Chemicals and other hazardous materials are used for many purposes: Cleaning, painting, building, killing dangerous pests and creating other products to name a few. When these materials are not packaged or transported appropriately, or when warning labels fail to give sufficient warnings of the dangers posed by the product inside, or when they are misused or misapplied, serious injuries can result.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a dangerous chemical or hazardous material, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Atlanta injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights and to help you hold any negligent parties accountable for their actions.
At James M. Poe, P.C., we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your case. Simply contact us today to schedule a consultation.
How Do Chemicals and Hazardous Materials Cause Injuries?
Any household may contain dangerous chemicals or hazardous materials that can cause harm. Common sources of injury by chemicals and other hazardous materials in households include:
- Cleaning supplies – Labels should contain clear warnings about the chemicals they contain, such as ammonia and chlorine bleach, and whether they can be dangerous if combined with other chemicals.
- Building materials – Certain types of paint and varnish, heavy metals in pipes and wiring and substances used to make drywall and other building supplies can emit harmful vapors.
- Pesticides and insecticides – Certain types of chemicals used to kill pests and rodents can become dangerous if inhaled. Manufacturers should provide proper instructions on how these chemicals can be safely applied.
Those who work in construction, manufacturing, packaging or transportation of consumer goods may also be exposed to a range of dangerous chemicals and other hazardous materials. Additionally, those who live near construction sites, manufacturing or mining sites, industrial areas or transportation routes like rail and shipping lines may face an increased risk of environmental exposure if appropriate and necessary safety procedures are not followed.
The difficulty with these sorts of cases is that often times injured parties lack the proof they need in order to assert a viable claim. The fact that someone has been injured, or has developed a medical condition after having been exposed to a dangerous chemical does not necessarily mean a viable claim exists.
Claimants must to be able to identify the individual or firm responsible for exposing them to the hazardous materials as well as the negligent act or omission by that party which caused the exposure to occur. There must also be some evidence to prove that the injury was caused by, or resulted from, the specific exposure to the harmful material caused by the defendant’s negligence. Obviously, the user must have followed directions and observed ordinary care for his or her safety as well when using the product.
Dangerous chemicals and hazardous materials may cause injury when they contact the skin or are inhaled, ingested or absorbed. While the extent of the damage depends on the nature of the chemical and the type of exposure, injuries to the lungs, digestive tract and central nervous system are not unusual.
Children are at particular risk for these injuries due to their smaller body size and lack of experience and maturity, making them more likely to come in contact with dangerous substances.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Dangerous Chemical and Hazardous Material Injuries?
When a dangerous chemical or hazardous material injury occurs, the carelessness of one or more parties may be the cause. Potentially responsible parties in these cases may include:
- Manufacturers – When a product is manufactured incorrectly or proper warnings are not included in the product’s packaging, serious injuries can result.
- Distributors – Distributors may have a responsibility to provide warnings about the dangerous nature of a product, especially if they are responsible for repackaging the product for sale. A distributor may also be at fault if its carelessness in transporting a dangerous chemical or hazardous material causes harm.
- Retailers – Selling dangerous chemicals and hazardous materials to consumers also comes with responsibilities. If a retailer fails to meet these responsibilities, a consumer may pay the price.
Because many companies and individuals participate in the process of bringing products to market, a case involving dangerous chemical exposure or hazardous material-related injuries may involve several people or companies. It can also involve taking on a large manufacturer or distributor, so careful evaluation of each case by experienced counsel is essential.
Contact an Atlanta Hazardous Materials Lawyer
The attorneys of James M. Poe, P.C., give dangerous chemical and hazardous material cases the serious attention they deserve. We carefully review accident records and other evidence and consult with experts to ensure we understand every aspect of your injury, its causes and its long-term impact on your health.
If you have been injured by exposure to a dangerous chemical or a hazardous material in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, don’t delaying seeking legal assistance. Contact the experienced legal team at James M. Poe, P.C. for a free and confidential case evaluation.