Environmental damage claims involve injuries caused by exposure to a toxic substance or hazard in your environment. These claims are usually filed due to injuries caused by toxic waste, lead paint, water contamination, air pollution or toxic mold. The damage in question can be caused by an individual or a company that failed to take proper precautions to clean up hazardous substances such as the massive chemical leak at ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge plant in 2012, or Chevron’s infamous act of dumping millions of gallons of toxic waste into rivers and streams in Ecuador.
If you have suffered an injury from exposure to toxic substances in the environment and would like to explore your options for financial recovery, the experienced environmental damage lawyers at Simien & Simien are ready to guide you through the process. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Environmental Problems in Louisiana
A report from the spring of 2018 revealed Louisiana is the second-worst state in terms of environmental friendliness.
The state ranked the worst in the nation for recycling. It is estimated that only one percent of municipal waste in the state is recycled.
Louisiana ranked 49th in the country for the lack of renewable energy consumption. The only state with less renewable energy consumption was Delaware. Alaska, Rhode Island and New Jersey ranked ahead of Louisiana.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Louisiana also ranked 47th for per capita carbon dioxide emissions – these emissions contribute to climate change.
How Environmental Damage and Toxic Substances Can Affect Your Health
Environmental problems like contaminated water and pollution can cause severe injuries for people who are exposed to these hazards, including the following:
- Respiratory problems
- Neurological problems
- Brain damage
- Fertility problems
- Skin conditions
- Birth defects
There can be many other injuries and illnesses caused by dangerous environmental elements. Many of these medical issues result in the need for extensive medical intervention, which can be very costly for victims and their families.
Proving Liability for Your Injury
Your environmental damage personal injury attorney can help identify the parties liable for your damage and gather evidence to try to build a case against them.
You must be able to prove the following elements to prevail in an environmental damage claim:
You Were Exposed to an Environmental Hazard
The first thing that you must show is that you were exposed to an environmental hazard, such as lead paint, contaminated soil or contaminated water. Expert testimony may be necessary to establish that this happened.
You Were Unaware of the Exposure or Unable to Avoid It
You must also be able to show that you could not avoid the hazard or that you were unaware of it. If you knew about a hazard or toxic substance and you knowingly exposed yourself to it, it may be very difficult to hold someone else liable for your injuries.
You Did Not Cause the Environmental Hazard
This means you could not have created the environmental hazard or been an authority in causing the hazard. If you caused a hazard to exist, you would liable for the injuries you suffered. If others get hurt, you could be liable for their injuries as well.
The Defendant Was Responsible for Your Injury
You must show that the named defendant was responsible for your injury. In some situations, fault is already determined, such as if the EPA has cited a company for violations of environmental regulations.
You Suffered Damages as a Result of Your Exposure
You must be able to show that you suffered some type of damage due to the exposure. Some common forms of damages in environmental damage claims include:
- Medical expenses to treat your injuries
- Long-term care expenses to help you perform daily activities
- Lost earning capacity if your income is reduced while you are ill or unable to return to work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Contact an Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
If you were injured because of environmental damage, the trusted legal team at Simien & Simien can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options with an environmental damage lawyer.
Your consultation is 100 percent free and there is no obligation to take legal action. You will not owe us for our services unless you receive fair compensation.
Environmental claims are quite complex and difficult to manage on your own. Our attorneys can help collect evidence that shows how the environmental damage occurred. This could include requesting public health and safety reports, EPA documents and internal company documents to establish the link between the negligent party and your illness.
Your personal injury lawyer can also help you determine the value of your claim. He or she can collect medical records, employment records and other documentation and evidence that establishes the extent of harm the environmental damage caused you. If the other side reaches out to offer a settlement, we can explain whether we think it is in your best interest to accept the offer.