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Toxic Exposure Attorney in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Chemical and toxic exposures are an insidious source of numerous diseases and injuries across the county. The victims of such exposures can often feel lost and unsure of what they can do to seek compensation, and they may need help filing a claim for an exposure injury. If you or someone you love has had a long-term exposure illness or injury and you’d like to speak with a personal injury attorney, contact David C. Thompson, P.C., to learn about your options. Though his office is in Grand Forks, North Dakota, he can also serve clients throughout the state, including Minot, Bismarck, and Fargo. As a dedicated toxic exposure attorney, David C. Thompson brings over 40 years of experience to his practice, and he’ll work tirelessly to defend your rights.

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Toxic Exposure Explained

There are several kinds of toxic exposure that can occur, including exposure at the workplace, at home, from pharmaceutical drugs, or consumer products. Exposure can happen to groups of people (for example, workers who have all been exposed to the same substance) or an individual.

Common occupational exposures include industrial and factory employees who must work with different toxic chemicals such as asbestos which can cause mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer), or benzene, lead, pesticides, paints, or solvents. Even though many workers who are exposed to chemicals regularly may wear protective clothing and safety equipment, if they aren’t properly inspected or damaged, it can cause a workplace injury or illness. Injuries and illnesses could include rashes, burns, and damage to the lungs, brain, and nerve endings.

In other cases, certain prescription drugs can cause serious side effects, which can also be considered an exposure injury. This has been seen with some antidepressants as well as heartburn medication. Even in our own homes, we can be exposed to high levels of lead, toxic mold, or insecticides. 

Laws that Protect Against Toxic Exposure

Thankfully, there are several federal laws that can help protect against a toxic exposure injury. One of the largest is The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which allows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restrict certain substances and require record-keeping, testing protocols, and reporting of companies who produce such toxins. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has a number of rules and restrictions on toxic exposures, such as providing worker training and education and setting and enforcing permissible exposure limits.

What to Do When Injury Occurs

Unfortunately, even with these laws in place, toxic exposure will still occur, and you should know your rights to seek compensation. The source of the exposure will affect whether you proceed through worker’s compensation, file a third-party claim for workplace injury, or a personal injury claim.

If you were injured on the job, you will have to pursue a claim through workers’ compensation which nearly all North Dakota employees are required to carry. In most cases, workers are barred from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer in these instances. The benefit of pursuing a claim through workers’ comp is that you do not need to prove fault, only that you were injured as a result of toxic exposure. You will want to report your injury to your supervisor as soon as you can. In cases where the injury or illness takes several months or years to show up, you still want to report any symptoms as soon as you can. You’ll also want to retain any documentation of the chemicals you were exposed to, any witnesses who may have seen the exposure (or were exposed themselves), as well as all medical treatment you’ve received to address it before filing a claim.

In some cases of toxic exposure, you may need to file a personal injury claim, even in some workplace injuries. For example, if a workplace injury was the result of the negligence of someone other than the employer, the employee could file a third-party claim. You can also file a claim like this for a toxic exposure that occurred in the home or community. 

The most vital step in this process is establishing fault, and this can be tricky given the nature of chemical exposures, which can take a long time to notice. An experienced attorney can be incredibly helpful in this stage since they’ll help you identify and gather evidence and build a strong case. Your attorney will need to prove that the at-fault party breached their legal duty to shield you from harm, that you sustained an injury because of this breach, and that the injury caused you to incur costs associated with medical treatment.

Toxic Exposure Attorney in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Because these cases can be complex and complicated to approach, you’ll likely need the help of an exposure attorney. He has the knowledge, resources, and experience to assist you in these challenging times. If you’re in the Grand Forks, North Dakota, area and believe you’ve been the victim of toxic exposure, reach out to ​​David C. Thompson, P.C., to schedule a consultation.