Have you or a loved one suffered an injury due to being exposed to some toxic or poisonous substance? If so, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim referred to as a toxic tort. This article will discuss some of the basics relating to toxic torts and the associated law.
A toxic tort is said to be a subset of personal injury law. According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute
, a toxic tort is defined as “a personal injury caused by exposure to a toxic substance such as asbestos or hazardous waste”. The law associated with toxic torts is often linked with issues relating to and caused by being exposed to toxic substances. This can include industrial chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, environmental toxins, pesticides and lead-based paint. Unlike other personal injury cases, such as car accidents, toxic torts are some of the most complex civil claims filed in court.
The victim who has suffered from exposure to a toxic substance can sue for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. However, in order to succeed in their legal action, the plaintiff or victim must prove the following elements:
· Substance was toxic, dangerous or harmful
· Plaintiff suffered exposure to the toxic substance
· Substance resulted in damage or harm to the plaintiff
One of the key elements in any personal injury claim and a toxic tort claim is showing causation. This element requires the plaintiff to show a direct link between exposure to the toxic substance and the harm or damage that they suffered. However, it is difficult to prove because of the nature of toxic exposure injuries. Such injuries may not manifest until several years after the exposure; thus, making it extremely difficult to prove that it is the substance in question that caused the injuries. As a result, such lawsuits depend heavily on scientific evidence as well as medical records and studies.
Generally, there are five types of toxic exposure claims, these are:
1. Occupational exposure - this happens when workers are exposed to dangerous toxins at the workplace
2. Home exposure - this happens when residents are exposed to toxic substances found in their homes, such as mold, formaldehyde-treated wood or carpets.
3. Environmental exposure - this is where harmful toxins are released into groundwater or the air
4. Consumer products - this is whereby consumers are injured or damaged as a result of hazardous materials found in products, such as breast implants
5. Pharmaceutical drugs - this is where unintended side effects result in severe damage to persons using prescribed medication
From the above types of toxic exposure claims, it can be noted that any party which exposes another party to toxic chemicals or substances, there's some form of liability in a toxic tort lawsuit. If you or your loved one has suffered from medical issues linked to toxic exposure, it is necessary to determine who the responsible party is. Speak to the best attorney for personal injury
toxic tort claims today for legal advice and representation.