Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations are laws that limit or govern the amount of time a claimant can wait to file a lawsuit. The laws that govern timeframes vary by state and by the type of claim being made. A person filing a personal injury claim has a certain amount of time to file the claim after being injured.
Statute of Limitations v. Mesothelioma/Asbestosis Latency Period
The latency period is the timeframe between asbestos exposure and the surfacing of symptoms of an asbestos related disease. The average latency period is twenty years. Thus asbestos cases are not conventional personal injury lawsuits, as a result of the long latency period.
This thus complicates many aspects of the asbestos litigation in relation to statute of limitations. Without answering the question of what the time limit ought to be, it is hard to pin point the exact time of injury as asbestos exposure cannot be traced to one moment in time or one specific incident or event. Instead it is traced back to a period of time thus complicating the case further, an example of a period of exposure is oneâ€™s work history where exposure could have taken place over many years.
Statute of Limitations: Asbestos Litigation Exceptions
The case Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Products Corporation in 1973 set the precedent on the exception that statute of limitations has on asbestos litigation. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rendered that â€œthe cause of action does not accrue until the injury is discovered…â€ thus the court ruled that in the case of asbestos personal injury lawsuits the individualâ€™s time limit begins upon the discovery of the disease and not at the time of the asbestos exposure.
Today, courts apply this in statute of limitations to asbestos personal injury cases. Therefore, if diagnosed with an asbestos related disease an individual has twelve to twenty four months after diagnosis to file a personal injury lawsuit. The same is true if a loved one dies because of asbestos related disease; the family has twelve to twenty four months to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some states statute of limitations stretches up to six years to a file personal injury lawsuit.
Vinson Law will help you find a qualified attorney to litigate in your behalf.