In the United States, there are laws designed to protect us from exposure to harmful material.For example, the FDA and the EPA regulate the things that we breathe in, drink, and consume. We can also hold companies responsible for using dangerous materials or exposing us to hazardous materials.
When someoneexposes you to a chemical that causes harm, they are injuring you just as if they shot you with a gun or stabbed you with a knife. You are entitled to sue the company as a result of this injury. When you do, the case is called a Toxic Tort because the lawsuit arises from exposure to toxins.
What is a Toxic Tort?
A tort is an actionable wrong: something someone does to you that you san sue them for. A toxic tort is an actionable wrong that deals with exposure to chemicals. Toxic tort cases can be complicated because of the problem of causation. You have to prove that the exposure to the toxin actually caused your illness or damages. This can be hard if a long time passed between the exposure and the illness.
Types of Toxic Tort Cases
Toxic tort cases often arise from exposure to chemicals in medication. If a company releases a drug that turns out to be dangerous and you take it and get hurt, you can sue them for being negligent. For example, in 2005, Eli Lilly paid $700 million dollars to patients who took a drug called Zyrexa, after it was discovered that Zyprexa caused diabetes and other illnesses.
Toxic tort cases may also arise form exposure to environmental toxins. For example, many people who were exposed to asbestos during the 1960’s and ‘70’s developed mesothelioma. These victims are now suing employers and companies responsible for their exposure.
Filing a Toxic Tort Case
Proving a toxic tort case can be challenging. The sooner you seek help, the greater your chance is of proving the link between the exposure and the illness. If you feel you may have been harmed by exposure to a toxic substance, you should consult with an experienced toxic tort attorney as soon as possible to begin building your case.
How Can a Toxic Tort Lawyer Help?
Toxic tort lawyers have experience building toxic tort cases. Toxic tort attorneys can represent individual clients or groups of clients in class action cases, to help clients get justice. Toxic tort attorneys:
- File civil litigation (lawsuits) in court on behalf of plaintiffs or groups of plaintiffs in the case of a class action
- They organize investigations designed to prove exposure to a toxin. This can involve collecting data from the Environmental Protection Agency on actions filed against polluters. This can also involve independent investigations designed to prove that a hazard exists.
- They collect data designed to help prove the exposure to the toxin caused injury. This involves working with medical experts, researching other affected victims, and reviewing Environmental Protection Agency and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) opinions.
- They negotiate settlements with companies. Many companies prefer to settle toxic tort cases instead of litigating them in court. Toxic tort attorneys have experience in determining whether a settlement is fair and appropriate compensation.
- They advise clients on their best method of recovery. This can involve advising clients on whether to accept a settlement, or whether to join a class action lawsuit or bring a case on their own.
What Does a Toxic Tort Lawyer Cost?
Most toxic tort lawyer’s work on a contingency fee basis. This means toxic tort lawyers charge a percentage of the amount of damages recovered. The typical contingency fee is 30% of the recovery. Expert witnesses are also paid out of the money that you recover.
Finding Legal Help
Finding a qualified toxic tort attorney is essential to bringing a toxic tort case. Toxic tort litigation is complex litigation that can take years to resolve. Expert witnesses are usually required, and many plaintiffs may be involved in a case. Consult an experienced toxic tort attorney for more information on how a toxic tort lawyer can help you recover for exposure to toxins that caused you injury.