Toxic Exposure is Serious
New York City injury attorneys seek justice for those exposed to toxic substances
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that thousands of chemical-related incidents occur annually . Accidents due to toxic exposure can result in serious injury and death. The results-driven personal injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman P.C. in New York City aggressively advocate for accident victims, with a track record of successfully recovering multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts in personal injury and accident cases throughout New York.
OSHA establishes safety standards for toxic substances
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the United States Department of Labor, establishes standards to ensure the safety of American workers, including publishing safety guidelines that address workplace hazards associated with chemicals and toxic substances . OSHA provides several methods to control workers’ exposure to chemical hazards and toxic substances, based on OSHA’s longstanding policy that work practice controls and engineering should be the primary method for reducing this risk. OSHA recommends that respiratory protection be utilized when engineering or work practice controls are unattainable or while they are being carried out.
OSHA safety controls for toxins and chemicals are as follows:
- Elimination and substitution controls: When feasible, the toxic substance or chemical should be substituted with a safer alternative
- Engineering controls: this method modifies the physical workplace, eliminating or reducing the hazard of the work. This may include changing the process to minimize contact with the hazardous substance, using fume hoods, enclosing or isolating the process, using wet methods to reduce formation of dusts and other particles, and carrying out general dilution ventilation
- Work practice and administrative controls: this method establishes efficient procedures or processes to minimize the hazard. This includes rotating job assignments and adjusting work schedules to minimize overexposure to a hazardous substance
- Personal Protective Equipment: is aimed at using protection to minimize exposure to the risk factors of chemicals and toxic substances. This includes wearing chemical protective clothing and gloves, using respiratory protection, and wearing eye protection
Many workers do not recognize hazards of toxic substances in the workplace, as they are unaware of the chemicals that pose risks. This lack of awareness puts these workers at even greater risk of exposure and injury. OSHA publishes reference guides aimed at educating workers of the hazards associated with chemicals and toxic substances.
New York’s labor laws are designed to protect workers against workplace injury
New York’s labor laws were enacted to protect workers from suffering workplace injury. New York labor laws include the following provisions:
- New York Labor Law Section 200: under this provision, owners and contractors are required to maintain safe workplaces and follow safety guidelines which are designed to protect workers
- New York Labor Law Section 240: – also referred to as the “scaffold law”, this provides protection for workers if they suffer injury in a high fall or if they are struck by a falling object
- New York Labor Law Section 241: requires that specific safety precautions be carried out at the workplace. Work sites are also required to have available certain safety equipment to ensure the safety of workers
Workers’ compensation and personal injury: what is the difference?
Every state requires that employers provide some form of workers’ compensation for employees who sustain injury while on the job. Workers’ compensation is provided regardless of who is deemed at fault for the workplace accident and subsequent injury. Compensation that can be recovered under workers’ compensation is generally substantially less than what an injured worker can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Furthermore, not all workers’ compensation laws apply to the lawsuits filed by injured workers. Personal injury lawsuits, on the other hand, offer the potential for much higher damage awards. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim for your workplace injury, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and the available options.
Compensatory damages in personal injury claims
When filing a personal injury claim, the injured victim seeks to recover what is known as “compensatory damages”. Compensatory damages in personal injury cases may include medical expenses that are the result of the injury, lost wages due to time away from work because of the injury, lost earned sick time, and lost vacation time. The injured worker may also ask for damages for pain and suffering. Because the monetary value of pain and suffering is immeasurable, the value of these losses must be estimated.
What is New York’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims?
Statutes of limitations – the legal time limits for filing claims in the civil court system – vary from state to state. In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date the accident occurred. It is important to note this deadline if you are considering filing a personal injury claim. If your claim is not filed before the three year deadline, your case will not be heard in the courts nor will you be able to recover any compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Were you exposed to a toxic substance at work? Give us a call today
Many workers are unaware of the hazards posed by workplace substances. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that all workers are informed of the substances present in the workplace and the risks associated with exposure to these substances. Furthermore, employers are required to carry out safety measures to eliminate or reduce workers’ exposure to toxic substances and chemicals. If you or a loved one was injured due to exposure to chemicals or toxic substances, give us a call. The injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman P.C. in New York City share more than 80 years of combined experience advocating on behalf of injured victims and successfully recovering the maximum compensation for their injuries. We operate on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing until we win your case. Contact our office at 212-285-3300 or 917-268-6710 or contact us online to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your case.