Chicago Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawyer
Toxic chemicals can be present in a variety of places, including pharmaceuticals, consumer products, the environment, and buildings. State and federal laws impose obligations on the disclosure, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances. Additionally, product manufacturers have a responsibility to create products that are safe to use for consumers. Employers have an obligation to maintain a safe work environment as well. When these parties fail to uphold safety standards, and victims sustain illnesses and injuries as a result, a toxic chemical exposure lawyer can help hold the liable party accountable for resulting damages.
At Ankin Law, we have over 100 years of combined experience helping injured victims recover maximum compensation. Let our attorneys help you get money to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and the other losses you’ve sustained.
Did exposure to hazardous chemicals cause you to suffer? Call a toxic chemical exposure lawyer with Ankin Law. 312-600-0000.
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Illnesses and Injuries From Toxic Chemical Exposure
When victims come into contact with hazardous substances, they may suffer from a variety of adverse health conditions and injuries. In the immediate aftermath of toxic chemical exposure, victims may face acute poisoning. Symptoms of acute poisoning caused by exposure to these substances include nausea, vomiting, and respiratory distress. Although traumatic exposure yields sudden and apparent symptoms, long-term low-dose exposure to toxic substances can go undetected until a victim’s health is drastically impacted. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic or fatal illnesses.
For instance, exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma, while prolonged exposure to lead can cause neurological damage, especially in children. Additionally, certain pesticides and industrial solvents have been linked to developmental disorders, reproductive issues, and cancers. When hazardous chemicals come into contact with the skin, victims may suffer from burns, which can lead to infections and scarring.
The nature of the injuries suffered by a victim depend on the type of toxic material he or she was exposed to, as well as the type of chemical exposure suffered.
Types of Chemical Exposure
Victims can be exposed to toxic chemicals and hazardous materials through various routes. Chemical exposures are categorized based on the nature of the chemicals and the method of exposure. The most common types of chemical exposure include:
- Inhalation Exposure: Inhalation exposure occurs when victims breathe in airborne chemicals, such as gasses, vapors, fumes, or dust. Common examples include exposure to toxic fumes in industrial settings or inhaling household cleaning product fumes.
- Ingested Exposure: Ingesting chemicals through the mouth is another common route of toxic exposure. This can happen when people accidentally swallow toxic substances, such as household cleaning products or contaminated food or water.
- Absorption Exposure: Chemicals can enter the body through the eyes, causing irritation or severe damage. Chemicals can also be absorbed through the skin. This can happen through direct contact with liquids, solids, or even contaminated dust. Some substances, like pesticides, can penetrate the skin and lead to adverse effects.
- Injection Exposure: This type of exposure involves the introduction of chemicals directly into the bloodstream, often unintentionally. Injection exposure can occur through needlestick injuries in healthcare settings or recreational drug use.
- Chronic Exposure: Chronic exposure involves long-term or repeated contact with chemicals at levels that may not cause immediate symptoms but can lead to chronic health problems over time. For example, prolonged exposure to asbestos can result in lung diseases like mesothelioma.
- Acute Exposure: Acute chemical exposure refers to short-term, high-level exposure to chemicals that leads to immediate and severe health effects, such as poisoning or chemical burns.
The avenue of exposure and the nature of the chemicals involved can influence the severity of a victim’s injuries. The injuries sustained will play a direct role in the impact on the victim’s life and the value of the settlement awarded.
Do you know what caused your chemical exposure? Call Ankin Law to hold the liable party accountable. Free consultation.
How Much Is My Toxic Chemical Exposure Case Worth?
The value of a toxic chemical exposure case will depend on the damages suffered by the victim. As with any personal injury or workers’ compensation settlement, the amount of compensation secured by the claimant is the sum of the damages calculated in the case. Damages are the tangible and intangible losses suffered by an injured victim. These include direct financial costs, known as economic damages, and emotional costs, known as non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: Economic damages compensate victims for financial losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, long-term care costs, and prescription medication expenses. In a workers’ compensation toxic exposure claim, lost wage benefits are paid out based on the level of impairment a victim sustains, which contributes to a settlement’s overall value.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages provide compensation for the emotional losses a victim suffered. These can cover a range of losses, but most commonly are awarded for pain and suffering, PTSD, anxiety, depression, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, and disfigurement. Typically, you cannot recover these damages in a workers’ comp case.
It is rare for a settlement to include punitive damages in a toxic exposure case. However, if the liable party is found to have acted with an egregious level of negligence or willful misconduct, he or she may be required to pay punitive damages to the victim.
Our injury attorneys have more than 100 years of experience protecting the rights of Chicagoans.
Sources of Toxic Chemical Exposure
Chemical exposure can occur under a variety of circumstances. Most commonly, exposures occur when handling cleaning or construction materials or performing work duties in unsafe environments. Where the toxic exposure occurs, as well as the chemical or product responsible for the victim’s injuries, will play a role in who is liable for the losses sustained.
Paints and Insulation Materials
Paints and construction materials, such as those used for insulation, often contain toxic chemicals that can lead to injury or illness. Depending on where the exposure occurs, manufacturers, employers, property owners, or other parties may be liable for damages.
Dangerous Products in the Home
Medical devices, cleaning products, cosmetics, and other personal products can lead to toxic exposure. When this happens, product designers, manufacturers, and distributors may be held liable.
Toxic Mold Exposure
Improper maintenance or construction can lead to the accumulation of toxic mold, which can leave residents or workers facing illness. Liable parties in toxic mold cases most commonly include negligent property owners and construction companies.
Dangerous medications can cause injuries to unsuspecting patients. Unsafe medications can cause cancer, organ malfunction, fertility issues, and other illnesses. Typically, manufacturers or distributors are liable in these cases.
Workplace Chemical Exposure Injuries
Occupational settings often carry a higher risk of chemical exposure. Workers in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and construction are particularly vulnerable. Inadequate safety measures, improper handling of chemicals, and insufficient protective equipment can increase the likelihood of exposure and related health problems. When these workplace injuries occur, victims can recover damages through an employer’s workers’ comp insurance.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Toxic Chemical Exposure
How Do You Prove Chemical Exposure?
Exposure to toxic chemicals can be proven by using evidence collected at the scene, testimony from expert witnesses, and medical records. A toxic chemical exposure lawyer can help you gather sufficient evidence to prove that hazardous materials caused your condition.
What Is Considered a Toxic Chemical?
A toxic chemical is a substance that, when present in certain concentrations or exposure levels, can harm living organisms, including humans. Toxicity depends on the chemical’s nature and the extent of exposure. Common toxic chemicals include heavy metals like lead and mercury, pesticides, carcinogens, and industrial pollutants.
What Are the Symptoms of Exposure to Toxic Chemicals?
Symptoms of exposure to toxic chemicals vary depending on the substance and exposure route, but can include respiratory issues, skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and organ damage. Long-term exposure may lead to chronic illnesses or cancers.
Helpful Resources From Our Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawyers
If you’ve been exposed to benzene and believe it caused your illness, you may need to file a benzene exposure lawsuit. Benzene, commonly used in plastics, rubber, and fuels, is a known carcinogen. Workers in industries like petroleum, chemicals, and manufacturing may be at risk. Safety precautions and protective gear are crucial. To file a successful lawsuit, you’ll need evidence of exposure and illness. Benzene exposure lawsuits can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Damages depend on the severity of illness and impact on one’s life.
Workers face a high risk of workplace-related cancer in industries like construction, mining, rubber manufacturing, agriculture, and forestry. Professions such as building demolition, firefighting, brake repair, asbestos milling, and naval service also carry carcinogenic chemical exposure risks. Asbestos, prevalent in various products, poses severe health risks, including asbestosis, mesothelioma, ovarian, and lung cancer. Eligible individuals may seek workers’ compensation benefits for cancer resulting from asbestos or other carcinogen exposure at work. To establish claims, workers must obtain medical testimony linking illness to workplace exposure. Compensation includes medical coverage, wage replacement, and death benefits.
Exposure to Roundup, a toxic pesticide, can lead to various symptoms ranging from mild to severe, including dizziness, headaches, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness. Long-term exposure to Roundup, which contains glyphosate, a potentially carcinogenic ingredient, may contribute to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other health issues. Pesticides like Roundup can cause cancer, neurotoxicity, and sensory problems after extended exposure.
Roundup can persist in soil for several months or even a year. If you experience Roundup poisoning or develop cancer due to pesticide exposure, you may seek compensation, including economic and non-economic damages, and even punitive damages in cases of gross negligence by manufacturers.
The compensation amount varies, and consulting a toxic chemical exposure lawyer in Chicago can help determine your case’s worth. In case of workplace exposure, report it to your employer, seek medical diagnosis, and file a workers’ compensation claim.
Construction and mining, rubber manufacturing, agriculture, and forestry have the highest workplace cancer risk in Chicago, Illinois. The same risk applies to building demolition, firefighting, brake repair, asbestos milling, and naval service jobs.
The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are similar to lung infections like pneumonia. You may experience a headache, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, or muscle aches.
When injured on the job as an employee, you will rely on workers’ compensation insurance to cover damages, such as your medical bills. However, the