Previously, we began looking at Louisiana law concerning deadlines for filing different types of legal claims. As we noted, wrongful death, survival and personal injury actions all involve a one year deadline, either from the date of death or the date of injury. In some types of personal injury cases, determining the actual date of injury is challenging, including asbestos injury cases.
In asbestos cases, tolling the statute of limitations from the date of injury is often not possible, since exposure often happens over time and it takes time for symptoms develop. The latency period for asbestos injuries can span decades, so it isn’t as easy as determining the date of injury. Rather, the statute of limitations tolls based on the date of diagnosis.
Certainly, once an individual is diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, it is important to be mindful of the statute of limitations so that the opportunity to pursue compensation is not lost. At the same time, it is also important to accumulate sufficient evidence to prove the condition in court. For this reason, it is important to work with experienced, knowledgeable medical experts to monitor any symptoms suggesting asbestos-related disease, and to obtain a well-supported diagnosis.
The process of diagnosing asbestos-related diseases can be complex, involving multiple specialists. Pulmonologists, radiologists, surgeons, oncologists, and pathologists may all be involved in the process. Whatever specific diagnostic approaches are used to identify an asbestos-related condition, it is important to create a thorough record of the medical aspects of the condition. This helps not only in establishing the existence of the condition in court, but in building a strong case for damages as well. We’ll say more about that in a future post.