Suppose your loved one has been exposed to toxic chemicals and died. As a result, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. So who can sue for wrongful death due to toxic exposure? What kind of negligence is needed to prove that your loved one’s death was preventable? How do I go about filing this suit? We’ll answer all these questions in this post.
When Can Toxic Chemical Exposure Occur?
Toxic chemical exposures can occur in a variety of settings.
- Workplace: Toxic chemicals are prevalent in many workplaces, particularly industrial sites, and manufacturing plants. Suppose you work around toxic chemicals and have not been provided with adequate safety equipment. In that case, your employer could be held liable for any injuries or illnesses you suffer from this exposure.
- Home: Many daily products contain potentially dangerous chemicals that can cause illness or injury if misused. If you were handling these products at home and became sick because of it, you may be able to file a suit against the manufacturer for wrongful death damages.
- Public Space: There are many locations where people gather frequently but do not realize how toxic certain substances can be to their health until after they have already been exposed multiple times by breathing them in or touching them. Examples include gas stations and convenience stores where gasoline is sold, fast-food restaurants that use extremely high heat levels when preparing their food, city buses where exhaust fumes build up inside the vehicle each time it drives through traffic congestion, etc.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a civil lawsuit in which one person seeks compensation for losing another person’s life. Wrongful death claims can be brought by family members, who are known as personal representatives, or by surviving spouses and students of the deceased.
A wrongful death claim is that someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s injury or death. The person who died has to be financially dependent on you—which means they lived with you and relied on your financial support.
For instance, people stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1887 suffered from drinking contaminated water. They got diagnosed with deadly diseases, such as various cancers, adult leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, etc.
If you or your loved one was stationed at Camp Lejeune and went to develop a disease due to the contaminated water or have died, you can file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit as it was negligence by the local authority. Filing and winning the lawsuit will offer you compensation benefits for healthcare bills, lost wages, and other financial hardships you faced because of the disease.
Negligence in Toxic Chemical Exposure
Toxic chemicals can be released by companies that manufacture them, transport them, store them and dispose of them. When people are exposed to toxic chemicals due to negligence in any of these areas, they may have grounds for a wrongful death suit.
The company that makes the toxic chemical is responsible for ensuring it is safe if it’s intended to do something else. For example: if you work at an oil refinery and your job requires you to mix two chemicals to make gasoline, then the company that makes one of those chemicals could be held liable if they didn’t make sure it would not kill anyone from exposure or inhalation.
The same goes for companies transporting toxic cargo–if they don’t take all necessary precautions when shipping their products around the country or world, someone could become sick or die.
How to Sue for Wrongful Death Due to Toxic Chemical Exposure?
The first step in suing for wrongful death due to toxic chemical exposure is proving that your loved one’s cause of death included one or more known carcinogens and other hazardous materials. Depending on where your loved one worked, they may have been exposed to asbestos, which accounts for thousands of cases each year; however, many other types of hazardous materials can lead to wrongful death due to toxic chemical exposure as well.
After proving that your loved one was exposed to hazardous chemicals and died from their effects, you will need proof that such exposure led directly or indirectly to their death. The death caused by illness or disease is related to the same chemical inhaled into lung tissue. However, it should be during periods when such inhalation began affecting health negatively over time leading up until eventual diagnosis with some sort of diagnostic test.
The test that confirms diagnosis before passing away within relatively short periods after diagnosis confirmation date occurred based on estimated onset date plus duration between onset date and actual day last seen alive plus three days afterward, which would make sense given the average length between onset date estimated at 14 days prior plus 15 days since we’re talking about mortality rate here).
You Can Sue If You Have a Loved One Who Was Exposed to Toxic Chemicals
If you have lost a loved one to toxic chemical exposure, or if your loved one is currently suffering from the effects of toxic chemicals, you may be eligible to file suit. If you have a loved one who has died due to exposure to toxic chemicals, then there are several ways that you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
First and foremost, if your loved one died before the statute of limitations expired on their case, this gives you two years plus an additional two months for every year since the date of death.
For example: If your mother passed away in April 2019 when she was 79 years old, then her family would have until April 2021 plus two months after her death date to file suit against whoever they believe caused her death by exposing her to toxic chemicals.
This article has looked at wrongful death claims that can be made in cases where toxic chemical exposure has caused severe harm or death. We have also given you information on who can bring this kind of claim and how they should do so.
Suppose you or someone close to you has been affected by exposure to toxic chemicals. In that case, they must contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss their legal options.