Toxic chemical exposure generally happens without the victims even being aware of the dangerous exposure involved, which is often the result of their occupations, toxic pharmaceuticals, or their places of residence. These complicated cases generally stem from claimants who suffer serious, unexplained illnesses or even wrongful deaths as a result of their exposure to the hazardous materials that companies allow to reach the public at large, their customers, ecosystems, and/or their workers. If you’ve been harmed by toxic chemical exposure, your claim and your recovery are important, which makes consulting with an experienced toxic chemical exposure attorney in Florida paramount.
Florida’s Supreme Court Weighs In
A 2020 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court addressed the extent of an individual’s ability to hold a company responsible for the discharge of toxic chemicals, and the finding came down on the side of the injured. Ultimately, the Court found that Florida statutes impose strict liability when company’s discharge specific toxins that can lead to serious medical conditions.
Common Categories of Toxic Chemicals
Toxic chemical exposure comes in all too many dangerous forms, but some are more common than others.
The Chemicals Themselves
There are a wide variety of chemicals that can be toxic to humans when ingested, inhaled, or touched, including pesticides, herbicides, and much more.
Asbestos is a natural mineral that is found in rocks and soil, and that was commonly used in a wide range of construction materials prior to the 1970s. Asbestos is closely associated with life-threatening diseases of the lungs, and when landlords, manufacturers, and/or employers fail to ensure that they’ve carefully addressed the matter of asbestos – in accordance with the laws – it can lead to serious illnesses.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is all too often deadly, and it generally occurs in homes in which there is a carbon monoxide leak from a furnace, water heater, or gas-powered appliances such as stoves and dryers. Fumes from spray paint or paint removers can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
While lead is a metal that is found naturally on Earth, exposure by humans can lead to serious health concerns, especially for children (who can be seriously harmed by much smaller amounts). Exposure to lead has cumulative effects that can damage multiple bodily organs. Lead was widely used in paints throughout the 1970s, and some products are still permitted to contain small amounts today. There have been extensive recalls in fairly recent years for children’s toys from China that incorporated lead paint.
Oil spills are obviously devastating for the environment, but they can also lead to toxic fumes that permeate the air and that create an even more immediate danger for humans. The oils involved often contain a combination of toxic chemical compounds that can include carcinogens and that are harmful when inhaled.
Water Pollution, Air Pollution, and Soil Contamination
The water that we drink, the air that we breathe, and the soil that we regularly come into contact with can become dangerously polluted and/or contaminated in a variety of ways that include:
- Agricultural soil runoffs
- Lead pipes
- Discharges of mercury and other dangerous chemicals from industry
- Air pollutants released from dry cleaners, gas stations, landfills, metal plating operations, and more
Filing a Toxic Environmental Exposure Lawsuit
If you believe that the negligence of someone else – or of an entity – caused you or someone you love to be harmed by toxic chemical exposure, there are several important steps that you should take to help protect yourself and your toxic chemical exposure claim.
If You Were Harmed on the Job
If you’ve suffered an injury or illness on the job that is related to toxic chemical exposure, the first order of business is tending to your health and obtaining the medical care that you need as soon as you recognize there is a problem. From here, it’s important to notify your employer, boss, and/or supervisor about your work-related illness and to file your workers’ compensation claim. If your injuries are solely work-related, you will likely be confined to seeking compensation through workers’ compensation (rather than through a personal injury claim).
Workers’ compensation includes your lost earnings on the job (a specific percentage of your pay), your medical expenses, and benefits for any permanent injuries (as applicable). If, however, a third-party – such as the manufacturer of the toxic chemical in question – is responsible; your employer’s negligence is deemed intentional (a much higher bar), or your employer is determined to have created an unsafe workplace via the use of dangerous toxic chemicals (in violation of OSHA standards), it paves the way to file a personal injury claim, which expands the compensation that you can seek.
If You Were Harmed outside the Workplace
For incidences of dangerous toxic chemical exposure outside the workplace, the steps you should take include:
- Seek the medical attention you need and follow your medical team’s instructions and advice carefully (illnesses related to toxic chemical exposure tend to be very serious). This is important for not only your health and recovery (which is critical) but also for your personal injury claim – in which you’ll need to prove the extent of your physical, financial, and emotional damages.
- Consult with an experienced Toxic chemical exposure attorney. These cases are complicated, and you need professional legal counsel in your corner that is well equipped to help guide your claim toward its best possible resolution.
- If you’ve witnessed a violation in relation to toxic chemicals in the environment, contacting the EPA is advised and appreciated. You could help hasten the problem’s remedy.
Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Florida Toxic Chemical Exposure Attorney
If you’ve been harmed by exposure to a toxic chemical as a result of someone else’s negligence, the accomplished toxic chemical exposure attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – have the experience, drive, and legal insight to help. We are ready to take your call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, so please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 800-800-6500 today.