Chemical Spill and Exposure
Chemical spills and the exposure to spills and waste can be very harmful to workers, leading to burns and serious injuries, sometimes to the respiratory tract. If a spill occurs, identify the chemical and then review the manufacturer’s instructions. The kind of chemical that is spilled will largely determine how you should respond to the chemical spill in terms of cleanup.
The employer may or may not be qualified and trained properly on cleaning up the spill. If not, local law enforcement may have to be contacted so they can find the correct response team. If the spill is large enough, the area may have to be evacuated.
It is best to attempt to cover the spill, if at all possible, and attempt to neutralize it. If the spill can be contained and cleaned up, the waste from the spilled chemical has to be disposed of according to local and federal laws for safety reasons.
There are ways, however, to protect yourself from a chemical spill, and they are to wear chemical-resistant gloves, clothes that cover the skin, and eye protection.Washington State Chemical Spill and Exposure Laws
If you have been injured on the job, you have one of two options in order to secure a recovery for your injuries. First, you may to be able to turn to L&I.
L&I stands for Labor and Industries and they are a division of Washington State. They will pay you a portion of your time loss and, if you are eligible, you can receive a financial settlement for your injuries, which is called a permanent partial disability award (PPD award). This amount is based on the percentage of your disability.
The particular thing about a L&I case is that you don’t have to prove that anyone was at fault. L&I does not care who was at fault. You can receive benefits from L&I regardless of who was at fault. Even you could be at fault. All that matters is that you were on the job when you got hurt. While the settlement you will receive L&I may not be much money, it can at least be something for you.
The second option you have is what is called a third party settlement. A third party settlement is only available when a party other than your employer caused your accident. So if there was another company, such as a general contractor, that was partly or entirely responsible for how the accident was created, then you can sue the general contractor just like you could sue someone who struck you with their car.
If you have to sue the general contractor, or a subcontractor, then you have to prove that they were somehow negligent and caused your injuries. This is very different from L&I obviously, where, again, you don’t have to prove fault. With a third party case, the burden of proof is on you. This means you may have to hire a certain kind of expert to prove your version of events are in fact correct. These cases may not be easy to win, but the financial reward may be much greater than with a L&I case.
If this second option is available to you, there is no reason why you can’t have both a L&I case and a third party case. The reason this is the case is that you are not suing your employer, which is not allowed when L&I is involved. Instead, you’re suing a company other than your employer, which is allowed. However, L&I will likely ask that you repay a portion of your legal settlement that is reserved for medical bills back to L&I.
While the party that injured you, whether it be a general or subcontractor, may have violated any number of laws, it is important to identify at least one. In addition, you may be able to just point to the fact that the defendant either knew or should have known there was a problem with their worksite in terms of it not being safe.
If you have suffered an electric shock on the job and suffered serious injuries, feel free to speak to The Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation. Part of the challenge in a case involving a chemical spill or exposure injury is to identify the right party to sue. There could be any number of possibilities, including, but not limited to:
- The general contractor
- The subcontractor
- The company for the chemical company
- The company who was responsible for safety for the chemical company
There may be even other companies or responsible parties as well who are responsible too. The challenge is identifying them. Having the right kind of expert is essential in a case like this who can help not only identify the right party but who can also explain how the accident happened, how it could have been prevented, and why different safety protocols would have made a difference.Common Chemical Spill and Exposure Injuries
If you have been injured on the job or at a construction site, you may have suffered a number of serious injuries. Among them are:
- First, second, and third degree burns
- Skin injuries
- Eye injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
Chemical spill and exposure injuries rarely heal on their own. Rather, they require extensive medical care to address them. The most common and helpful sources of medical professionals are doctors, chiropractors, osteopaths, and surgeons who can help address your injuries.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
If you have been injured at a jobsite or construction site, you may have a claim against them to recoup compensation for your injuries. The Jackman Law Firm has the expertise to effectively represent you with the insurance company for the construction company, in arbitration and if necessary in court to secure your rights for compensation and relief. After your injury, you are understandably upset and likely unsure of your options and which way to with your case. You are likely receiving a lot of phone calls from insurance companies, you’re going to the doctor or the chiropractor, and you may be missing work.
If this is the case, do not go through this process alone. We can help you every step of the way. We can work with the insurance companies so they do not contact you. We can help you secure all of the compensation you are owed for your injury under Washington State Law. The Jackman Law Firm can help you recover the following:
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for lost wages
- Money for out of pocket expenses
- Money for medical bills
We have the resources, experience, and successful track record to win your case. There may be instances when you find yourself having to defend yourself from untrue accusations from the insurance company for the party that injured you. They may claim that you are somehow either entirely at fault or partly at fault for your injuries.
For instance, if you suffered a burn injury because of a fall at a construction site, the insurance company for the business may argue that you should have watched where you were going. If this is the case, the Jackman Law Firm can help you by sending a subpoena for documents from the company, interviewing key witnesses, and speaking to the police to see if we can do everything possible to prove your case in your favor. Feel free to call for a free consultation.