Wondering, “how do I apply for a hair relaxer lawsuit?” Hair relaxer beauty products are under fire for dangerous ingredients that are linked to several types of cancers found primarily in females. If you have a history of using hair relaxer products, you may be in danger of serious health risks. Talk to a Chicago injury lawyer who can explain what you need to do for a successful outcome.
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Understanding the Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
Multiple companies that sell hair relaxer beauty products are currently in the spotlight because of cancer-causing chemicals found in products that are sold in many states, including Illinois. After extensive research, The National Institute of Health (NIH) released a report stating that hair straighteners and relaxers may contain hazardous chemicals with endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic properties linked to several types of cancers and other health problems found in females. Currently, companies are facing lawsuits related to the sale of hair straightening and hair relaxer products that are used in many hair salons, as well as at home. These companies include:
- Dark & Lovely
- Just for Me
- Optimum Care
As the public learns more about the dangers and health risks linked to hair relaxer products, the number of lawsuits around the country continues to rise.
Potential Health Risks
Black and African women have a higher risk of injury from hair straighteners and hair relaxers because two-thirds of these female populations use the products on a regular basis. A recent NIH study reported relaxed hair lengths were much shorter than expected, which suggests an increased fragility and the potential for alopecia, scalp inflammation, and scarring.
NIH studies show that hair relaxers contain a variety of dangerous chemicals known to be hazardous to human health. Depending on the brand you use, you may be exposed to formaldehyde, metals, lye, parabens, and phthalates, all toxic chemicals that can enter your body. These chemicals found in hair relaxers are linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and uterine fibroids.
Injuries Caused by Hair Relaxers
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a warning about health risks and injuries linked to hair relaxers. It states that phthalates, found in almost every brand of hair relaxer on the market, contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that impact and disrupt the endocrine system and interfere with hormone receptors. A synthetic phthalate called Di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) has been designated a probable human carcinogen by the EPA, and it’s known to cause significant adverse health effects including developmental abnormalities and infertility.
In 2021, the NIH published the results of a study on hair relaxers and their dangers, due to many women asking “can hair straighteners cause cancer?” The study showed that women who use hair relaxers frequently (more than 4 times per year) have a 50% greater risk of developing ovarian cancer and uterine cancer than women who do not use the products. The studies followed a large group of women of different ages over a 10-year span.
Eligibility Requirements for Hair Relaxer Lawsuit in Illinois
To date, the chemicals found in hair straighteners and hair relaxer products have been linked to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and uterine fibroids, however, the risks for many other health problems are substantially higher as well.
If you use these products and have concerns about related health issues, you don’t need to have a cancer diagnosis to file a claim. You can consult a Chicago injury lawyer to discuss your health concerns and ask these questions: “how to know if I qualify for a hair relaxer lawsuit?” and “how do I apply for a hair relaxer lawsuit?” Your lawyer will review your situation and explain what you need to do to move forward with a hair straightener lawsuit or a hair relaxer settlement in Illinois.
Documenting the Use of Hair Relaxers and Associated Health Issues
If you are concerned about health problems related to using hair relaxers, it’s important to gather some documented evidence. Before you see a lawyer or go to court, you should:
- Take photos of the hair relaxer products you use at home, and keep the bottles
- Keep your receipts or print out account statements of purchased products
- Write down the names and addresses of hair salons where you get treatments
- Gather your medical records that show your diagnosis and your treatments
- Collect containers for any prescription drugs prescribed by your doctor
- Start documenting the day-to-day effects of your medical condition (take notes or keep a journal that tracks your physical symptoms, pain levels, and affected activities)
Timelines and Deadlines for Filing a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of your diagnosis of your injury to file a claim in court. Generally, the statute of limitations for any personal injury lawsuit or product liability lawsuit is two years, however factors related to your injury may impact the filing timeline.
If you have a serious health condition or a cancer diagnosis linked to the use of hair straighteners and hair relaxer products, your lawyer can tell you how that impacts your case and filing deadline. All personal injury cases in Illinois must be filed within the mandated statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of the incident. This statute applies to all types of personal injury claims.
Finding Legal Representation in Illinois
To apply for a hair relaxer lawsuit, it’s essential to look for legal representation that handles these types of cases. If you live in Chicago, contact a product liability lawyer who handles a variety of personal injury cases caused by harmful consumer products. These lawyers are likely already familiar with the injury risks and health problems linked to hair straightener and hair relaxer products on the market. They may already be representing clients with problems similar to yours. Product liability cases present unique challenges, and not all lawyers handle these types of claims.
Steps to Take When Consulting With a Lawyer
Many lawyers offer free consultations to clients so they can get a general idea of what the case will involve. Making a phone call to a lawyer in your area is a great place to start to find out the basics about applying for a hair relaxer lawsuit, such as how much will it cost and what you need to do to get started. An experienced lawyer will be able to determine if you have grounds to file a lawsuit, provide a preliminary estimate of your damages, and help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward.
If you have a hair relaxer lawsuit, the amount you can recover depends on your individual circumstances. Generally, plaintiffs in these types of lawsuits can seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other financial and non-financial losses caused by their injuries. Remember, your losses are entirely unique to you, so every case is different. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will examine the details of your case to determine what constitutes a reasonable court verdict or settlement offer.
Types of Evidence Required
When you suffer any type of injury, you must present evidence that details the injury such as how, when, and where it occurred, the nature of your injuries, and who caused the injury. In personal injury and product liability cases, documentation provides the best evidence and support for your claim. The main types of documentation required include:
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical records from a licensed physician, clinic, or hospital
- Medical bills for doctors’ visits and prescription medications
- Copies of your personal insurance policies
- Injury diaries detailing injuries, pain, infections, complications, and improvements
Most lawyers who handle personal injury cases will send out a request for a copy of the victim’s health records. These records are necessary for the lawyer to get an in-depth view of the client’s physical injuries and related health conditions.
All your medical bills or other expenses for your injuries should be documented and kept in a file. In addition to your expenses for doctors’ visits, medical tests, and prescriptions, you can include travel expenses, medical equipment, medical supplies, and caregiver wages for home healthcare. If your injuries cause you to take time off from work, you can also include lost earnings from your job.
Keeping an injury diary can help you keep track of your physical and mental pain and suffering. In your diary, you should document dates and times, how much pain you are experiencing, medications you are taking for pain, swelling, and inflammation, any mobility limitations, and any events that you missed because of your injury.