What is a Toxic Tort?
A toxic tort is a legal claim for harm resulting from exposure to a hazardous substance. Potential dangerous substances include pesticides, chemicals, or pharmaceutical drugs. If you are injured by a harmful substance, you might be able to bring a toxic tort lawsuit. At times, an entire group of people harmed by the dangerous substance will bring a mass toxic tort claim.
How do Toxic Tort Injuries Occur?
There are several different ways an individual or group can be injured by a dangerous substance. Most toxic injuries arise in the following ways, among others:
• Occupational—workers can be exposed to dangerous substances at work, including asbestos, silica, and more.
• Consumer products—products intended for consumer use can have unintended side effects.
• Pharmaceutical drugs—at times, prescribed drugs will cause harmful side effects.
• Exposure within the home—people can breathe in or ingest harmful substances at home, such as mold.
Proving Fault in a Toxic Tort Case
If you have been injured by a dangerous substance, there are a number of legal theories you can use to establish liability. The primary legal theory is negligence. A plaintiff making a claim for negligence must prove that the defendant had an obligation to use reasonable care toward the plaintiff or the public. You must then prove the defendant's actions fell short of this duty and you were injured as a result.
At times, plaintiffs can bring an action based upon the legal theory of strict liability. Certain behaviors are deemed so dangerous that anyone who performs them will be held strictly legally liable for any damages that result. In these cases, the plaintiff does not need to prove the defendant acted in a negligence manner.
Recovering for Toxic Tort Injuries
Anyone injured by a dangerous substance will need to uncover who was responsible for their exposure, as this company or individual should be liable for their injuries. Potential defendants include the substance manufacturer, the owner or lessor of the building that is emitting the toxin, the maker of the machinery that exposed the individual to toxins, a company that stored the toxin, or a manufacturer of safety equipment intended to keep workers safe, which failed to do so.
Toxic tort lawsuits are complex, and there are many factors to consider. You will need the assistance of an experienced attorney who understands this particular area of the law. At times, injuries linked to toxic chemicals might not be evident until years after your exposure. This can further complicate matters as establishing causation can be challenging. With proper legal assistance, you could potentially recover for your losses associated with exposure to the hazardous substance.
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Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 37 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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