The average Chicagoan comes in contact with thousands of chemicals each day. Many of these chemicals are harmless (salt and water are chemical compounds, after all), but some are so dangerous that even brief exposure can cause lifelong, irreversible damage.
If you or a loved one were exposed and suffered injury from a toxic chemical, know that you have the right to pursue full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages while you were out of work, and other possible damages. Keep reading to learn how our Chicago personal injury attorneys can help you file a claim and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
What exactly is a toxic chemical?
A toxic chemical is a substance or byproduct of a substance that, when present in certain amounts or in certain locations, can cause harm to living things. Depending on the type and amount of chemical, exposure to a toxic substance can cause harm to a group of cells, an organ system, or the entire body.
What causes chemical exposure incidents?
Chemical exposure in Illinois can be caused by a variety of sources, including industrial accidents, manufacturing processes, and environmental pollutants.
Each of these circumstances can result in a wide range of harmful effects, ranging from skin and eye irritation to long-term illnesses and even death. In some cases, chemical exposure may occur in the workplace, while in others, it may occur in a person’s home or public areas.
Paints and insulation materials
Homeowners and construction workers may come in contact with toxic chemicals used in painting and insulation products, including:
- Polyurethane spray foam insulation
Neglectful maintenance or careless construction can lead to the accumulation of water-damaged building molds, which release toxic chemicals known as mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins may be present in any building that is not properly maintained or cared for.
Workers in the manufacturing, agriculture, and construction industries are highly susceptible to chemical exposure. Inadequate safety measures and protective equipment, as well as reckless handling of chemicals, increase the likelihood of toxic exposure and related health problems.
What are the most common toxic chemicals in Chicago?
A bustling industrial city, Chicago has had to reckon with dozens of chemical exposure outbreaks in its nearly 200-year history. One of the most recent incidents involves the agrochemical company Monsanto (now owned by Bayer). The City of Chicago is suing Monsanto over claims that the company knowingly released toxic chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the city’s air, water, and soil.
But PCBs aren’t the only common toxic chemicals regularly found in Chicago.
- Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (These “forever chemicals” were found in the Chicago community drinking water supply in 2020).
- Benzene (Read: The Benzene Effect: Tradesmen and Cancer)
- Hydrogen sulfide
Who’s responsible for toxic exposure incidents?
If you were harmed by a toxic chemical and want to pursue compensation, you need to find out who is liable, or legally responsible, for your injury. The following parties are often found negligent and therefore liable for injuries caused by exposure to a toxic chemical:
- Employers who fail to provide adequate safety gear or who otherwise fail to keep their employees safe on the job
- Landlords who fail to maintain safe premises for residents and renters
- Manufacturers who produce defective products or who fail to provide adequate safety warnings
These are not the only parties who may be held liable for your injury. Your Chicago chemical exposure lawyer will help identify all potentially liable parties.
What are the signs and symptoms of toxic chemical exposure?
When it comes to chemical exposure, the effects can be both physical and psychological. Physical effects may include skin irritation, breathing difficulties, headaches, or worse.
Psychological effects may include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, a person may be at risk of developing cancer due to their chemical exposure.
What should I look for in a good chemical exposure lawyer?
Toxic exposure cases are complex and require the help of an attorney who understands the complexities of such cases. Here’s what you should look for when hiring a Chicago chemical exposure lawyer.
The first step in finding a toxic exposure lawyer in Illinois is to research who has a proven track record of success in litigating cases to jury verdicts in your area. When searching online, make sure to read publicly available reviews and check the lawyer’s qualifications and experience.
You want lawyers with a strong record of success and a history of taking cases to verdict and winning.
Strong communication skills
It is also important that you’re able to contact the lawyer directly to discuss your case and get an understanding of the services they provide.
Personal contact with your attorney is incredibly important. Cliff Horwitz, the Principal Partner and Lead Trial Attorney at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, proudly gives his cell phone number to all of his clients. That type of personal contact is what you should look for in an attorney.
Deep knowledge of toxic exposure laws
When hiring a lawyer for toxic exposure cases in Illinois, it is important to make sure that they are not only licensed but also have a strong understanding of the many laws and regulations in the state.
While many lawyers focus their practice on a particular area of law, such as real estate or criminal defense, it’s important to make sure the lawyer you choose has experience and knowledge of toxic exposure claims and Plaintiffs Personal Injury law.
This is a complex area of law, and you want skilled trial lawyers with decades of experience to handle your or your loved one’s case.
This includes understanding the statutes of limitations for filing a lawsuit, as well as any potential damages that may be available in the case. Your lawyer should be familiar with all local rules or regulations that may apply to the case.
The lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates have been practicing personal injury law exclusively in Illinois since 1924. That’s why their record of success and knowledge of Illinois law is second to none.
Finally, it’s essential to make sure your lawyer is dedicated to the case and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Many law firms are unwilling or unable to save the time and resources necessary for your case. That’s because prosecuting these cases can be expensive and time-consuming. The lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates spare no expense when prosecuting these cases, and take no fee unless you win.
How do you prove negligence?
If you have been injured as a result of chemical exposure in Illinois, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim. To do so, you must first establish that the chemical exposure was the result of another person or entity’s wrongful conduct (e.g., negligence, recklessness, design/manufacture of an unreasonably dangerous product).
In other words, you must show that the person responsible for the exposure should have taken steps to protect you from harm and failed to do so, thus causing your injury.
Once you have established that there was wrongful conduct, you must then prove that you suffered an injury as a result of the exposure. This may require medical documentation and testimony from medical professionals and other witnesses. You must also determine the amount of damages you are seeking, which may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you’ve been injured as a result of a chemical exposure, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates will provide a free case evaluation for you to determine whether you have a claim. This can be done here.
We have nearly a century of experience fighting on behalf of those who have been injured as a result of other people’s negligence and are widely regarded as one of the best personal injury firms in America. You can see our success record here.
What’s the process for filing a claim?
Once you have established that you were injured as a result of chemical exposure, you will need to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. This process begins with the filing of a complaint with the court. We have the most skilled attorneys in America who will handle this for you. The complaint will outline your allegations and the damages you are seeking.
The next step is for the court to review your complaint and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support your claim. If the court finds that there is, it will then schedule a trial to hear your case. At the trial, you will present your evidence and witnesses to support your claim.
After the trial, the court will issue a judgment in your favor if it finds that the other party was negligent and that you suffered an injury as a result. If the court finds in your favor, you may then be awarded damages in the form of financial compensation. This money can help you cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury. You can rest assured that we will fight tooth and nail to ensure you recover every penny you are entitled to.
Why should I hire Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates?
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we understand the complexity of land contamination toxic chemical exposure cases, bringing our extensive knowledge, resources, and experience to bear against those responsible for land contamination. We understand the devastating impact toxic exposure can have and are dedicated to supporting you throughout the legal process.
Choosing a lawyer with a focus in land contamination litigation offers several advantages:
- Knowledge — Lawyers with unique knowledge ensure effective representation.
- Resources — A network of environmental scientists and toxicologists can provide crucial evidence.
- Experience — A track record handling similar cases maximizes your chances of success.
- Compassion — Empathy and support are provided throughout the legal process.
Suffered an injury from toxic exposure? We can help.
Chemical exposure can have serious and long-lasting effects on an individual’s health and well-being. In Illinois, victims of chemical exposure may be entitled to pursue personal injury claims to seek compensation for their losses.
The lawyers with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are uniquely qualified to handle such claims. Call (800) 985-1819 to schedule your free consultation today.