One of the lesser understood aspects of personal injury law relates to toxic torts, the field of the law that deals with people who have been injured or killed after having come into contact with hazardous chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, and other toxins. If you've suffered an illness, or a loved one in your life has passed away from an accidental or unwitting exposure to hazardous chemicals, this article will help you better understand the ins and outs of toxic tort law and what it takes to be successful in a lawsuit.
A Few Common Hurdles
Some of the difficulties associated with toxic tort cases include the ability to prove causation between the hazardous substance and your illness, and the absence of evidence or evidence that is simply not compelling enough to sway a judge.
It is important that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as any kind of illness arises which you believe is related to your exposure to a chemical, medication, or any other such substance. Timelines are crucial in these types of lawsuits and the ability to prove that your injury or illness was directly related to your exposure to the substance in question significantly diminishes as time goes on.
That isn't to say that cases regarding an exposure some many years ago are beyond the scope of victory, but they can be more complex when it comes to gathering evidence. Documents and medical bills may be hard to track down, and your opponent may assert that in fact your illness must have been the result of exposure to some other harmful substance, else-wise why would you have waited for so long to bring your case to court? The bottom line here is that the time for legal action is the very moment you suspect your illness is the result of exposure to a harmful substance.
There are a few different approaches your attorney can take when it comes to establishing liability, including negligence on the part of the manufacturer, or under the umbrella of strict liability.
Demonstrating negligence on the part of the manufacturer includes being able to prove that the company in question had a duty to protect the plaintiff from possible exposure, and that the failure to provide such protection ultimately resulted in the manifestation of the plaintiff's illness. A personal injury attorney might also establish negligence by illustrating how the company in question failed to even warn the plaintiff of the inherent danger of the substance, or even the manufacturer's failure to thoroughly investigate whether or not their product posed any kind of danger to consumers.
Under strict liability, the courts do not require that a company or manufacturer act negligently when determining liability. Instead, liability is presumed on the part of the manufacturer when the product in question is deemed so hazardous that any who come into contact with it are under the protection of the law if injured. For strict liability, you need only prove that the chemical or product was hazardous and that your injury or illness is directly related to exposure to said substance.
Overall, there are a number of intricacies regarding toxic tort claims, and an experienced personal injury attorney from a firm like Hensley Law Team can help you determine an appropriate course of action towards getting the compensation you deserve.