For your average Joe, the term “toxic tort claim” may sound like confusing legal jargon, but the term is one every American should understand. As you may already know, exposure to hazardous substances can cause illness, permanent damage to bodily organs or even death. In such a case, you or your loved ones may be eligible for compensation and the right personal injury attorney can help you get what you deserve. First, you’ll need to understand what a toxic tort claim is, whom it applies to, and what you should expect from your representation.
Read on to find out everything there is to know about exposure to toxic substances, the effects of it, and find out if you may be a good candidate to file a compensation claim yourself.
A toxic tort claim can be filed by anyone who has been exposed to a toxic substance through no fault of their own. It could be anything from a work-related incident to exposure to contaminated medications. As you probably already know, hazardous materials can have severe adverse effects on anyone who is unknowingly exposed to them. In Louisiana, a toxic tort claim can involve a victim’s exposure to a number of different substances. Typically toxic torts are related to pharmaceuticals or chemicals that can result in damage to an individual or group of individuals. (In the case of a group of individuals, a Class Action Lawsuit may be the best way to go about filing a claim.)
Here in Louisiana, a recent and well-known toxic tort incident was the BP Oil Spill. Exposure to Corexit and the actual oil spill itself created a massive threat to thousands, workers especially. The largest oil spill in history claimed the lives of 11 people and injured another 17. The industrial disaster exposed residents and nearby marine life to 4.9 million barrels of oil, in addition to the fumes resulting from the explosion. Direct exposure to harmful chemicals such as these can be dangerous to your health. If you have been exposed to something of this nature, it is important to seek immediate medial attention to determine what damage may or may not have been done.
A toxic tort claim seeks to gain compensation for the afflicted individual or individuals. Some of the horrifying effects of exposure to hazardous materials can include organ failure, various forms of cancer, brain damage, sensory damage, and more. In the event that a chemical accident has caused these types of permanent, life-changing health issues, compensation is not only needed but deserved. Some may be unable to work following an incident with a hazardous substance. A toxic tort claim can not only right that wrong, but send the message to other big companies that safety can and must always come first.
Other toxic tort claims in Louisiana include exposure to asbestos causing Mesothelioma. Since Louisiana has a number of port cities and the shipping industry is prevalent here, the asbestos claims here are significant. Many shipyard workers and refinery laborers have been exposed to asbestos over the years and may have a claim to compensation.
In recent years, governments have become more aware of the effects of working with hazardous materials and safety regulations have been put in place for their protection. However, there are still many individuals who were exposed prior to modern safety regulations or those who have been exposed during unforeseen workplace accidents. Just because you may have been exposed to a hazardous substance many years ago, does not mean you have no rights to compensation. The effects of being exposed to hazardous chemicals can be lifelong and compensation can be awarded to you, too.
If you have been exposed to a hazardous material at work and were not protected by the necessary safety gear, you may be entitled to compensation. The first thing you should do in this case is get a medical examination. Explain to your physician what issues you have been faced with so he or she can recommend the appropriate protocol for diagnosing and treating any injuries you may have sustained. If your doctor concludes your injuries were the direct result of the accidental exposure – to which you are not in any way responsible – you may have a toxic tort claim on your hands.
Exposure to hazardous substances can also come from medication that has either been tampered with or was contaminated in some way. Has a medication you regularly take been recalled? If so, the first thing you need to do is find out why the medication was recalled. There could be a danger to your health depending on the recall in question so getting informed through the pharmaceutical company as well as government health agencies can help you determine if you may have been exposed to a potentially dangerous threat.
A toxic tort claim can also be filed if you have been exposed to harmful substances at home. It could be exposed to lead paint left by the previous owner and not disclosed to you, carpeting treatment, mold contamination, or hazardous levels of lead in toys or other items you have unknowingly purchased. You may also consider a toxic tort claim if you have been exposed to toxins in your local drinking water. Again, the exposure was not your fault but the toxic effects will be your battle from here on out. There is no reason for you to suffer without being compensated for it.
Whatever the case may be, if you or someone you love has been exposed to a potentially harmful chemical hazard, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether the effects are temporary or long-lasting, no individual should be forced to live with the effects of someone else’s negligence without any form of compensation or justice. To determine whether or not your story makes you eligible to file a toxic tort claim, you should consult both your physician and an attorney with experience in this particular area of expertise. Proper representation can mean the difference between suffering in silence and being justly compensated for the trauma you have had to bear.
To go further into detail, hazardous substances can present an enormous amount of health issues and concerns for the general public. The effects can vary by levels of exposure or by the type of substances, but they are nothing short of terrifying. Mild toxic tort cases may consist of a headache, vomiting, and nausea, while others may cause rashes, chemical burns, birth defects, reproductive organ damage, nervous system disorders, blindness, organ failure, and even brain damage. Often times, exposure to hazardous chemicals can cause death, leaving behind a family in need of financial help.
The effects of this unwanted exposure to a harsh chemical or substance can alter the entire course of a claimant’s life or the lives of their loved ones. Seeking an attorney may be the only way you can find out what you are entitled to.
The typical claimant in a Louisiana toxic tort case needs to prove the claimant was exposed to a dangerous substance. A physician also needs to corroborate the claim by confirming the injuries sustained by the claimant were caused by exposure to the dangerous substance in question. This can often time be a difficult challenge. Causation is very speculative and the defense will always turn up with another physician to dispute the claim and say there is no causal connection. If your attorney is prepared for this exact scenario, he or she will know how to try your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
The most important thing you need when filing a toxic tort case is an experienced attorney who is not only familiar with toxic tort cases but familiar with the toxic tort cases in your area. You should expect that your attorney will take your health concerns seriously, make sure you are receiving adequate medical evaluations, and understands the financial toll this incident has taken on your life. Your attorney should have a long list of happy past clients who can attest to their abilities.
The American Bar Association (ABA) is also seeing to it that citizens are protected against toxic torts. The Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee set by the ABA seeks to protect citizens by putting laws into action that can help afflicted individuals get the compensation they deserve. Your attorney should not only be familiar with all the laws in your favor but do their utmost to ensure those laws are abided by and that compensation is justly awarded to you.
How do you know if you’ve found the right attorney? The attorneys at Smiley Law Firm are not only experienced and knowledgeable but they are always on your side. They will fight for you, and ensure your voice is heard; even you’re up against a large corporation. As volunteers in the community they serve, the attorneys at Smiley Law Firm have a dedication and devotion to their citizens you won’t find anywhere else.
If you have suffered an injury due to a chemical or oil spill or other toxic substance, call Smiley Law Firm to speak with an attorney today.