue compensation that accounts for the full extent of your losses.