Is There a Cost to Pursue a Lead Poisoning Case for my Child?
If you suspect that your child was exposed to toxic lead that caused significant health issues, it is likely time to file a claim for compensation to hold those responsible financially accountable. Your doctor might have told you that even the smallest amount of lead in your child's bloodstream could cause a severe negative impact on their academic achievements, ability to stay focused, and IQ (intelligence quotient). According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the surest way to prevent lead exposure is to avoid dangerous environments at home, on the playground, or nearly anywhere.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents families with children who have suffered severe injury through lead exposure and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has extensive experience in resolving cases for our clients who are suffering from many of the horrific side effects of long-term exposure to lead-based products. Our child injury attorneys are available to answer any legal question on how to receive the compensation your family deserves if your doctor diagnosed your child with elevated blood lead levels. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Can I Afford to Sue?
Ever since the national spotlight focused on children injured in Flint, Michigan after drinking lead-contaminated water, many families have filed civil lawsuits seeking financial compensation to recover their damages. Some Flint residents knew that there was something wrong with the children when once energetic children became sluggish, cheerful children became irritable, and most affected children lost their ability to stay mentally focused.
If you suspect lead has poisoned your child after noticing the apparent signs of the adverse effects on their physical health, mental well-being and behavior, you can pursue a lawsuit for compensation. However, civil tort law involving prosecution for monetary recovery can be challenging. An attorney working on your behalf can provide legal representation can handle every aspect of your case to ensure you receive adequate recovery when your case is finalized. Your attorney will not require any payments up front but instead, will take a percentage of the total amount you receive in exchange for building your case and resolving your claim.
Who Would I Sue?
That is a good question. The courts decided long ago by past precedents that paint manufacturers who formulated, manufactured and sold paint products decades ago cannot be held legally responsible for exposing your child to lead poisoning. Filing a case against them is futile and a waste of your time. However, landlords, property owners, property managers, home renovators and others could be held legally responsible for any injury that relates to lead exposure that caused your child's harm if your attorney can prove a correlation between your child's injuries and their negligence.
How Would I Know That My Child Was Exposed?
Most of the children of Flint, Michigan were exposed to lead by drinking, bathing and showering in city water. However, lead can be found in numerous places including in air, old paint, construction materials, airborne dust, drinking water, food, gasoline, contaminated soil, and toys. Children, seven years and younger are most affected by lead exposure where at elevated levels can cause severe neurological and brain damage. That said, adults are also highly susceptible to the severe impact of lead poisoning. Common symptoms associated with lead poisoning include:
- Diminished intellect and lower IQ (intellectual quotient)
- Learning disability
- ADHD or ADD
- Academic challenges
- Antisocial characteristics
- Inappropriate behavior
- Speech delayed
- Hearing loss
- Unexplained fatigue
- Developmental delay
- Muscle and joint pain
- Renal (kidney) damage
- Stomach cramps
- Abdominal pains
- Stunted growth
Many children suffer serious harm after inhaling lead-based paint dust or eating lead-based paint chips. Every child is susceptible to suffering severe, permanent injury when exposed to toxic lead substances during their developmental years. Medical experts know that exposure to lead can lead to neurotoxic damage in an infant or young child's developing brain that can result in permanent injury or death.
Having your doctor perform a comprehensive blood test to verify lead poisoning is the quickest way to detect toxic levels of lead in your child's bloodstream. If the results from the tests prove positive, you will need to examine the place where you know your child was exposed immediately. If the exposure occurred at your home and you are renting from a management company or landlord, they usually must assume the costs involved in checking your residence for lead dust, peeling paint or particles. In many communities, the government will perform the test when asked.
So, My Landlord Is Responsible?
Federal, state and local governments have not allowed lead-based paint to be used in residential housing more than five decades. Unfortunately, the serious problems associated with lead exposure occur in older structures that were constructed and painted before the 1970s. In many rental properties, the landlord knowing lead was present just covered lead-based paint with many coats of new paint that does not eliminate lead exposure effectively.
By law, you can legally hold your landlord financially accountable due to their negligence in causing a dangerous scenario involving lead poisoning. However, you must prove that the property owner failed to take the necessary action to eliminate lead exposure and protect the tenants' safety. In court, you will need to show that one or more of the six conditions listed below exist, including:
- Your landlord was aware that one or more children six years or younger live in your household.
- Your rented residence was built before lead-based paint and paint products were prohibited, meaning before the 1970s nationwide.
- Your landlord has the legal right to enter your premises to make renovations and repairs.
- Your landlord knew or should have known that the old paint was peeling, cracking or deteriorating.
- Your child was diagnosed with toxic lead poisoning and suffers known side effects associated with lead exposure.
- Your child's injuries are real.
- Your child's injuries are a direct result of the landlord's negligence.
If your attorney can prove in your court case that the evidence above directly caused your damages, your family can obtain compensation for the injuries your child has suffered through lead poisoning.
How Can I Prevent Lead Exposure?
Your options are limited in what you can do to make your negligent landlord take immediate action to eliminate lead exposure in your rental property. However, there are steps you and your family can take to avoid lead poisoning. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), residents who suspect there is exposure to lead can prevent the danger through various steps including:
- Keep your child's play area free of toxic dust or barricade the area to prevent the child from contacting hazardous material.
- Do not disturb lead-based paint by burning, sanding or grinding it off the wall, floor, ceiling or other material.
- Ensure that lead paint is removed only by trained, certified professionals who follow EPA abatement protocols for removing toxic paint.
- Avoiding bringing lead products, materials, and dust into the home. Industrial, construction and demolition workers who work around lead products may expose other family members at home. To avoid contamination, remove shoes and clothing and wash hands before entering the house at the end of the workday.
Improve your child's diet by preparing meals that are rich in calcium and iron that will help to resist exposure to elevated lead levels. Eat and cook meals using only lead-free dishes and kitchenware.
What Action Can I Take?
If your child has received the appropriate medical care, it is likely time to take the next step and explore your family's legal options. Contacting a reputable personal injury attorney who specializes in prosecuting lead poisoning compensation cases is a wise decision. Your lawyer will provide legal advice and assist you in filing all the necessary paperwork in the appropriate county courthouse and building your case to present in front of a judge and jury.
Even minimal exposure to lead can affect nearly every system in your child's body. In many incidences, there are no apparent symptoms associated with lead poisoning which can be even more damaging because lead exposure can lead to severe life-altering health risks.
See Your Doctor Right Away
If you have suspicions that your child was exposed to toxic levels of lead, your doctor can perform a comprehensive blood test to identify the presence of lead in their system. If the results are positive, the doctor will provide careful guidance to minimize future harm and help you recognize the visible symptoms and signs associated with lead poisoning.
Depending on the extent of your child's harm, your doctor may notify the appropriate local municipality and give them the information they need to take corrective action immediately. A local government agency may want to inspect your premises to identify lead-based products, paint or water.
You should know that even if the test came back negative, that is no guarantee that your child was not exposed to dangerous, toxic levels of lead. If your doctor performed an IV (intravenous) blood test, toxic levels are usually found in analyzed blood samples. However, if the doctor performed a capillary analysis (also known as a finger stick test or heel stick test), the results might not be conclusive either way.
In some cases, the child's pediatrician will fail to perform the necessary test, fail to provide guidance or never perform the tests needed to diagnose the condition accurately. Their failure could lead to other problems if the child was exposed to lead at school, in their daycare center, at the playground, or other public areas where other children might also be exposed.
Hiring a Lead Poisoning Injury Attorney
The civil tort law necessary to prove a premises liability case involving lead poisoning is complicated, even if you can show how your child's mental and physical problems correlate with lead exposure. Compared to an adult, the damaging effects of lead paint, leading drinking water, and lead poisoning from materials is especially damaging to a more fragile, smaller developing mind and body of a child.
If your loved one was harm through exposure to toxic levels of lead, their injuries might be permanent. The lead poisoning attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provide legal assistance to children and adults who have suffered injuries through the exposure of elevated blood-lead levels. Our legal team has successfully prosecuted lead poisoning injury cases. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf to ensure your family receives the fair compensation they deserve.
Contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim. Our legal team accepts all personal injury case, wrongful death lawsuit, product liability suits and toxic exposure claims through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully resolved your case through a jury trial or negotiated out of court settlement.
We provide every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office remains confidential.
For additional information see the following pages:
- How can I tell if my child is at risk for lead poisoning?
- How can I tell if my child is impacted by lead poisoning?
- How can I protect my family from lead exposure?
- Who can be held responsible for my child's elevated blood-lead levels?
- Can I bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for my child who has lead poisoning?
- What are the chances of winning a lead contamination lawsuit?
- How long does it take to get compensation for a lead poisoning case?