The Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma Claims
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Products made from asbestos have caused mesothelioma cancers in thousands of victims across the United States. Asbestos was used in pipes, roofing, duct tape, furnace cement, and even ceiling tiles. Although construction workers tend to have higher rates of mesothelioma than the general population, anyone can be exposed to asbestos in certain environments.
If you suspect or know that you have mesothelioma lung cancer or other condition caused by asbestos exposure, seek medical care and talk to an asbestos attorney at our law firm as soon as possible. It’s critical to establish a diagnosis and take legal action at the same time, so you can file a claim against the company responsible within the legal time limits.
If a loved one has passed away from mesothelioma or a related condition, a mesothelioma attorney needs can help you file a wrongful death claim as soon as possible. Wrongful death lawsuits are also subject to statutes of limitations, so waiting too long can cause you to miss out on the compensation you and your family deserve.
The Statute of Limitations in Michigan
In Michigan, the statute of limitations in asbestos cases is three years from the date the victim is diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease or passes away from such disease. Victims must file an asbestos claim within these three years in order to be eligible for any compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.
Statutes of limitations can vary by state, and sometimes are as short as two years. The appropriate jurisdiction for the victim’s case may depend on their residence instead of where they were exposed, especially if the victim traveled for work or the asbestos manufacturer is in another state. An experienced lawyer can work with you to file a mesothelioma claim in Michigan if possible.
If a victim or his family misses the filing deadline, they may miss out in thousands of dollars in compensation. Michigan law allows victims to sue for medical bills, lost wages, and certain other expenses. Victims should hurry to contact a lawyer and file a claim as soon as they have reason to believe that they have contracted a disease as a result of asbestos exposure.
Unlike most personal injury claims, mesothelioma can take years to develop and be diagnosed. Sometimes asbestos-related disease symptoms may not appear for decades after someone was exposed in their workplace.
To allow victims to pursue cases fairly, most United States jurisdictions adhere to the discovery rule in personal injury cases. The discovery rule states that patients’ statute of limitations starts when the injury is discovered, not when the injury occurs.
While this right is critical for mesothelioma patients, it also makes winning cases difficult. Lawyers and victims must work together to establish the timeline of events that led to the asbestos exposure and resulting disease.
Establishing a Date of Diagnosis
In most mesothelioma cases, a formal diagnosis marks the start of the three-year time limit. Mesothelioma is known to be caused by asbestos, so doctors and patients should be able to identify the root cause immediately.
Other symptoms and diseases can be more difficult to decisively establish as being caused by asbestos. A legal team may need to work with medical experts to get you a definitive diagnosis so you can pursue an asbestos claim.
Unlike most personal injury cases, asbestos claims can be difficult to document, especially if symptoms were intermittent and only became severe recently.
A victim may need to prove they had no reason to suspect asbestos exposure or injury until within the past three years. Extensive medical documentation and expert testimony may be needed to establish that you could not have been expected to know about your condition and its cause.
Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death cases are subject to a three-year statute of limitations after a victim’s death, but there is an exception for cases where the victim was diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition before death. Any asbestos-related medical claim must be filed within three years of when the injury is discovered, and this clock does not reset upon the victim’s death.
For example, if a victim was diagnosed with mesothelioma two years before his death, his family must file a claim within one year after his death.
Again, the law dictates that the statute of limitations may also start when a patient should have known that they had been injured by asbestos. It may be difficult for families to establish this timeline, especially while grieving, so expert legal help is necessary to ensure all appropriate evidence is examined and included in a lawsuit.
Timeline for Winning a Case
Once a claim is filed, you don’t need to worry about winning a case before the three-year statute of limitations expires. A claim can work its way through the courts and even go to trial long after the initial statute of limitations expires.
In order to win your case as quickly as possible, you need to rely on personal injury and wrongful death lawyers with significant experience in mesothelioma cases. Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has the in-depth knowledge and winning track record necessary to get mesothelioma victims the compensation they deserve.
Whether you’re a mesothelioma patient or a grieving family, our team can handle your case with dignity and respect, giving you comfort and peace of mind. Call us today at 866-MICH-LAW for your free initial consultation. Our law firm never charges a fee unless we win your case.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.