Workplace accidents encompass more than just incidents involving falling debris and broken bones. In point of fact, construction workers and other employees can be exposed to toxic chemicals, suffering both short and long-term consequences as a result.
If this has happened to you or a loved one, you might be wondering whether you can sue your employer or others for toxic exposure. The answer to this question can be complicated, so please read on to learn more or call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-516-342-2200 today. Alternatively, you can visit us online to schedule your free consultation and so much more.
What Is Toxic Exposure?
Toxic exposure occurs whenever an individual, like a construction worker or roadside pedestrian, is exposed to poisonous and/or otherwise harmful chemicals.
Sadly, toxic exposure isn’t all that uncommon. In fact, according to recent computer model analyses by the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately half of New York City residents live in areas where their outdoor exposures to hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are high enough to cause health risks.
However, when most people think of toxic exposure, they think of serious accidents where barrels of toxic substances are spilled or where poisonous gasses are released into the air near construction workers, motorists, and other individuals.
Note: Toxic exposure can occur whenever a hazardous material is released close enough to an unprotected person that they could potentially absorb it through skin contact, inhalation, or other means.
What Common Toxins Are Found In Workplaces?
Individuals and workers in New York City and beyond may encounter a variety of different toxins and poisons in workplaces. These include but are not limited to:
- Flame retardant chemicals
Here, you should note that some of these substances are only hazardous if individuals interact with them without proper protective gear. For example, paint is frequently used in workplaces, but it’s usually safe if people painting or working near the paint use breathing apparatuses, wear eye goggles, and so on.
Other toxic chemicals, however, can be dangerous and potentially poisonous no matter what. For instance, asbestos – a collection of six natural minerals – is heat resistant and was previously used as an ingredient in many products. However, asbestos exposure can lead to the development of asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious illnesses.
Benzene is another example. This colorless and flammable liquid quickly evaporates when it is exposed to air, and it is one of the most widely used chemicals throughout the US. It’s a part of gasoline, cigarette smoke, and crude oil. It has been linked to leukemia and other cancers of blood cells.
As such, if you or a loved one believes that you were exposed to one or several of these toxic chemicals, you should get checked by a doctor immediately. If you have developed medical complications, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against your employer.
Which Employees Are At Risk Of Toxin Exposure?
Some professions are more likely to lead to toxin exposure than others. Among those most at risk of toxin exposure or poisoning are:
- Construction workers
- Demolition workers
- Sanitation workers
- Manufacturing workers
That said, toxin exposure can happen to anyone and in any workplace. Accordingly, even if you work outside the construction industry, you shouldn’t assume that you don’t have grounds for a lawsuit against your employer if their negligence led to your health convocations or injuries.
What Are The Symptoms Of Toxin Exposure?
You may have been exposed to toxic chemicals if you show one or more symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Aches and pains
- Burning in the eyes, throat, and/or nose
- Blurred vision
Please note that these symptoms are not a complete list of all the things you can experience after being poisoned or exposed to a toxic substance. As such, any health problems or discomfort you feel should be investigated by a medical professional at the earliest possible opportunity. This is because long-term exposure to hazardous substances can lead to the development of respiratory issues as well as lifelong diseases such as cancer.
For more on this at no charge, call the experienced team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers and speak directly with one of our skilled toxic exposure attorneys. Simply dial 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation now!
What Should You Do If You Want To Sue For Toxic Exposure?
If you believe you have grounds to sue over toxic exposure, you should only do so with the right attorneys backing you up. Schwartzapfel Lawyers has more than 150 years of combined experience in this legal arena, and we’ve helped countless people just like you recover damages and workers’ compensation payouts over the years, so contact us online or at 1-516-342-2200.
Moreover, we can provide a wide range of assistance depending on your needs and medical condition, including:
- Giving you sound legal counsel so you always make the best decision for you and your family
- Gathering evidence on your behalf, like eyewitness statements, camera footage, etc.
- Representing you in court and negotiating with your employer and/or their legal team in an out-of-court settlement
- And beyond!
In the aftermath of a toxin exposure incident, you may not have the energy or ability to do all this work. Experienced, trustworthy attorneys can tackle it all for you to give you the time and space you need to recover — physically, emotionally, and financially.
In addition, if your lawsuit is successful, you could recover financial compensation for:
- All past and future medical bills relating to your injuries sustained because of toxin exposure or poisoning
- Pain, suffering, and discomfort you experienced because of those injuries
- Loss of ability
- Lost income if you had to take time off work
When Can You Not Sue Your Employer For Toxic Exposure?
While certain situations exist where you can sue your employer for toxic exposure, there are far more situations where you cannot.
For example, in the event of a natural disaster that triggers the release of toxic chemicals in a workplace, the employer in question may not be liable. This is because so-called Acts of God are not usually considered to be any one party’s fault.
Similarly, if you deliberately breached safety protocols, such as by handling chemicals against company rules and with full knowledge of those chemicals’ dangerous natures, you will likely be held responsible for your own injuries, not your employer.
Finally, if you recover workers’ compensation from your employer because of injuries sustained in the workplace, you will likely not be able to sue them after the fact. That’s because your employer will already be paying for your medical bills and other associated damages.
Now, if you have any questions or concerns about this, you should speak with your attorney. If knowledgeable, they should be able to clear up any confusions and tell you whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
Should you decide to sue over toxic exposure, you should only do so with qualified attorneys on your side. At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we’re capable of helping you understand the best path going forward for you and your family.
Please, don’t undertake this difficult task alone. Not when you don’t have to. Instead, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online to get started with your free case evaluation. It will be our honor and privilege to fight for you every step of the way!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!