There are a number of different ways in which toxic exposure can arise. Being exposed to toxic chemicals has the potential to cause life-changing injuries, and in some cases, can even result in death. Some types of toxic chemical exposure cases are immediately apparent, but others take years or even decades to develop. While some toxic chemical exposure injuries are caused by direct physical contact, other diseases like mesothelioma, are often caused by indirect exposure.
Many people who have been harmed by toxic chemicals find that it can be particularly challenging to initiate a lawsuit against a large corporation responsible for the exposure to the hazardous material. For this reason, the assistance of a toxic chemical exposure lawyer in Miami can be particularly helpful for a victim seeking compensation for his or her injuries.
Common Toxic Chemical Exposure Risks
There are a number of ways in which workers can be exposed to toxic chemicals. Some of the most common types of hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed include:
- Sewage gas
- Toxic mold
- Vinyl chloride
Special note should be made of asbestos, which is a naturally-occurring substance. For many years, asbestos was used by a large number of industries before it was discovered that prolonged exposure to asbestos can result in deadly medical conditions. Asbestos was a highly valued substance because of its heat and fire resistance, which makes it an excellent material for building and equipment insulation. In many cases, workers are not aware that they have been exposed to asbestos until years or decades later when they receive a deadly mesothelioma diagnosis.
Herbicides and Pesticides Exposure
Chemicals that are used to kill insects and weeds have been determined to cause a number of deadly side effects in humans, including cancer. At the moment, lawsuits are being initiated against the Monsanto company, which produced herbicides like Roundup, because the product is believed to cause cancer.
Classified as a carcinogen, crystalline silica is a mineral that can end up in the air if it is chipped or cut. Many workers in Florida, as well as the rest of the United States, are at substantial risk of being harmed by silica exposure, including those engaged in the blasting, foundry, quarry, rock drilling, stone cutting, and tunneling industries. After a worker inhales the small particles of silica, his or her lungs can be scarred, which can reduce the worker’s ability to breathe in oxygen and lead to a number of deadly diseases, including lung cancer.
Common Injuries and Diseases Caused by Toxic Exposure
The seriousness of many toxic exposure cases depends on how long the exposure lasted, a person’s proximity to the toxic substance, the way in which the worker came into contact with the substance, and the material that was involved. Some of the most common injuries that workers face as a result of toxic exposure include the following:
- Asthma and other respiratory problems
- Brain damage including traumatic brain injuries
- Burns and corrosion
- Eye injuries
- Fetal abnormalities
- Kidney failure
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Skin injuries including rashes
- Systemic chemical poisoning
- Throat injuries
In the worst cases, fatalities are known to occur as a result of toxic exposure. If you or a loved one is harmed by exposure to toxic materials, you should not hesitate to speak with a Miami personal injury attorney.
Establishing Liability in a Toxic Exposure Case
There are a number of obstacles involved with establishing liability due to exposure to hazardous chemicals. Many times, it is difficult to gather evidence that establishes how the injuries occurred. It can also be challenging to gather an adequate amount of evidence if the exposure occurred years or decades ago.
One of the most common types of lawsuits that address toxic exposure is a negligence lawsuit, which requires an accident victim or toxic exposure attorney to establish several elements:
- The employer or party that caused the exposure to the hazardous chemicals had a duty of care to the accident victim
- The employer or party that caused the exposure to the hazardous chemicals breached this duty of care
- Due to this breach of duty, the accident victim experienced damages.
In personal injury lawsuits, damages are either compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages are further divided into monetary and nonmonetary amounts. Some types of monetary damages include compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Nonmonetary compensation refers to damages that do not have an easily determined value, such of pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages are designed to punish the parties that caused the exposure to the toxic substance. To be required to pay punitive damages, a defendant must have acted in an outrageous manner.
The Statute of Limitations in Miami Toxic Exposure Cases
There is a four-year statute of limitations in Florida personal injury cases, with exceptions for late discovered injuries. As a result, people who are impacted by toxic exposure in the state have four years in which to initiate a legal action in a court of law. These statutes of limitations can be particularly challenging because in many cases, people do not notice that they have been exposed to a toxic chemical until years after the initial encounter occurred. For this reason, it is best to obtain the assistance of an injury attorney in Miami as quickly as possible after being diagnosed with a condition related to toxic substance exposure.
Speak with a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has experienced injuries or been killed due to exposure to hazardous chemicals, you should not hesitate to speak with a toxic chemical exposure law firm in Miami. At Flagler Personal Injury Group, we know what it takes to make sure that people who are impacted by toxic chemical exposure obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free consultation with a toxic exposure lawyer.