Exposure to toxic chemicals can have serious negative effects on your health. Depending on the chemical, you may even face life-threatening injuries that require extensive treatment. Even a “mild” case of chemical exposure can lead to doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and changes in daily functioning.
If you were exposed to a toxic chemical due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may have a case in which you can recover compensation to pay your medical bills and other expenses. The Denver personal injury lawyers at Zaner Harden Law can help.
Call us today at 720-594-6256 to discuss your options.
Toxic chemicals could be present anywhere – at work, school, home, at a friend’s home, or at businesses in your community. Wherever you were when you were exposed to toxic chemicals, it’s important to hire an attorney because we can help you obtain compensation that could have a profound impact on your healing and recovery.
Another important reason to hire a chemical exposure attorney is to help prevent similar injuries among others in your community. Many people can be affected by the same toxic chemical, especially in densely concentrated populations along the front range.
An attorney from Zaner Harden Law will launch an investigation into the cause or origin of the toxic chemical and will work with local agencies to eradicate it. In the case of a defective or dangerous product, such as a toxic aerosol chemical spray, an attorney can hold the manufacturer accountable and prevent others from purchasing the dangerous product.
There are three types of damages you can recover in personal injury cases for toxic exposure: economic, non-economic damages, physical impairment and disfigurement damages.
This type of damages compensates victims for financial hardships they have endured as a result of the exposure. Economic damages are easier to calculate because they come with bills, statements, or invoices that you should hold on to. These are a few examples of economic damages that you could recover:
When you are exposed to toxic chemicals, you will likely start by going to the hospital or doctor. The exposure may cause lasting consequences for your health that require you to take medication or have follow-up visits to a doctor.
These medical bills can add up quickly and you can easily find yourself under financial stress. If the toxic exposure was not your fault and was caused by someone else, you should not be responsible for paying these medical bills. You can recover economic damages so that the party responsible for your exposure will cover the cost of your medical care, whether it is in the past or the future.
When you are exposed to toxic chemicals, you may be forced to miss work for doctor’s visits or to recuperate from a resulting illness. The loss of wages during that time can easily cause a financial burden on you. Even if it doesn’t, you still should be compensated for the earnings you lost as a result of dealing with your toxic exposure.
Loss of Potential Income
If your exposure to toxic chemicals causes you lasting health problems, you may not be able to work as often or do the same kind of work that you used to.
You can recover economic damages to compensate you for the loss of the potential income that you would have earned in the future had you not been exposed to toxic chemicals.
This type of damages compensates victims for hardships they have faced that are not strictly financial. Here are a few examples of non-economic damages that you could recover:
Pain and Suffering
If your exposure to toxic chemicals or a resulting sickness caused you physical pain or suffering, you can be compensated even though it is not a financial hardship. This is because that pain and suffering would not have occurred had you not had toxic exposure.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If the toxic exposure affected your daily functioning to the point where you can no longer do the same things you used to do, or cannot enjoy them in the same way, you can be compensated for that hardship.
Loss of Consortium
Consortium refers to the right to companionship in a marriage. If your exposure to toxic chemicals made you unable to interact in the same way with your spouse or deemed you unable to have children, you could recover non-economic damages for that loss of closeness and association in your marriage.
Emotional Distress or Mental Anguish
If the exposure to toxic chemicals caused you mental or emotional distress or suffering that you would not have had otherwise, you can be compensated for that strife via non-economic damages.
Hiring an attorney from Zaner Harden Law is crucial for recovering maximum compensation.
When you are hurt in an accident, it may cause the injured part of your body to not function the same as before you were injured. This circumstance can create a Physical Impairment, which you may be able get compensation. Examples of physical impairment include loss of limbs, loss or use of a body system, and brain injury.
Unfortunately, in some incidents, your injury may cause scarring or more serious deformity to your body. If your injury creates a permanent change to the way your body looks, you may be eligible for compensation related to a Disfigurement claim. It is an unfortunate aspect to a case, but you may have the ability to make a recovery based on this issue.
When it comes to toxic chemicals, there are a few that are common and found in many places. Here are some that come up time and time again.
Ethylene Oxide is a widely used compound, primarily for the production of other chemicals, including antifreeze, pesticides, and sterilizing agents. Occupational exposure in healthcare facilities has been linked to an increased risk of spontaneous abortions and various cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and lymphocytic leukemia. The most common case of Ethylene Oxide exposure is for folks who live and work near medical sterilization plants that use ETO to sterilize the medical equipment. ETO can escape from the plant through various sources and infect nearby communities.
Asbestos is a chemical that used to be regularly used in houses and buildings. Although it is not commonly used anymore, it is not banned in the United States and can be found in older buildings.
You can find asbestos in roofs and floor tiles, as well as in insulation. Exposure to asbestos can cause respiratory problems, fatigue, muscle pain, and traces even stay dormant in your body and later cause cancers such as mesothelioma.
Benzene is one of the most widely-used chemicals in the United States. It is a liquid with a sweet smell. Exposure to benzene can cause cancers such as leukemia.
Hydrochloric acid is common and can cause irritation and chemical burns to the skin and mucous membranes. If swallowed, it can cause severe internal damage.
Lead used to be commonplace, added in everything from pencils to toys to wall paint. We now know that this neurotoxin can negatively affect behavior patterns and can even cause brain damage.
Lead is very harmful to children. Young children who may put toys and household items in their mouths are at a higher risk for lead poisoning. Lead exposure at any dose is unsafe.
Mercury vapor can cause serious health issues if ingested. The toxic chemical can cause damage to many parts of the body including the nervous system, immune system, lungs, and kidneys. Mercury exposure can even cause death, in some cases.
Pesticides are used for pest control purposes in homes, gardening, and food processing. Pesticides can damage your eyes and cause blindness, rashes and blisters on your skin, irritate your stomach causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and may even cause death.
Here are some other toxic chemicals that are less common but should still be avoided:
There are laws on both the federal and state level to regulate employers’ use of toxic chemicals. On the federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) covers standards for workplace safety including chemical safety.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also enforces regulations on safety from toxins, and on the state level, Colorado has laws that restrict the use of toxic chemicals in the production of materials.
Here are some trainings and restrictions required by OSHA that are used to regulate employers’ use of toxic chemicals and hold them accountable for employee safety:
The Hazard Communication Standard requires employers to train their employees and make them fully aware of any hazardous or toxic chemicals that they may be exposed to at their jobs.
This also requires employers to clearly introduce any new chemicals that might be brought into use at any point.
Permissible Exposure Limits are set limits of how much of a substance or chemical employees can be exposed to. If an employee has to work with or around harmful or toxic chemicals, these permissible exposure limits dictate how much of the chemical they can legally be exposed to, and how long they can be exposed to it.
If you work in a factory that uses pesticides, there will be limits to how long you can work around those pesticides, and the same goes for other harmful chemicals. The employer still is responsible for communicating to their employees the hazard they will be subjected to.
There are more regulations for employers covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act that protect the employees from toxic exposure or overexposure. You can read and learn more about the additional regulations on the United States Department of Labor website.
If you think you have been exposed to a toxic chemical, the first thing you should do is go to the doctor. If you are feeling seriously ill, go to the hospital immediately.
Record and keep any evidence of your exposure, your medical treatment, and your illnesses. After you’ve received medical care, you should hire a Denver toxic exposure lawyer.
Your lawyer will help you file a lawsuit suing the person or company that negligently caused you to be exposed to the toxic chemical, and help you file any necessary complaints to government entities that regulate toxic chemical use. They can also connect you with medical specialists and intensive treatment centers.
If you were exposed without knowledge at work or elsewhere, or exposed because of someone else’s negligence, we can help you with a personal injury case.
Our Denver toxic exposure lawyers have the experience to help you to win the absolute maximum amount of compensation. This way, you can get the best medical care possible and be compensated for the hardships you have faced as a result of your exposure.
Exposure to toxic chemicals can have serious adverse effects on your health and should be taken seriously. Don’t wait until the medical bills pile up. The sooner you file, the sooner you can be compensated for the negative effects of the toxic exposure.
Call us today at 720-594-6256 to discuss your case with an attorney from Zaner Harden Law.
“I experienced such compassion, support, and excellent coordination at Zaner Harden. I knew they believed in me from the beginning and fought relentlessly for me. All of them listened, were always there if I had questions or was overwhelmed with the situation and helped sustain me. My family and I will always be grateful to them!”
“Marc Harden and his team truly cared about me and my well being through the entire claim. They communicated with me as the process moved forward so I was always in the know. I would recommend them to any friend or family member if they find themselves in need of an attorney.”