A Law Career

Personal Injuries That You Cannot See: Handling Cases With Internal Causes

by Ruby Mckinney

Not all personal injuries are on the outside and visible. Case in point: mesothelioma, which is brought on by the inhalation of asbestos. Mesothelioma is just one of dozens of personal injury causes and cases involving damage to the internal organs of a person's body, and often it takes years for these diseases to appear. If you have recently been diagnosed with a health condition that could be job-related, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Here is why.

Caustic Chemicals Take Their Toll

Imagine inhaling fumes from industrial cleaners, solvents, or bleach for a few months. Despite the fact that this comes with the territory of many production and industrial jobs, you should still have adequate protection against the inhalation of the fumes. All of your facial orifices (including the mucus membranes of your eyes) should be protected while you are at work.

These caustic chemicals are linked to loss of vision, loss of sense of smell and taste, nasal and throat cancers, lung cancers, etc. Some of the chemicals will present effects almost immediately, but others will build up in your system over time. Even if you can tolerate the pungent smells, you still have rights under OSHA for proper protective equipment (i.e., equipment your employer is required to pay for and you are required to wear).

Delays Between Exposure and Health Problems

As mesothelioma and asbestos and hexavalent chromium and cancers have shown, time and again, the time between first exposure and initial onset of health problems can be anywhere between one and ten years. As such, most states do not carry a statute of limitations on lawsuits regarding personal injuries of the internal kind. You also do not have to work for that company anymore, nor does any exposure to others living in the same house but not working for the company have any impact on your lawsuit. (Lawsuits regarding high radiation exposure, for example, and the transmission of radiation to others in your home fall under this type of personal injury lawsuit. Your spouse and/or children who are exposed by direct contact with you and indirect contact with your job have a right to sue as well.)

Lawsuit Development

First and foremost, talk to a lawyer. Present the lawyer with medical records as far back as you have had these medical issues. Find out what chemicals or dangerous elements you may have been exposed to while you were working in every job for the last decade. Investigative efforts are necessary to find out if your health issues are related to your job or to any environmental exposure of injurious toxins. If so, you have a personal injury case.

For more information, contact local professionals like Bennett & Sharp PLLC.