When people think about suffering an injury, they most commonly think of a car accident. However, there are dangers all around us in our everyday lives. There could be dangerous chemicals in the air we breathe, or in the water we drink, or the soil beneath our feet. It may take years of exposure before the harmful effects of these environmental hazards become known. In many cases, an injured individual has to deal with painful injuries, expensive medical bills, and lost wages. A personal injury lawsuit may allow an injured plaintiff to seek compensation for their injuries.
Workplace Environmental Injuries In Maryland
Many environmental injuries occur in the workplace. Many workers spend the better part of their lives at work, often more than 40 hours a week for almost 50 years. According to one calculation, the average worker spends more than 90,000 hours of their life on the job. Depending on the workplace environment, workers can suffer serious injury as a result of what they are exposed to day in and day out.
Some of the work environments that are especially dangerous include construction, heavy manufacturing, mining, electrical work, painting, welders, fishing, farming, and metal workers. However, any job can involve environmental exposure to danger. Even an office worker can unknowingly be exposed to lead, asbestos, or other toxic materials over time.
Many environmental injuries involve inhaling dangerous chemicals or substances. This includes inhaling toxic chemicals used in manufacturing, painting, or construction. Fine dust particles or fumes from fresh grains can be inhaled by farmers. Fine dust from silica can affect workers in quarry and tunneling work, leading to silicosis. Chemical inhalants or other fine particles can burn the lungs and airways, scar the lung tissue, cause asphyxiation, shortness of breath, blood in the lungs, cause cancer, or cause fluid to build up in the lungs, lead to pulmonary edema.
Environmental Injuries at School
When parents send their children to school every day, they expect their kids to be looked after and kept safe. However, millions of children are exposed to environmental hazards throughout the school day. As many states deal with budget shortfalls, proper maintenance and safety inspections of school facilities may not seem like a top priority. Even schools in more well-off neighborhoods can be dangerous environments for children.
There are a number of environmental hazards for school children, high school students, and college students alike. Many people are surprised to learn that the location of the school was once on or near a site that leeched toxic chemicals into the soil. As children run around during their lunch break or recess, they may be encountering harmful chemicals in the soil. Lead in the drinking water has been linked to serious neurological injuries. Radon exposure can lead to an increased risk of cancer. Schools near industrial areas may also be exposed to toxic chemicals in the air.
Environmental Injuries at Home
It can be most disconcerting to realize that there are environmental hazards right under our own roofs. Many older homes may have been built with asbestos, painted with lead paint, or have lead pipes running underground. However, even newly built homes can create environmental hazards. For example, some types of flooring, including vinyl and laminate, has toxic chemicals that could injure children and residents through prolonged exposure.
As homes are bought and sold over the years, it may be harder to determine what kinds of products were used to construct the home, repair the home, and maintain the home. Some sellers may even misrepresent the dangers present in the home, in order to facilitate a quick sale. It may take years before the new homeowner or other family member becomes ill that they may think to take a deeper look behind the walls.
Identifying Environmental Injuries
One of the biggest problems with environmental injuries involves identifying the cause of the injury. Some environmental injuries take years to develop. By that point, the injured person may have moved on to a different job or a different city. Even if they understand that they were injured due to some environmental factor, they may not know who was responsible for the injury. This is where contacting an attorney can help to provided answers.
Environmental Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffered an environmental injury, you should talk to an experienced Maryland 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 call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.