According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an environmental hazard is a substance that could cause an adverse health event, such as air contaminants, toxic waste, pesticides, radiation, chemicals in consumer products, and even heavy metals. Some environmental hazards can even cause severe illnesses, such as cancer.
If you have a health condition that was caused by an environmental hazard, the negligent party that caused your illness could be held liable for damages. However, you have to present strong evidence to have a solid toxic tort case, such as medical findings.
Proving negligence can be difficult in a toxic tort case. A lot depends on the source of the problem and what entity caused the hazard. For example, if the problem comes from an old waste site whose owner went out of business several years ago, it could be extremely challenging to hold a party liable for damages.
In a toxic tort case, you need to make a direct connection between the environmental hazard and your illnesses and resulting damages. An experienced lawyer can help you establish causation.
You need to prove a correlation between the injury or illness and the environmental hazard. You always have a stronger case when there is a known connection between an environmental hazard, such as a pesticide, and a disease that proves that the exposure is dangerous and can harm your health.
You need to prove that you were exposed to the environmental hazard. For example, if you were exposed to a pesticide at work, you would need to show how and when that exposure happened and how it caused your injury or illness.
Environmental health hazards could trigger illnesses. An environmental hazard also could cause you to move out of your home or vacate a property. If the hazard is serious enough, your home could even be condemned.
Any person or entity with a connection to the toxic exposure might be held liable. That could include the makers and distributors of the harmful substance or equipment that contains the harmful substance. Anyone who owned or leased the location where the toxic exposure occurred could be responsible, or a company that negligently stored a toxic substance or equipment could also be held liable.
Proving that an illness has been caused by an environmental hazard is difficult because your illness could be linked to something else. You would need a very thorough medical examination of the injury or illness and strong documentation of exposure to present a good case. A lawyer can help you prove causation.
Environmental health hazards can affect many people. If you have an injury or illness because of an environmental hazard, contact one of our experienced Wilmington environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.