What are the statute of limitations on asbestos / mesothelioma claims?

PUBLISHED 28 Jan 2020

Have you developed dust disease or mesothelioma from asbestos exposure? You may be able to claim compensation. There are two ways to make an asbestos claim: through the court, in what is known as a “common law claim,” or under a government compensation scheme via a “statutory claim.” The actual legal entitlements will depend on where you were exposed to asbestos, as well as when and under what circumstances.

What is the statute of limitations for a common law claim?

A common law claim is brought against the party or parties (the defendants) who caused you to be exposed to asbestos. In most states and territories, you can file a claim even if your exposure occurred many years ago, although some demand you file within a certain time frame after your diagnosis. (Such statutes of limitation could pertain to as little as six months or as long as several years.)

All states and territories mandate that your originating process must be lodged within your lifetime. Doing so protects your entitlement to compensation, and if you pass away before the claim is settled, your estate will still be able to continue with your claim and receive compensation.

What if I was exposed at work?

If you were exposed to asbestos during employment, you could have a valid workers compensation claim against your employer, or may be able to find compensation through a statutory claim. Some Australian states and territories have special government compensation schemes for those who develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases after being exposed to the now-banned material during employment. A qualified lawyer can help you apply for compensation.

I used to smoke. Can I still file an asbestos claim?

You can file an asbestos claim even if you are or were a smoker, if your employer has since gone out of business, if you were self-employed or even if you were exposed overseas. A lawyer can help you through the process of figuring out which kind of claim to file and aid you in fighting for your deserved compensation.

Claims for persons with mesothelioma require a lawyer with a specialised area of expertise, who can work with your doctors and scrutinise your work and medical history to help make your case for compensation.

Do you believe asbestos exposure caused you to develop mesothelioma? Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.