If you work in an industry that requires you to handle and use toxic materials, it can be very easy to suffer exposure to chemicals. While some of these chemicals may be relatively benign, others can be extremely toxic, and exposure to these toxic chemicals can lead to long-term illness and possibly death.
There are a number of different toxic chemicals workers might encounter or be exposed to that can result in serious injuries, including ammonia, arsenic, asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, and uranium. Many workers don’t realize that there are actually many state and federal laws regulating exposure to toxic chemicals. Employees may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
When you are exposed to chemicals in the workplace that cause a chronic illness, most states require that employees go through the workers’ compensation system before filing a personal injury lawsuit. It is also possible that you will need to make an administrative claim through OSHA. OSHA rules regulate a number of chemicals that can be present in the workplace, as well as guidelines for training and protecting employees. When an employer fails to follow these OSHA rules and an employee suffers negative consequences, the possibilities for filing a claim increase.
Workers' compensation claims are not based on fault, which means you can still file a claim for benefits if you took reasonable precautions but you were still exposed to toxic chemicals. As long as you were exposed to toxic chemicals while performing work-related duties, you can pursue a claim.
If you’re considering such a claim, it’s a good idea to consult a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the workers’ comp system and advise you about your options.
Proving Your Toxic Exposure Case
While it can be challenging to pursue a lawsuit or personally injury claim involving workplace toxic chemical exposure, you should not let that stop you from considering your options. To win your case you will need to prove that exposure to chemicals is what caused your illness. Sometimes this can be hard in cases where the resulting illness could have been caused by another factor, such as lung cancer. Lung cancer could be caused by certain exposure to toxic chemicals but it can also be caused by smoking.
Another factor to consider is who is liable and thus, who you will name in your claim. Although most people file suit against their employer, it is also possible to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of defective safety goods. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you decide who is responsible and who to name in your lawsuit.
Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, Can Help
Are you considering talking to a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney about an injury you or a loved one sustained at work? At, Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassion and empathy and want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, we can get you the justice you deserve.