Pursuing a lead poisoning claim is one of the more complex things to do in law. A lead poisoning lawyer oftentimes has to document a wide range of issues about how the person was exposed to lead, where the exposure happened, and who might be responsible for it. If you're preparing to file a claim or start a lawsuit, here are three things you ought to be aware of.
Strict Liability vs. Negligence
One of the first questions that will have to be answered is how the allegedly at-fault party's liability will be assessed. In some states, strict liability applies to all instances of lead exposure. Other states may allow using the somewhat less aggressive negligence standard if the property or business owner did not, in good faith, believe lead exposure could be happening. Generally, this requires that property was certified by a professional inspector or a state agency before the incident in question occurred.
Documenting the Poisoning
The next challenge a lead poisoning lawyer faces is documenting the various signs that exposure occurred and the client is suffering from it. Many folks only discover they've experienced lead poisoning only after talking with multiple doctors about several issues. For example, someone may have experienced issues like headaches, muscle and joint pain, or memory issues. Children might have experienced stunted growth or brain damage.
Once a person has gone through this process of meeting with doctors, they eventually get tested. Presuming the testing lab is looking for lead, that's when they find out.
A lead poisoning attorney needs to make sure they've collected all the reports that have come from examinations, exploratory surgeries, and lab tests. These reports then have to be properly attached to claims documents to make them readable for an adjuster.
Statute of Limitations
In most states, the clock on the statute of limitations does not kick in until the victim becomes aware they were exposed to lead. This differs from many other types of injury cases, where the clock starts from the moment of an incident.
Once the exposure is known, the statute of limitations is usually two to three years. Some people who've just turned 18 will have that much time after they've reached the age of majority, even if the exposure was known 10 years ago. It's always wise to speak with a lead poisoning lawyer, though, to confirm how the statute of limitations might apply in your state.
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