Any exposure to a toxic chemical or harmful substance that results in side effects or health issues can be the basis for a toxic exposure and poisoning personal injury lawsuit. Exposure can occur in the workplace or in any other location. It can be the result of a workplace accident, unsafe working conditions, hazardous materials dumping or mishandling (intentional or unintentional) by a business, or the inclusion of harmful substances in food or other commercial products.
Toxic exposure and poisoning can result from any number of dangerous chemicals and other substances, like pesticides, benzene, lead, and asbestos, to name just a few. Exposure to these harmful substances can cause acute poisoning, serious and lasting illness, and even death. When a toxic exposure and poisoning incident results in death, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by certain family members of the victim, but when illness or other side effects occur as a result of the incident, a toxic exposure or poisoning personal injury claim may be filed.
Proving Your Toxic Exposure and Poisoning Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve experienced side effects or health issues after being exposed to a harmful substance, you have the legal right to hold the responsible party legally liable for the injuries you’ve suffered. Whether the incident occurred in the course of your employment or in some other circumstances, you can file a lawsuit under personal injury law to recover damages, including financial and non-financial damages.
Financial damages in a toxic exposure and poisoning personal injury claim can cover everything from immediate medical expenses to long-term or ongoing care expenses. Lost wages and other financial costs associated with your injuries can also be included in financial damages in your personal injury lawsuit.
The financial ramifications of an injury are only part of the damages that can be recovered under personal injury law. Non-financial damages can also be assessed and an amount of financial compensation may be awarded for these non-economic considerations. Non-financial damages can include pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and loss of life enjoyment, among others.
In order to prove your toxic exposure and poisoning personal injury claim, you must be able to show that your employer or another company or business acted with negligence or malice, resulting in your exposure to a toxic substance. Proving such a claim can be difficult in some cases, particularly when the substance that resulted in your injuries could have been encountered in multiple locations or under a variety of circumstances. However, when you’ve suffered injuries due to exposure to a fairly rare substance, proving the claim may be a bit easier.
In any event, you will need to document your medical condition, including a definitive diagnosis of exposure to a toxic substance being the underlying cause of any side effects, symptoms, and illness or medical conditions that result. Medical documentation will therefore be a substantial portion of the proof contained in your personal injury claim. You must also clearly link your exposure to a single incident, or to multiple or ongoing instances. Proving exposure responsibility is a challenge as many organizations are good at covering their tracks. This is especially true in the case of intentional and illegal or unethical disposal or dumping of toxic chemicals and other harmful substances.
Even in cases where the responsible party was unaware of the toxic component in a food product or other commercial item, personal injury claims can still be filed. In such a case, the burden of proof falls on the victim to show the company should have been aware of the substance and the potentially harmful side effects it could cause.
When your exposure to a harmful substance occurs in a well documented incident, like a chemical spill or fire at work, or a commercial food incident in which many people were exposed and subsequently became ill, proving exposure responsibility is not as difficult; however, many toxic exposure and poisoning personal injury claims are more complicated. For this reason, hiring a personal injury lawyer is advisable and seeking legal assistance immediately after injuries are suffered is also important.
Your Toxic Exposure and Poisoning Case
The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the faster you can begin to collect the evidence necessary for proving your case. The details of the incident will be fresher in your mind and there is less chance for documentation to get lost, misplaced or intentionally destroyed.
Hiring a lawyer familiar with arguing toxic exposure and poisoning cases is also recommended as he or she will have a working knowledge of the statutes that govern these types of claims in your jurisdiction. Additionally, a toxic exposure and poisoning personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a winnable case and can potentially negotiate a settlement for you in the lawsuit, preventing the need for a lengthy trial and delay in payment of compensation to which you may be entitled.