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Asbestos and Mesothelioma—Is There a Statute of Limitations?

Are you considering filing a mesothelioma or asbestos-related claim in Pennsylvania but don’t know when you should do so? The mesothelioma statute of limitations can be confusing, but we can help you with everything you need to know.

At the Halpern Law Firm, we help Pennsylvania asbestos victims and their families recover. If you need legal help with your mesothelioma case, call us for a free consultation today at (800) 505-6000. We have offices across the state.

Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma Cases

Typically, it takes around 20 to 40 years for mesothelioma to develop after the initial asbestos exposure. Because of this delayed illness onset, many victims falsely assume it’s too late to file a claim. State laws generally allow you to file within a few years after your illness diagnosis.

The mesothelioma statute of limitations in Pennsylvania varies based on the type of case you pursue. Typically, surviving victims opt for personal injury cases, while deceased victims’ families opt for wrongful death cases. The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for each is as follows:

  • Personal injury cases require that you file the claim within two years of your diagnosis or discovery date.
  • Wrongful death cases require that a close family member (child, spouse, or legal representative) files within two years of the victim’s diagnosis.

What Does the “Discovery Rule” Mean?

The discovery rule is the date when the statute of limitations time restriction begins. The discovery date for mesothelioma personal injury cases is when you receive the diagnosis. For wrongful death cases, the discovery rule focuses on the death date.

The discovery rule contains a few additional exceptions. For example, if you had mesothelioma for months without knowing, the statute of limitations would not apply until you receive the confirmed diagnosis. If a child is filing a lawsuit for a parent, the statute of limitations typically won’t begin until they turn 18.

Statute of Limitations Factors

A few factors may affect the statute of limitations surrounding your claim, including the following:

  • The type of claim that you file
  • The state you live in now or lived in during the exposure
  • The company or manufacturer that is at-fault
  • Your illness’s severity

Determining exactly how long you have to file is challenging when considering these factors. If you or a loved one recently received a diagnosis, you should immediately contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options.

Where Should You File the Claim?

You have a few choices when deciding where to file your claim. You may choose between:

  • The state that you live in right now
  • The state where you suffered the asbestos exposure
  • The state in which the liable party operates

What To Do If You Don’t File in Time

You still have options if you do not file within the statute of limitations. Sometimes, you may qualify for certain exceptions or extensions. Be sure to book a consultation with an experienced mesothelioma attorney to discuss the details of your case.

If you cannot file a personal injury or wrongful death case, you can also consider other options. Sometimes, people can receive compensation from an asbestos trust fund or a Veterans Affairs claim. Each of these options offers different timelines.

Don’t Wait—Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Attorney Today!

Now that you know the mesothelioma statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced attorney from our firm to represent your case before time runs out.

At Halpern Law Firm, we help clients throughout Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton and Johnstown. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 505-6000.

Page Reviewed and Edited by
Dave Halpern, Mesothelioma Attorney

Dave Halpern is a Pennsylvania and New Jersey mesothelioma attorney with over 30 years of experience. He has investigated hundreds of cases and won numerous multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts for asbestos victims. Dave prides himself on working tirelessly to help his clients in their time of need. 

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