Chemicals of all types include acids, lead paint, and cleaning agents. These are regularly used in many different occupations and industrial workplaces.
Some of these chemicals have a high risk of serious injury or even death for the employees that work with them. 12% of the occupational fatalities in 2018 were from toxic chemicals or environmental exposures.
Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for their employees and protect them from chemical exposure injuries.
The worker’s compensation lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC help workers injured due to chemical exposure recover the compensation they are entitled from all responsible parties.
Were you or a loved one injured due to toxic chemical exposure at work or home by someone else’s negligence? If so, contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation to discuss a potential Chicago chemical exposure lawsuit.
Types of Toxic Chemical Exposure Injuries
Simple exposure accounts for an estimated 94% of occupational toxic chemical injuries. Simple exposure is defined as direct contact, such as skin exposure, inhalation, or ingestion of toxic chemicals. The other 6% are attributed to incidental exposure caused by explosions or equipment contact.
According to a study that looked at the chemical injury statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data  from 1992-2006, almost 88% of all toxic chemical injuries involve these body parts:
In the study, 30% of the occupational injuries over the 15 years were to the eyes. Three types of eye injuries are common with chemicals. The most severe is alkali burns, which can cause severe damage to the eye’s internal and external areas.
Acid burns are also serious. However, they generally only affect the outer portions of the eye. Irritants are the third type of injury but usually only cause discomfort versus permanent damage.
Chemicals that are inhaled or ingested can be harmful to almost every function within the body. Depending on the substance and how it is exposed to the body, there can be severe effects on the respiratory, renal, cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems, sometimes becoming cancer of the affected area.
For example, asbestos is one substance now known to cause mesothelioma and another lung disease that can be fatal.
Upper Extremities or Trunk
The hands, arms, and torso are all at high risk for chemical injuries. Since chemicals can harm almost every body part, many injuries have long-term implications for the victims.
There can be permanent disability and some effects, such as cancer or other organ dysfunction, that may take years to surface.
Employee Chemical Safety Is Necessary to Reduce the Chance of Exposure to Chemicals
The Occupational Health and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict regulations for employers regarding the handling and exposure to chemicals. If an employer does not provide the proper safety protection for their employees from chemicals on the job, they may be liable for any injury that occurs.
Since these injuries can be severe, the financial cost may be substantial, and workers should obtain legal representation. The employer may be responsible for losses that can include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Plastic surgery
- Pain and suffering
Work-Related Injuries Due to Toxic Substances
If you or your loved one experienced an injury or died from exposure to toxic chemicals, you may have legal rights to recover compensation. Your options for pursuing a legal claim will depend on the context of your exposure.
For example, you have a workers’ compensation case if you are exposed to toxic chemicals at work. Under Illinois Workers’ Compensation law, many workers who suffered an accident have received compensation for their lost wages and medical care.
Other Legal Recourse for People Injured Due to Toxic Chemicals
In Illinois, an injured worker cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer.
However, if another entity is partially responsible for your injuries, you may be able to pursue a personal injury case to recover compensation that goes beyond what is afforded to you under the workers’ compensation.
When filing a toxic exposure lawsuit, an injured person can recover compensation for:
- Past and future medical care
- Medical bills
- Disability-related to their condition
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
When a loved one has died of injuries caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals, the deceased’s family may pursue a wrongful death claim under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act to recover for their economic and non-economic losses.
Contact our toxic chemical exposure attorneys for a free consultation if you have questions about your legal rights.
Chemical Exposure FAQs
Our attorneys understand that many families have unanswered questions about health problems from toxic chemical exposure, and they deal directly with insurance companies to receive compensation for damages. A chemical exposure attorney from our law firm has answered some of those questions below.
Call us at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for additional information or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury lawsuit.
What types of chemical exposures can cause injury?
Toxic chemical exposure can lead to injury in a variety of ways. Inhaling chemical fumes or dust, ingesting toxic substances, and skin contact with hazardous chemicals can cause harm. Symptoms may include:
- Respiratory issues
Long-term effects may include permanent organ damage or even cancer and other illnesses.
How do you respond to chemical exposure?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to respond to an accident involving a particular chemical is by taking proactive precautions.
Protection could involve:
- Wearing protective clothing when working with any potentially dangerous materials
- Using respiratory masks and air filters when handling toxic fumes
- Avoiding contact with the substance whenever possible
Additionally, you must remain aware of industry standards and health regulations to protect yourself from potential harm. If you suspect you have been exposed to a toxic substance, you must seek medical help immediately.
What is the most likely route of entry for toxic substances?
According to the World Health Organization, inhalation is the most common route of entry for toxic exposure . Inhaling particles in the air can carry hazardous substances into the lungs and, from there, into the bloodstream.
In addition to an inhalation injury, other potential routes of exposure include ingestion.
What is the safety risk of carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced when certain fuels are burned, which makes it highly dangerous since it is not detectable to the human senses.
If inhaled in large quantities, carbon monoxide can cause immediate and severe health effects such as headaches, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, and preventable death. Beware of other chemicals that might be odorless and hard to spot.
Am I legally entitled to seek compensation if I am the victim of lead poisoning?
You may be legally entitled to seek compensation if you are the victim of lead poisoning. Under US federal and state laws, those who have been exposed to hazardous levels of lead can pursue legal remedies, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
If you believe you have been exposed to lead, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise and guide you through your legal options is essential.
Our legal team will help you prove your claim to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Are there cleaning solvents in drinking water from the municipal water supply?
Generally speaking, most municipal water supplies use chlorine and other disinfectants to remove contaminants from drinking water. However, some municipal water systems have been found to contain traces of cleaning substances such as formaldehyde and ethylene glycol.
Chicago, Illinois Chemical Exposure Injury Lawyers
Have you or a family member suffered injuries during toxic chemical exposure? Contact our lawyers at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your claim.
Our Chicago, Illinois, chemical exposure attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can provide legal counsel on filing and resolving personal injury lawsuits. We have acted as lead counsel in many cases that obtained fair compensation.
Our toxic chemical exposure attorneys do not charge legal fees until the compensation case is successfully resolved.
Our practice areas include workplace injuries, car crashes, premises liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, product liability, and wrongful death.