Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

A mesothelioma statute of limitations is the amount of time a person has to take legal action for mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. This deadline can be as soon as 1 year or as long as 6 years, depending on the state. Your window of opportunity almost always begins on the date of diagnosis for personal injury claims and the date of death in wrongful death cases. Find out the deadline in your state and what to do if it has expired.

Written and Fact-Checked by: Laura Wright

What Is a Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations?

A lawyer discusses the mesothelioma statute of limitations with clients

A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long a person has to take legal action and file a claim. Statutes of limitations vary by state and by the type of claim.

In most personal injury cases, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident or injury. However, because of the unique nature of asbestos cases, something known as the “discovery rule” applies.

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer have a latency period of 10-50 years. As a result, asbestos victims may not show any symptoms — or even know they were exposed to asbestos — until decades later.

The discovery rule allows the mesothelioma statute of limitations to start running on the date of your diagnosis instead of the date you were exposed to asbestos.

In mesothelioma wrongful death cases, the deadline usually starts on the date of the victim’s death.

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Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations Quick Facts
  • There are different statutes of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims stemming from asbestos-related diseases.
  • In most states, the mesothelioma statute of limitations for personal injury claims is between 2-3 years.
  • As of 2023, the shortest mesothelioma personal injury statute of limitations is 1 year. California, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee have a 1-year statute of limitations.
  • As of 2023, the longest mesothelioma personal injury statute of limitations is 6 years. Maine and North Dakota have a 6-year statute of limitations.
  • If the mesothelioma statute of limitations has expired in your state, you may be able to file a claim in another state or access compensation from asbestos trust funds.

How Long Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Claim?

It depends on the facts of your case. The statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims is different from state to state and can be affected by local laws.

Mesothelioma victims usually have 2-3 years to file an asbestos lawsuit. However, some victims may have more or less time depending on the facts of their case. As a result, the mesothelioma statute of limitations can be as short as 1 year or as long as 6 years.

There are two main types of mesothelioma lawsuits:

  • Mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit: This type of suit is filed by a person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease and is still living.
  • Mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit: This type of suit is filed by estate representatives — usually family members like a spouse or adult child — after a loved one has passed away from mesothelioma.

The statutes of limitations for mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits are the same or shorter than those for personal injury claims.

Your best course of action is to consult an asbestos lawyer as soon as possible and learn about the mesothelioma statute of limitations that applies to your case. Even if you think you have time, it’s critical that you act quickly to avoid missing any deadlines. Our Patient Advocates can get you started — chat with them live right now.

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Mesothelioma Lawsuit Statute of Limitations by State

The statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims varies based on each state’s laws and the specifics of the case. As noted above, there are separate mesothelioma statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims.

To find out the mesothelioma lawsuit statute of limitations in your state, use the drop-down menu below.

Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations by State
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Alabama Flag Alabama *2 years

Recent Alabama Settlement Amounts
  • $4.8 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.54 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $2.7 million - Plasterer

Alaska Flag Alaska *2 years

Recent Alaska Settlement Amounts
  • $3.5 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $3.2 million - Laborer
  • $3.69 million - Navy Veteran

Arizona Flag Arizona *2 years

Recent Arizona Settlement Amounts
  • $4 million - Teacher
  • $2.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.9 million - Pipefitter

Arkansas Flag Arkansas *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

California Flag California *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Colorado Flag Colorado *2 years

Recent Colorado Settlement Amounts
  • $3.7 million - Truck Driver
  • $1.1 million - Laborer
  • $3.8 million - Navy Veteran

Connecticut Flag Connecticut *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Delaware Flag Delaware *2 years

Recent Delaware Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $2.6 million - Bricklayer

Florida Flag Florida *4 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Georgia Flag Georgia *2 years

Recent Georgia Settlement Amounts
  • $4.8 million - U.S. Navy veteran
  • $3.7 million - Truck driver
  • $1.5 million - Laborer

Hawaii Flag Hawaii *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Idaho Flag Idaho *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Illinois Flag Illinois *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Indiana Flag Indiana *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Iowa Flag Iowa *2 years

Recent Iowa Settlement Amounts
  • $4.8 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.53 million - Laborer
  • $1.8 million - Mechanic

Kansas Flag Kansas *2 years

Recent Kansas Settlement Amounts
  • $3.64 million - Welder
  • $1.8 million - Truck Driver
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic

Kentucky Flag Kentucky *1 years

Recent Kentucky Settlement Amounts
  • $3.69 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.82 million - Truck Driver
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic

Louisiana Flag Louisiana *1 years

Recent Louisiana Settlement Amounts
  • $10.3 million - Stevedore
  • $8.3 million - Serviceman's family
  • $6.5 million - Derrickhand

Maine Flag Maine *6 years

Recent Maine Settlement Amounts
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $1.5 million - Electrician
  • $3 million - Navy Veteran

Maryland Flag Maryland *3 years

Recent Maryland Settlement Amounts
  • $3.9 million - Army Veteran
  • $5.2 million - Welder
  • $2.9 million - Secondary Exposure

Massachusetts Flag Massachusetts *3 years

Recent Massachusetts Settlement Amounts
  • $3.8 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.4 million - Construction Worker
  • $3.6 million - Factory Worker

Michigan Flag Michigan *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Minnesota Flag Minnesota *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Mississippi Flag Mississippi *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Missouri Flag Missouri *5 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Montana Flag Montana *3 years

Recent Montana Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $2 million - Laborer

Nebraska Flag Nebraska *4 years

Recent Nebraska Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.26 million - Pipefitter
  • $1.37 million - Truck Driver

Nevada Flag Nevada *2 years

Recent Nevada Settlement Amounts
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $1.46 million - Army Veteran
  • $2.4 million - Navy Veteran

New Hampshire Flag New Hampshire *3 years

Recent New Hampshire Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $3.2 million - Army Veteran

New Jersey Flag New Jersey *2 years

Recent New Jersey Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Mechanic
  • $1.75 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.1 million - Carpenter

New Mexico Flag New Mexico *3 years

Recent New Mexico Settlement Amounts
  • $3.3 million - Navy veteran
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $2.73 million - Air Force Veteran

New York Flag New York *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

North Carolina Flag North Carolina *3 years

Recent North Carolina Settlement Amounts
  • $4.6 million - Welder
  • $1.77 million - Electrician
  • $2.73 million - Air Force Veteran

North Dakota Flag North Dakota *6 years

Recent North Dakota Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter

Ohio Flag Ohio *2 years

Recent Ohio Settlement Amounts
  • $3.3 million - Pipefitter
  • $2.95 million - Army Veteran
  • $1.4 million - Boilermaker

Oklahoma Flag Oklahoma *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Oregon Flag Oregon *2 years

Recent Oregon Settlement Amounts
  • $3.69 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.56 million - Army Veteran
  • $1.6 million - Electrician

Pennsylvania Flag Pennsylvania *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Rhode Island Flag Rhode Island *3 years

Recent Rhode Island Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $2.1 million - Carpenter

South Carolina Flag South Carolina *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

South Dakota Flag South Dakota *3 years

Recent South Dakota Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.57 million - Mechanic
  • $2 million - Laborer

Tennessee Flag Tennessee *1 years

Recent Tennessee Settlement Amounts
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $2.35 million - Navy veteran
  • $1.57 million - Mechanic

Texas Flag Texas *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Utah Flag Utah *4 years

Recent Utah Settlement Amounts
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $1.54 million - Custodian
  • $2.56 million - Navy Veteran

Vermont Flag Vermont *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Virginia Flag Virginia *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Washington Flag Washington *3 years

Recent Washington Settlement Amounts
  • $3.64 million - Welder
  • $2.5 million - Mechanic
  • $2.36 million - X-ray tech

Washington, D.C. Flag Washington, D.C. *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

West Virginia Flag West Virginia *2 years

Recent West Virginia Settlement Amounts
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic

Wisconsin Flag Wisconsin *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Wyoming Flag Wyoming *4 years

Recent Wyoming Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $2.73 million - Air Force Veteran
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The mesothelioma lawsuit statutes of limitations listed above are subject to change. You should work with a mesothelioma lawyer to navigate the deadlines in your state and ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner.

Even if you think that the statute of limitations has expired for your case, you should still contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney. You may be able to file in another state or seek other types of financial compensation.

Keep reading to learn more about where to file your mesothelioma claim for the best results.

Where Should I File My Asbestos Claim?

Where you file your asbestos lawsuit is one of the most important decisions you will make with regard to your case. The filing location can impact whether your claim is successful and, if it is, the amount of any payouts you receive.

You may have several options as to where to file your mesothelioma lawsuit — even if the mesothelioma statute of limitations in the state where you live has already passed.

You may be able to file your mesothelioma lawsuit in:

  • The state where you live
  • State(s) where you lived in the past
  • State(s) where your asbestos exposure occurred
  • State(s) where the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure are based
  • State(s) where those companies operated or conducted business in the past

A mesothelioma law firm can review the facts of your case and offer guidance on where you should file for the best outcome.

Looking for an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to help you file a claim? Download our Free Attorney Checklist to ensure you ask the right questions during the interview process.

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Factors Affecting the Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Claims

Besides the fact that different states have different statutes of limitations, there are several other factors that can affect a mesothelioma statute of limitations.

These factors include:

  • Claim type (personal injury or wrongful death)
  • Date of mesothelioma diagnosis (personal injury) or date of death (wrongful death)
  • Where you live
  • Where your asbestos exposure occurred
  • Where the asbestos companies to blame for your exposure are located
  • Whether you have more than one asbestos-related disease

Additionally, there are some circumstances that may allow you more time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.

An asbestos lawyer can review the facts of your case, explain the mesothelioma statute of limitations, and note any exceptions that may apply.

Call (866) 608-8933 to get a free case evaluation before the mesothelioma statute of limitations expires and you lose your opportunity to pursue compensation.

Other Options If the Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims Expires

If you suspect the mesothelioma statute of limitations in your state has expired, don’t be discouraged. There may be other ways for you to pursue compensation for you and your family.

Some other options to explore include:

  • Asbestos trust funds: Bankrupt asbestos product manufacturers were court ordered to put money aside to pay people who got sick from their products. Currently, more than $30 billion is available in these trusts. Asbestos trust fund claim deadlines differ from mesothelioma lawsuit statutes of limitations and may be longer in some instances.
  • Filing an asbestos claim in another state: In many cases, asbestos victims can file a claim in a state other than the one in which they currently live.
  • Mesothelioma statute of limitations exceptions: Certain asbestos exposure victims may qualify for extensions to, or exceptions from, the mesothelioma statute of limitations.
  • Veterans Assistance (VA) benefits: U.S. military veterans with an asbestos-related disease may qualify for VA benefits and health care.

We can help you investigate all potential avenues of compensation. To get started, find out if you qualify to access asbestos trust fund compensation right now.

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Work With a Mesothelioma Lawyer to File Your Claim in Time

The only way to make sure your claim is filed correctly and within the appropriate mesothelioma statute of limitations is to work with an experienced lawyer.

An asbestos attorney can file a mesothelioma claim on your behalf without burdening you with the stress of the legal process.

Mesothelioma law firms have the resources to file your case before the deadline and fight for the compensation your family needs and deserves.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, take action as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could lose your ability to file a claim forever.

Don’t wait — get your free consultation today.

Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations FAQs

Is there a time limitation for mesothelioma cases?

Yes. Each state has its own time limit, or statute of limitations, for mesothelioma claims. It is important to check the statute of limitations in your state and work with an experienced mesothelioma attorney to ensure your lawsuit is filed before this window closes.

Even if you believe that your claim has expired, it’s in your best interest to check with a mesothelioma attorney. They may be able to file your case in another state or pursue mesothelioma compensation from other sources.

Can you sue for mesothelioma after death?

Yes. Spouses, children, and other family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit if a loved one has died of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

The statute of limitations for wrongful death can differ from the asbestos personal injury statute of limitations. Work with a lawyer that specializes in asbestos litigation to see if you are eligible to file.

How long do you have to make an asbestos claim?

How long you have to make an asbestos claim depends on various factors, including the state in which you plan to file and the type of claim.

Asbestos personal injury and wrong death claims have different statutes of limitations. In personal injury cases, these deadlines range between 1-6 years.

However, in most states, people have 2-3 years to file an asbestos personal injury claim.

What can I do if the asbestos claims statute of limitations has expired?

If the asbestos claims statute of limitations has expired in your state, you may be able to file your claim in another state.

For example, you may be able to bring a claim in the state where you were exposed to asbestos or where the company responsible for your asbestos exposure is based.

An attorney specializing in asbestos litigation can let you know the states in which you may be able to file. They can also pursue other types of asbestos compensation on your behalf like asbestos trust fund money and VA benefits.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

References
  1. American Bar Association. “The Many Ways to Extend a Limitations Period.” Retrieved from: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/committees/consumer/practice/2019/many-ways-to-extend-a-limitations-period/. Accessed on May 18, 2023.
  2. Bostwick, H. (2022, May 2). “What are statutes of limitations?” LegalZoom. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-are-statutes-of-limitations.
  3. Cornell Law School. “Statute of Limitations.” Retrieved from: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/statute_of_limitations. Accessed on May 18, 2023.
  4. Findlaw. “Time Limits to Bring a Case: The ‘Statute of Limitations.’ Findlaw. (2022, December 22). Retrieved May 18, 2023, from http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/time-limits-to-bring-a-case-the-statute-of-limitations.html.
  5. Goguen, D. (2020, August 19). “What’s the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit?” www.alllaw.com. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/deadlines-file-lawsuit.html.

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