You may have recently learned that your mesothelioma is the result of long-term asbestos exposure at a workplace. Anyone considering legal action against a negligent employer should understand that states do not allow unlimited time to file a personal injury suit.
As FindLaw explains, states have a measure in place called a statute of limitations. This limits how long someone can wait to sue on account of injury or illness.
Why do statutes of limitations exist?
It may seem wrong to place a time limit on suing for injury damages, but there are reasons for it. Encouraging people to bring a suit within a limited time helps ensure that evidence does not turn stale or become lost. Additionally, it helps people receive compensation soon enough to assist them with whatever hardships they suffer from.
When does a statute of limitations begin?
To trigger a statute of limitations, people usually have to discover that they have suffered harm or should reasonably know about the harm done to them. This falls under the discovery of harm rule. In the case of an asbestos-related illness, a discovery of harm will usually start when you receive a concrete diagnosis of your condition.
How long does a statute of limitations last?
The exact time period of a statute of limitations varies by state. In most states, you have two years in which to file a suit. There are some exceptions, though. A handful of states permit three-year periods. A few, such as North Dakota and Maine, go as high as six years.
Given that the fifty states control their own statute of limitations, it is important to be aware of the laws of your state concerning time limits to litigate a personal injury case.