Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations defines the period of time a person has to file a lawsuit. This time limit varies by state. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help you understand the process and file a claim before the statute of limitations expires.
Asbestos litigation is considered the “longest-running mass tort” in U.S. history. But, asbestos cases aren’t typical lawsuits.
This is due, in part, to the long latency periods for asbestos-related diseases. Long latency periods complicate many aspects of asbestos litigation. This includes limits on the amount of time asbestos claimants have to file lawsuits.
What Are Statutes of Limitations?
Statute of limitations laws limit the amount of time a claimant can wait to file a lawsuit. The statutes governing limitations periods vary by state. They also vary by the type of claim.
The type of claim is important for determining when the limitations period begins to run. With few exceptions, plaintiffs are barred from filing a claim if they wait too long after the statute of limitations begins to run.
So, for instance, under the law, a person filing a breach of contract claim would have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit after a contract is broken. Similarly, the law gives a person filing a personal injury claim a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit after being injured.
The statutes of limitations period for personal injury cases is six years in Maine and North Dakota. The time limit is only one year in Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee. All other states fall somewhere in between.