What Is a Toxic Tort Claim?
When someone is wronged and it ends up in civil court, this wrong is known as a tort claim. A toxic tort claim is simply a tort that was caused by an injury or other civil case that was caused by exposure to toxic chemicals.
The many man-made toxins in our environment can cause cancer and other serious issues, so toxic tort cases have become increasingly common.
Are you considering filing a lawsuit after you were injured or developed an illness due to toxic chemical exposure? Keep reading to learn the basic facts about these cases.
4 Things You Should Know About Toxic Torts
If you or someone you know suffered from exposure to toxic chemicals, this article is for you. It’s also a good idea to learn about toxic torts if you work in an industry where you’re exposed to toxic chemicals.
What Are Examples of Toxic Torts?
Toxic tort cases have involved everything from mold to medicine. There are many different types of toxic torts that can be filed, and these are just a handful of them. Some examples of these cases include:
- An employee who isn’t provided with adequate personal protective equipment at work
- A factory worker who develops mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos
- A resident who becomes ill after being exposed to toxic waste from nearby industries
- A company that knowingly sells products that can cause illness or death
People can become seriously ill or even die from exposure to toxic substances, so these lawsuits will continue to be necessary in our society until these companies are held to higher safety standards.
Toxic tort cases have involved everything from mold to medicine.
Does the Exposure Date Matter?
The exposure date in a toxic tort case often determines if the case can continue to trial. This time period is known as the statute of limitations. A state’s statute of limitations determines how long a victim of a toxic tort has to file a lawsuit. The time frame typically begins on the date of exposure.
Unfortunately, many victims cannot identify the exact date of exposure. They may have also been exposed to the chemical for an extended period of time.
Furthering complications, the date of discovery may be much later than the exposure. In these situations, individuals must prove they did not discover their illness or injury due to the chemical substance until a specified date. Victims of Roundup, for instance, may not have immediately realised their cancer was caused by using weed killer.
Is Finding Proof Easy?
Even more complicated than the exposure date is proving that the illness or injury was due to a specific agent. In many cases, attorneys and expert witnesses must sift through hundreds of other chemicals they were exposed to in order to make their case.
Scientific evidence is a huge determining factor in toxic tort cases. If your attorney can find a qualified scientific expert witness to solidly explain the connection between exposure to the toxin and your illness, this will help your case.
Can I Handle the Legalities Myself?
Although some lawsuits can be handled on your own without the need for a lawyer, a toxic tort isn’t one of them. It’s legal to represent yourself, of course, but these cases can be incredibly complex so you’ll need to hire a personal injury lawyer. It can mean the difference between getting a settlement or wasting a lot of your time and money.
Toxic torts require in-depth investigation skills as well as careful attention to detail. In virtually all of these cases the testimony of an expert witness or several of them will be necessary to prove negligence. Most injury attorneys offer free initial consultations. It’s worth your time to take advantage of this if you’ve been hurt and you need your damages compensated.