At the Naumes Law Group, our accident lawyers have over 35 years of experience representing individuals in Boston who have suffered a serious injury or illness. Many of our clients were hurt in transportation accidents or developed diseases as a result of exposure to toxic substances on the job. We also have significant experience litigating Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA) claims, which arise in connection with railroad common carriers engaged in interstate commerce that negligently fail to protect their employees from harm.Protect Your Rights Through a Negligence Claim
After an accident or exposure to a toxin, Massachusetts residents may find it difficult to pay their medical bills, may need to take time away from work, and may experience significant pain and suffering. Their loved ones may have to take on additional household duties and childcare or may suffer a loss of consortium or support from a spouse. The losses associated with personal injuries should be compensated by the entities whose negligent or intentionally wrongful conduct caused the harm.
There are four main elements of a standard injury claim that a victim must prove:
- A duty owed by the defendant to the injured person;
- A breach of that duty by the defendant;
- A causal link leading from the defendant’s careless conduct to the harm; and
- Quantifiable damages that the victim sustained as a result.
The process of establishing these elements can vary in certain contexts, however. For example, individuals who are exposed to dangerous substances and suffer injuries or diseases due to their exposure can bring a toxic tort lawsuit. Some substances known to be dangerous include asbestos, benzene, latex, lead paint, mold, pesticides, silica, and petrochemicals. People can become sick due to exposure to a dangerous substance because of occupational exposure to dangerous toxins, pharmaceutical drugs with unintended side effects, environmental exposure through water or air, dangerous consumer products such as tobacco, or home exposure.
In a toxic tort case, a victim will need to prove that the substance was dangerous or toxic, that he or she was exposed to the substance, and that the substance caused harm and damages. Other elements that must be proven depend on the theory of liability that is involved. For example, in environmental toxic torts arising out of negligence, plaintiffs typically need to show the defendant violated a duty imposed by federal or state regulations. Similarly, in cases arising out of occupational exposure, the duty may be based on an employer's responsibility to provide employees with a safe workplace.
Causation is often a challenging element to prove in toxic tort litigation. It may require scientific evidence and expert testimony. Sometimes, a substance believed to be safe for years becomes the subject of a study that links it to a disease or injury previously unknown. These studies are valuable evidence for individuals who have been hurt.Strict Liability and Defective Products
In some situations, such as when a defective products claim is brought against a manufacturer, strict liability may be a more appropriate legal theory than negligence. This typically requires that a plaintiff, usually an injured consumer, prove that the defendant sold a product that had a defect when it was released into the market and that the defect caused harm to the victim. A product liability case often is pursued by a group of consumers as a class action. This allows legal and factual determinations to be made once, without the risk of inconsistent rulings. For example, once a defendant is held responsible for injuries caused by a certain item, this ruling will apply to all of the claims brought by individual consumers who were affected by the defective product.Discuss Your Injuries with a Skilled Boston Lawyer
If you were harmed due to another party’s failure to take proper precautions, you should consult an injury attorney before asserting your rights. Based in Boston, the Naumes Law Group is dedicated to pursuing justice and compensation for accident victims throughout Massachusetts, including in Springfield and Worcester. Contact us by calling 617-227-8444 or by completing our online form.