People in many different types of industries are exposed to toxic substances every single day. Some of these substances are fairly benign, showing little to no immediate effects, while others need to be treated with the utmost seriousness. However, over time exposure to these substances can lead to disastrous consequences, including serious health concerns, chronic illnesses, and more. The good news is you may be able to hold your employer accountable for your losses, but not in the way you would a traditional injury. Let’s take a closer look at what the law says.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
The workers’ compensation system is designed to offer a mutually-beneficial network of protection and care for both employers and employees in the event of an on-the-job injury. In essence, the workers’ compensation program offers employees coverage for the injuries and conditions they sustain as a result of their job duties. However, in exchange for this program, workers are not allowed to sue their employers for damages as a result of their injuries. This also applies to toxic exposure cases.
Employers do have a duty to protect their workers, and the workers’ compensation program more or less holds your employers accountable to do so. Workers’ compensation claims are expensive, and companies with poor track records and a number of claims against them have to pay far more than companies who take extra care and precaution to provide their people with the proper training and protection against toxic substances.
Premises Liability Claims
While you can’t sue your employer for your injuries, you could potentially hold another party responsible for toxic exposure: a premises owner. Say your company rents a suite in an office building, and after a while you notice you’re having trouble breathing, suffering dizzy spells, and being forced to call out sick on some days. You then discover that your building’s walls are infested with black mold. In this instance, you may be able to choose to hold the property owner liable for the negative consequences you have suffered.
However, whether or not this is advisable is largely dependent on the facts of your case. It could be the most prudent to simply file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer and then let your employer sue the premises owner for their negligence in allowing mold to grow in the walls of a building they were renting out. Before taking any action, it’s highly advised you talk to an Austin personal injury lawyer to determine which option would be the best for you to get the care and treatment you need.
Are you dealing with the consequences of a toxic exposure issue? Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC today at (512) 271-5112 to request a case evaluation.