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Am I Qualified to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on January 27, 2022

A mesothelioma diagnosis will turn your life upside-down. One of the things that you can do to seek justice and get answers is file a mesothelioma lawsuit. A successful settlement or judgment award can help your family pay for the treatments and medical care that you need during this difficult time. It can also hold someone accountable for your illness or a loved one’s death, giving you the justice that you deserve.

What Do You Need to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Any individual who is diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue financial compensation. Mesothelioma is most often connected to exposure to asbestos – a naturally occurring mineral that is a known carcinogen, meaning it has been confirmed to cause cancer. A patient who has mesothelioma may be able to file a lawsuit against the individual or entity responsible for exposing them to asbestos, even if the exposure occurred years previously.

In general, you will have grounds to file a mesothelioma lawsuit if you have the following:

  • A mesothelioma diagnosis. You will need medical proof that you (or a loved one, if you are filing on behalf of someone who is too ill to file on their own) has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. You may also have grounds to file a lawsuit with other types of illnesses from asbestos, such as asbestosis or lung cancer, OR
  • The death of a loved one from mesothelioma. If a loved one passed away from mesothelioma, you might be able to file a lawsuit as a surviving spouse, child, another family member or the representative of the estate. Your case will take the form of a wrongful death lawsuit rather than a mesothelioma lawsuit, however, AND
  • Proof of asbestos exposure. You will need proof that your mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos. You must have evidence that you or your loved one was exposed to asbestos, such as at a job or because of a dangerous consumer product. This will allow you to file a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the exposure.

A mesothelioma lawsuit can deliver justice to a victim of negligence. In personal injury law, someone is negligent if they fail to use proper care. For instance, if an employer failed to give you the proper personal protective equipment to prevent asbestos exposure and this is why you have mesothelioma, you will have grounds to file a lawsuit against that employer for negligence. You may not need to prove negligence, however, if you can base your claim on a different legal theory, such as strict liability.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

It is critical to follow the statute of limitations on a mesothelioma lawsuit in your state. If you miss your statute of limitations, you may not be qualified to file a lawsuit. This law, which places a deadline on the right to file, changes from state to state. Most states have different statutes of limitations on mesothelioma lawsuits than typical personal injury claims. This is because most patients do not find out that they have mesothelioma until many years – even decades – after asbestos exposure. This would make a typical two-year or three-year deadline unfair for mesothelioma victims.

In New York, for example, the general three-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit does not apply to mesothelioma claims. Instead, New Yorkers have three years from the date that they are diagnosed with mesothelioma to file lawsuits. This means that even if you are diagnosed with cancer 40 years after asbestos exposure, you still have the right to bring a lawsuit against one or more responsible parties. If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you have two years from the date of death to file.

To find out if you have a mesothelioma lawsuit in New York, contact an attorney at The Williams Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation.

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