What Are Toxic Torts and Occupational Exposure?

toxic tort chemical exposure

Toxic torts are a type of personal injury. These injuries occur after use of certain products which contain toxic chemicals, materials, or even radiation. Toxic torts cases often arise from a person’s exposure while working.

How to Prove a Toxic Tort Claim?

Even if you were exposed to toxic chemicals at work, you have to do more than simply show you were working at the time of your exposure. You will need to show:

  • The substance or ingredient of a product was dangerous.
  • You were exposed to the substance or ingredient of a product.
  • You suffered harm from your exposure.

The amount of the substance you were exposed to will play a role in how likely you are to have developed an illness. The more of the substance you were exposed to, the more likely it is that you will develop serious injuries.

This is why it is important that you act fast. Evidence linking your exposure to a toxic substance can disappear quickly and, without such evidence, could make it nearly impossible to prove your claim. While getting medical attention is of the utmost importance, your injuries may require a lifetime of medical care, something you will need financial compensation to help cover.

Toxic Tort Substances

Toxic tort cases most frequently arise from workplace exposure, but can also include exposure at home or at school. Some cases even involve pharmaceutical drugs. Common examples include:

  • Asbestos
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dry cleaning
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Lead-based paint
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Toxic landfill waste

While you could encounter these toxic substances in almost any situation, most will occur through regular workplace contact. That is why occupational exposure is what most often causes someone to get sick and become injured.

Occupational Toxic Torts

Most toxic tort claims originate from work because workers spend more time than consumers around toxic materials. Long-term exposure to toxic chemicals is bad for a person’s health and can lead to life-altering injuries.

Some people do not notice any symptoms for years after they have been exposed. Other workers experience a rapid onset of symptoms, making it obvious where they received exposure. For those whose symptoms take years to show, it can often be challenging to determine with specificity where the exposure occurred.

People often end up with different forms of cancer. Some women who become pregnant can have children with birth defects. These injuries can be extremely challenging and costly for a person.

Getting Compensation

The good news is that you may be entitled to compensation because of your exposure to toxic chemicals. While this will require you to prove the elements described above, your injuries may be so severe and so life-changing that you are unable to ever return to your regular life.

Your legal team may try to get you compensation for:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Lost earning potential
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs

Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may never be able to return to work again. Missing out on the earnings can wreak havoc on your financial wellbeing, but you did not intentionally expose yourself to these toxic chemicals and you should not bear the financial burden of your medical costs. That should be the sole responsibility of your employer and the product manufacturer who exposed you to the toxic substances.

But taking on these potentially massive corporations will be anything but easy. That is why you should look to partner with an experienced and aggressive toxic tort lawyer as soon as possible. If your exposure happened at work many years ago, policies and practices may have since changed, making it difficult to prove that your company used a toxic chemical. The sooner you speak with a lawyer about your options, the more likely it is that you can retrieve all of the evidence necessary to make your case.

There are also regulatory time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit. Though a lawsuit is the furthest thing from your mind while focusing on your medical care, once you have learned of your toxic chemical exposure, you have limited time to file a claim. If you miss this important filing deadline, you will miss out on your chance to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.

What Should I Do Once I Learn I Have Been Exposed to Toxins at Work?

The first thing to do is to seek medical advice. Whether your doctor noticed symptoms or you did, speak with an expert and get on a path toward recovery as soon as possible. Nothing is more important than your health.

After you have done that, then you need to preserve whatever evidence and information you can. If you have photos, videos, or documents showing that you worked closely with a toxic substance, especially for an extended period of time, that can be beneficial to your case.

One of the most important things you can do is keep a journal. Write every day about how you are feeling, the pain you are feeling, any setbacks you have endured, and how your quality of life has been affected by your injuries. Your own words can paint a clear picture of how your life has been impacted by exposure to toxic chemicals.

You can then provide all of this information to your legal team. They will then conduct their own investigation, working diligently to help you recover.

The Plainfield Environmental Lawyers at Herold Law, P.A., Help You Recover Damages After Toxic Exposure

If you or a loved one have become sick or injured after using these products, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with the Plainfield environmental lawyers at Herold Law, P.A., to get the guidance you deserve. Contact us at 908-647-1022 today, or contact us online. With offices in Warren, New Jersey, we proudly serve our neighbors in Warren and Plainfield.