Memory problems, trouble breathing, a persistent cough, changes in balance, or shaky hands are just some of the symptoms that could be the result of chemical exposure. If you believe you were exposed to harmful chemicals, you may be eligible to file a chemical exposure lawsuit.
This article discusses the most current list of chemical exposure lawsuits in 2021, and what you can do to hold the manufacturers responsible for your illness or the development of a disease, and other related damages.
Chemical Exposure-Related Illnesses
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness that may have been caused by exposure to a harmful chemical, even if your exposure was several years ago, you should meet with an attorney to learn about your options for financial compensation.
You may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and more.
Filing a Lawsuit
Chemical exposure lawsuits are cases in which the plaintiff has been injured due to exposure to a toxin or chemical.
These lawsuits usually fall into one of the following categories:
Asbestos exposure can cause lung disease, mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Workplace Chemical Exposure
Gardeners, landscapers, factory workers and others can be exposed to harmful chemicals on the job.
Toxic Landfill Waste
Exposure to toxic landfill waste can cause serious and fatal illnesses, including leukemia.
Exposure to mold can result in serious respiratory illnesses.
Herbicides and Pesticides
Herbicides and pesticides including paraquat, glyphosate, dioxin and others can cause birth injuries, Parkinson’s disease, lung disease, and more. These chemicals are used to kill insects and weeds to protect vegetation and crops. Unfortunately, ongoing lawsuits have found some pesticides and herbicides are known to cause certain illnesses and cancers.
In recent years, you may have heard in the news about several glyphosate and California paraquat lawsuits.
There are currently many lawsuits pending by people who have claimed they developed Parkinson’s disease due to ongoing exposure to paraquat. This chemical has been found to lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease and lung damage when inhaled. It’s also highly poisonous if swallowed.
Other types of chemical exposures can include:
· Chemicals found in defective medication
· Environmental exposure to airborne toxins or gases
· Lead paint exposure
· Contamination of soil or groundwater due to the dumping of waste or chemicals
· Dry cleaning solvents and chemicals
Proving Liability in a Chemical Exposure Lawsuit
With your average personal injury claim, you can establish how and when you were injured. Common personal injury claims can include slip and falls, motorcycle accidents and car accidents. In those cases, you’ll know immediately how you got injured, which makes it easier to determine who should be held liable.
However, when a person sustains injuries that are caused by exposure to harmful chemicals, they may not know the cause of the illness or disease they developed for several months or years.
A change in balance, weight loss, persistent skin irritation, respiratory issues, and a chronic cough can appear for a number of reasons and the victim may live with these symptoms for a significant amount of time before they even feel that it’s necessary to seek medical treatment.
A physician may see certain symptoms and make a proper diagnosis; however, it isn’t always linked to exposure to harmful chemicals.
For example, your doctor may diagnose you with Parkinson’s disease, which can be caused by ongoing exposure to the harmful chemical paraquat. Paraquat is the active ingredient found in many different types of popular weed killers that are commonly used by landscapers, farmers and homeowners. However, without knowing that you have been exposed to this harmful chemical in the past, your doctor may not immediately link your development of this disease to paraquat exposure.
Elements that Must Be Proven
In a chemical exposure lawsuit, there are specific elements that your attorney must prove to establish liability:
- The defendant owed a legal duty to the victim. Chemical exposure liability cases are complex because the victim’s injuries may not appear for several years or decades after their exposure. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine who was responsible for the illness. Legal duty refers to the legal responsibility that a company or person has to avoid causing an injury or harm to another.
- The defendant breached their legal duty. A breach in duty means that the defendant was negligent by failing to act on their legal duty to prevent harm. In cases of chemical exposure, failing to warn consumers of the risks linked to product use can hold the manufacturer liable for damages.
Establishing that Chemical Exposure Resulted in Your Illness
Here are some factors that a court will take into consideration to establish that exposure to harmful chemicals caused your illness:
- Medical documentation or testimony by an expert that links the harmful chemical to your illness
- Evidence that proves you were exposed to the harmful chemical
- Evidence that shows the illnesses of other people in similar environments
- Public warnings regarding the danger or toxicity of the chemical
Damages in a Chemical Exposure Case
The damages you are eligible to receive in a chemical exposure lawsuit will depend on the severity of the damages you’ve suffered. Generally, the damages you can receive are split into a couple of categories:
These damages have a monetary value that can be proven through billing statements, receipts, employment records and other forms of documentation.
This can include medical expenses, lost wages from work, loss of future earning potential, rehabilitative services, home care workers and other expenses you’ve had to pay out of pocket due to your injuries.
These damages, such as pain and suffering, do not have specific amounts attached. Other types of non-economic damages can include loss of consortium, emotional distress and more.
Meet with a Personal Injury Attorney
As soon as you become aware that your illness or disease was caused by exposure to harmful chemicals, speak with an attorney to learn about your legal rights and what you can do to hold the liable party accountable for your illness, disease or other damages.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are experiencing any symptoms that you feel were a direct result of exposure to a harmful chemical, either in the past or currently, your first step is meeting with your physician. Your doctor can run tests and examine you to provide a specific diagnosis for your condition.
A physician doesn’t need to agree or believe that your condition was a direct result of chemical exposure. This is where your attorney will come in. The job of your physician is to diagnose and treat your condition. A physician may be aware that the type of illness or disease you have has been commonly linked to a certain chemical that may be found in pesticides. However, unless your physician is an expert in that specific area, then the cause isn’t their responsibility to determine.
However, your physician should make detailed notes in your medical records regarding your symptoms, condition, and what led them to the diagnosis.
The Effects of Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
Exposure to toxic chemicals can have short or long-term effects, minor or serious effects, or no effects at all. The person’s body may be able to metabolize the harmful substance in a manner that allows it to leave their body quickly enough so that it causes little or no harm.
However, because of the chemical toxicity, how frequently you’re exposed, or the amount you’re exposed to, chemicals can linger in the body long enough to cause harm. How the chemical enters the body can also play a role. While a chemical making contact with the skin may not cause any issues, if the toxic chemical is inhaled it can lead to the development of certain cancers, illnesses or diseases.
The victim’s overall health and age will also play a role in the effects of exposure to toxic chemicals. Chemicals that can do serious harm to the elderly or infants may not be quite as dangerous to a healthy adult. Someone who is in bad overall health may be especially susceptible to certain toxic substances. For example, someone with an asthma diagnosis could have trouble breathing if a chemical is inhaled, but the same chemical may not be an issue for someone who has healthy lungs.
After you have been diagnosed, you should speak with an attorney from Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers. We specialize in chemical exposure lawsuits. While any legal case can be complex, chemical exposure claims can require significant research and fact gathering to establish liability and causation, in addition to evidence that proves that your illness or disease was caused by the harmful chemical.
Our legal experts will work with you to prove your case and help you seek justice and compensation for your illness or disease.
Contact Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers Today
If you have been exposed to a toxic chemical and developed an illness, disease or cancer as a result, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the harm done. Depending on the facts surrounding your exposure, the chemical in question, and your resulting health issues, your chances of success can vary. However, you’ll get no compensation if you don’t meet with an attorney to discuss your legal options. Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers have several years of experience holding manufacturers responsible for their negligence.
Over the years, we have handled many chemical exposure lawsuits and know exactly how to build a strong case that will hold the negligent party liable for the harm and damages they have caused you. Contact our office today to schedule a case review and learn more about your legal options, and how the attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers can help you seek justice and the compensation you deserve.