Of all the widely used building materials in the world, asbestos is one of the most dangerous. For decades, it was prized for its flame-resistant properties, making it indispensable when constructing office buildings, schools, and around 30 million homes in the U.S.
However, it was later discovered that asbestos exposure is linked to a deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma. This type of cancer can take many years—sometimes decades—to show up in people who were exposed to asbestos, and there are countless Americans who may still develop the disease in coming years from old exposure.
Although mesothelioma can take a long time to develop and become symptomatic, victims don’t have a long time to pursue compensation or take legal action for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The 2-Year Statute of Limitations Begins Upon Diagnosis
It can be extremely difficult to determine exactly when a patient was first exposed to asbestos or when their mesothelioma began to develop. That’s why states base the statute of limitations on mesothelioma on the date of diagnosis rather than the person’s date of exposure or the development of their illness.
In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of diagnosis. It’s common for victims to take this length of time for granted when deciding to pursue compensation, but two years can go by faster than you might think—especially when you’re receiving treatment for an aggressive form of cancer like mesothelioma.
The 2-Year Statute of Limitations Also Applies to Wrongful Death Claims
Mesothelioma is a particularly deadly form of cancer. The five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with the disease is only around 12%. Many people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma live only a matter of months afterward—often between four and 18 months. That means that people who are diagnosed often don’t live long enough for their claims to even begin, let alone settle.
However, the surviving family members of mesothelioma victims can seek compensation after their deaths through wrongful death claims. Like mesothelioma injury cases, these claims have a two-year statute of limitations, and they begin the day victims pass away from mesothelioma-related complications.
Mesothelioma Isn’t the Only Asbestos-Related Disease
Although mesothelioma is the most publicized disease related to mesothelioma exposure, it isn’t the only health problem people need to watch out for. Other common conditions that can be caused by coming into contact with asbestos fibers include:
- Ovarian cancer,
- Laryngeal cancer,
- Stomach cancer,
- Colon cancer,
- Asbestosis (a chronic lung disease caused by asbestos fibers in the lungs),
- And many other lung-related diseases.
People who develop these asbestos-related conditions are also eligible to file injury lawsuits for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, just as mesothelioma victims are. And if they die from their asbestos-related conditions, their families can also file wrongful death lawsuits.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Asbestos Injuries and Illnesses?
Many people who developed asbestos-related health problems were exposed through their jobs. Factory workers, shipyard workers, miners, carpenters, HVAC technicians, construction workers, and military service members represent an overwhelming majority of people with mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses.
These victims may be eligible to seek compensation from their current or former employers and the companies that manufactured or provided asbestos-containing materials to them. Note that servicemembers are also eligible to file asbestos-related claims through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and can receive specialized treatment through many VA hospitals.
Our Legal Team Can Help with Your Family’s Asbestos Injury Claim
The widespread use of asbestos is a major blight on our nation’s history. Unfortunately, it’s still used in many industries and is still present in countless homes and buildings throughout the country. That means that millions of Americans have been exposed to it since its usage was limited in the early 1990s, and many more will be exposed in the years to come.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, our Oklahoma asbestos attorneys know how devastating asbestos exposure can be to workers and their families. The diseases it causes, including mesothelioma, can be aggressive and deadly. It’s our goal to help the people affected by this incredibly dangerous substance get the compensation they’re owed.
Contact us today for a free consultation.