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​Experienced ILLINOIS Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
& CHICAGO Injury Lawyers

Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Chicago Construction Accident Lawyers for Toxic Exposures

Occupational illness is a hazard of working at a construction site. Chemical exposures can result in both short and long term health problems including rashes, poisoning, and kidney, lung, and liver problems. Hazardous substances may take the form of chemicals, gases, powders, and flammable liquids. If you suffered an occupational illness due to your construction work, you should call the seasoned Chicago hazardous substances attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm has over 60 years of experience representing clients who have been made sick on a construction site that we can put to work for you in a personal injury lawsuit or SSDI or workers’ compensation claim.

Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Common dangerous substances at construction sites can include asbestos, acids, heavy metals like mercury and lead, disinfectants, glues, paint, pesticides, petroleum, carbon monoxide, and solvents like benzene and ammonia. The nature and degree of exposure to a hazardous substance will determine the health impact and degree of harm. Symptoms caused by exposure to toxins could include headaches, nausea, skin rashes, chemical burns, vomiting, organ disorders, and nervous system disorders. Exposure to dangerous toxins can result in serious illnesses like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, seizures, dementia, speech difficulties, memory loss, mesothelioma, leukemia, and anemia.

Generally, employer should make safety data sheets for hazardous substances available and should conduct training to make sure hazardous substances are used with the greatest possible care. Safety measures can include substituting dangerous substances with less dangerous ones, isolating hazardous substances in different storage areas, providing personal protection equipment like respirators and goggles, and monitoring the workplace with proper equipment to track the presence of dangerous substances.

Under OSHA regulations, certain records need to be maintained if dangerous substances are used in the workplace including the results of air and environment tests and the details of risk assessments, as well as details of health monitoring among the work crew. These records may be crucial to establishing liability in a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the toxic exposures.

Attorneys to Establish Liability

Parties that may bear responsibility for a toxic exposure can include anybody who has conducted illegal dumping of toxins, property owners, homeowners, transporters of toxic materials, and companies that used or dispersed the toxic material. When, for example, a company at the construction site exposes you to toxic substances due to negligence, our lawyers would need to show: (1) the company owed you a duty of reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation and (4) actual damages. For example, if a contractor negligently spilled a large quantity of solvents onsite near where you were working and you developed a serious illness, our lawyers may be able to establish that contractor’s liability.

Workers’ Compensation

Your exclusive remedy against your employer in such a situation would be workers’ compensation benefits pursued under the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act. These benefits cover a portion of your wage loss and your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. They do not cover noneconomic losses or the pain you may experience in connection with a work-related illness.

However, you may be able to pursue damages, which cover the full range of your losses, by bringing a third party lawsuit against a company that is not your employer. In some instances, such as the development of mesothelioma due to asbestos, other laws may apply to the case; some manufacturers of asbestos-containing products have filed for bankruptcy to avoid litigation, and when those companies are involved, an asbestos trust fund case must be pursued.

Consult a Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer About a Toxic Exposure

If you were made sick by a toxic exposure at a construction site, you need skillful legal representation. Call the trustworthy Chicago hazardous substance attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to represent you in your personal injury lawsuit, SSDI claim, or workers’ compensation claim. Call us at 312-724-5846 or fill out our online form.