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When most people consider what dangers they may experience in their everyday lives, car accidents may be the most likely cause of injury. Workplace injuries, such as falls or straining injuries are also common causes. However, there are a number of dangers all around us that most people never see. Environmental hazards we encounter in our everyday lives can place us and our children at risk of injury, disease, or even death.
Many of these hazards are not obvious, even when looking for these dangers. They may involve hazardous chemicals, contaminated water, airborne chemical hazards, or dangerous chemicals in the products we use every day. In some cases, a single-exposure can result in serious, debilitating injuries. In other cases, exposure may take years, and lead to an increased risk of cancer, neurological issues, or other health problems.
Chemical exposure may be due to a company’s negligent handling of dangerous chemicals, leading to an unintended exposure, chemical spill, or failing to properly test for dangerous chemicals. Exposure to some hazardous chemicals may be due to living or working in an old building where the previous owner did not disclose the chemical hazards.
Unfortunately, some environmental injuries are related to deception and greed, where a company is more concerned about their profits than the health of the public. A company may deny releasing hazardous chemicals or claim that the release of dangerous gases is harmless. This has become of wider concern more recently with the expansion of fracking across Pennsylvania.
Injuries can range from minor chemical burns to chronic illness or even death. Unfortunately, many people do not know the true extent of their injuries. It may take decades of exposure before scientists are able to show a correlation between exposure to certain hazardous elements and an increased risk of cancer. Other injuries may appear minor at first; however, when symptoms never improve or get worse, the victim may find they have a chronic injury.
Environmental Injury Claims
One of the problems with environmental injuries is that it can be hard for the victim to pinpoint the cause of their injury. There may be a number of factors or exposures by different companies at different times that led to the injury. This is where an experienced environmental injury attorney can help you file a claim to be compensated for your injuries.
Your attorney will be able to investigate your case, looking at medical records, possible environmental exposure, and compare this to other similar events. They can consult experts in medicine, chemistry, or other industry experts to track down all the potential defendants who may share in the liability for your injury.
Once all the parties have been identified, your attorney can seek damages for medical bills, ongoing medical care, lost wages, future lost earnings, pain, and suffering. Your attorney may also be able to seek damages on behalf of your spouse or children for their damages.
Toxic Air and Water Exposure
Toxic air and water exposure are of great concern to many people in the Philadelphia area. This city has been a center of the industry since the birth of this nation. During that time, various manufacturing has taken place across the city and continues to this day. Unfortunately, manufacturing and other industrial practices were not as well understood in the past. This resulted in dangerous chemicals being used in buildings, chemicals leeching into the soil, and hazardous gases released into the air.
Increasingly, people in Pennsylvania are concerned with the potential for water pollution due to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This involves pumping chemicals into the ground to release natural gas or other petroleum products. While the oil industry claims their practice is safe, their chemicals are harmless, and any spills are minimized, many residents tell a different story.
Shortly after fracking comes to an area, residents often report drinking water tasting funny, having a chemical odor, or leaving behind a film or residue that was not present before. Others report headaches or other health problems, pointing their fingers at the fracking companies. While the oil and gas companies claim the chemicals they use are safe, they have also refused to say what chemicals they use, citing a proprietary interest in keeping the chemical makeup secret.
Environmental Exposure at Home or School
Every day, parents take their children to school, expecting the school to keep them safe. However, a number of older schools across the country may be exposing children to hazardous chemicals. Many older buildings have lead pipes, lead in the paint, or asbestos in the ceiling or floors. These schools may not adequately or safely test the school to determine whether children are being exposed to hazardous chemicals that could put their health at risk.
Older homes may be no different. Many homeowner or renters are living with radon exposure, lead exposure or asbestos without any idea that they are exposing their family to the dangers presented. The yards surrounding the house could be collecting toxic gases from nearby industrial plants. The ground could even have been the site of a former factory that left behind dangerous chemicals.
Environmental Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia
If you or a loved one suffered an environmental injury, you should talk to an experienced Philadelphia injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will investigate your case, identify all the possible causes of your injuries, help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer due to someone else’s negligence. Do not hesitate to contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.