Toxic chemicals in the environment, at home, or in the workplace can cause severe damage to the human body. The injury can happen instantly, such as when dangerous chemicals accidentally splash on someone’s skin. Or the harm can build up over years or decades, such as from long-term exposure to asbestos.
Toxic chemicals may cause harm when they contact the skin, are swallowed, or are inhaled. Skin contact may cause burns or rashes. Breathing in toxic chemicals can damage the lungs. Toxic chemical exposure can also cause cancer, brain and neurological damage, birth defects, or disfigurement.
If you were harmed by exposure to toxic chemicals, you may be able to sue if the exposure was caused by someone else’s negligence. If the exposure happened at work, you may be able to sue if an individual or company other than your employer was negligent. This is called a “third party” lawsuit.
“Negligence” is a legal concept that has to do with responsibility. Someone is negligent if they have a duty to avoid harming other people, but they fail to do so. Proving negligence is an important part of a personal injury case. Another crucial part of the case is proving that the exposure to the toxic chemicals is what caused the harm.
Proving negligence and proving that the exposure caused the harm require that your lawyer find and present technical medical and scientific evidence. This requires a great deal of knowledge of the relevant law and science and the ability to work with medical experts. This is not a job for a general practitioner lawyer who has never handled these kinds of cases before. Instead, you should consult an attorney who has experience with toxic chemical exposure cases.
If you win a personal injury claim for toxic chemical exposure, you may receive payment for your expenses and losses relating to the injury caused by the exposure. This may include payment for your medical bills, any lost income and, sometimes, compensation for your pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Compensation may include not only your past and current losses and expenses, but also medical expenses and lost income stemming from the chemical exposure that is expected to continue on into the future. If a family member has died because of toxic chemical exposure, you may be able to sue for the loss of their life.
Asbestos, benzene, lead, and mercury are among the most common toxic chemicals that may cause injury or disease. There are many additional toxic chemicals that people are often exposed to inside their homes, outdoors, or at work. These include pesticides, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen cyanide, sulfuric acid, lead, manganese, arsenic, ricin, silica, tungsten, and carbon monoxide.
While toxic chemicals are inherently dangerous, manufacturers have a legal obligation not to design, make, or sell products that have defects that make them even more dangerous.
For example, the legal team at our law firm, Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, won a $4.6 million verdict for our client at trial in a case against a chemical manufacturer. In this case, a glass bottle of sulphuric acid broke and spilled its contents on a factory floor. Our client, who worked at the factory, slipped and fell into a puddle of the spilled acid and got chemical burns on his upper body. We argued that the manufacturer, knowing that the acid would be used in a factory, should have wrapped the glass bottle in plastic so that it would be less likely to break. The jury agreed. Their $4.6 million verdict was more than 20 times as much as the manufacturer’s insurance company had previously offered our client.
Sometimes, as in the case of an acid burn, the harm caused by toxic chemicals is obvious and immediate. But other times, the effects of chemicals can build up over time. You might notice you are coughing more or that you are having skin problems — or that you just aren’t feeling well in a way that is hard to pin down. If you think you may have been exposed to toxic chemicals, especially over the long term, and you have some unexplained health problems, you should talk to your doctor and ask if your problems might be related to chemical exposure.
If you or a loved one were harmed by toxic chemical exposure, a lawyer can help you make sure that you know about all of your options. People, especially if they are injured at work, often don’t realize they may be able to file a lawsuit against a third party or a manufacturer.
The costs of dealing with a toxic chemical injury can unfortunately be very high and they can extend into the future for many years — sometimes for a lifetime. You deserve to get all the help you are legally entitled to so that you can deal with these expenses.
Experienced toxic chemical exposure attorneys have the knowledge and skills needed to pursue these complex and technical cases. They work with medical and scientific experts to get the evidence needed to reach a fair settlement or to present a strong case at trial.
If you think you may have a claim for toxic chemical exposure, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away. The longer you wait, the harder it may become to get the evidence that you need. Over time, documents get lost and witnesses start to forget what happened. We invite you to contact us today to set up a free consultation. We would be glad to answer any questions you have, evaluate your claim, and talk about your options. There is no obligation. Call us at 1-800-535-1797 or fill out our contact form on our website.
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