Welders are exposed to some toxic fumes when intense heat from the welder’s torch comes in contact with a metal surface. These toxic fumes may cause some serious health problems; they can even trigger serious conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Other long-term health problems may also occur in those exposed to toxic welding rod fumes such as acute metal poisoning, kidney disease, and lung cancer.
If another company or person is responsible for another’s exposure to toxic welding fumes, the former may be held responsible for the injuries suffered by those exposed.
Proving Toxic Welding Rod Injury
In a personal injury case involving welding rods and toxic fumes, the plaintiff needs to prove that the injury was caused more likely than not by the negligence of a company or another person. Unlike in car accidents when it is pretty straightforward, proving who is liable for welding rod injuries may require the help of professionals such as doctors, safety experts, an experienced lawyer and others.
To prove exposure to toxic fumes at your workplace and that these fumes are responsible for your health problems, you may need the help of work safety specialists, toxicologists, doctors and others. Their expertise is needed in studying the elements concerned according to their field, and testifying in your behalf.
Defendants in such cases will most likely argue that your injuries are not caused by the toxic welding rod fumes or anything else that is their responsibility. They would probably hire their own lawyers and set of experts who would state conclusions that are opposite of what you are trying to prove. Or they may even argue that even if your injuries are caused by toxic welding rod fumes from work, your injuries are not the result of their fault or negligence, such as faulty equipment or safety gear, trying to pass on liability to the manufacturer or seller of a particular equipment or machinery.
“Negligence” or “Strict Liability”?
There are two possible legal theories that could be the basis of your case for injuries caused by toxic welding fumes—negligence theory and strict liability theory.
Under the negligence theory of liability, the plaintiff, with the help of their lawyer, must prove that another party who has a duty of reasonable care to the plaintiff failed in that duty, resulting to an injury or suffering by the plaintiff. This theory is employed in cases when someone’s act or failure to act is the main cause of an injury.
The strict liability theory is used when the product, such as equipment or safety gear, has been found to cause to injury. Here, if a product is determined to have been unreasonably safe and caused injury then the manufacturer of that product may be held legally liable for the injuries suffered.
Damages for Welding Rod Injuries
There are a lot of permanent health risks associated with welding rod toxic fumes, such as the development of respiratory or Parkinson’s disease. Since they are permanent and usually irreversible, it is not possible for the injured to be placed in the position where they were prior to the injury—as what is the objective of the law. Therefore, an injured party may be able to receive economic compensation which is decided to be equivalent to the damage. If the welding rod injury is caused by another person or a company, the injured party may be able to recover both economic and noneconomic damages such as:
- Emotional distress
- Lost earning capacity and related fringe benefits; lost enjoyment of life
- Lost past and future wages
- Past and future pain and suffering
- The cost of necessary rehabilitation
- The cost of past and future medical care
There are certain cases when the spouse and children of a person injured by welding rod fumes could get compensation. If their loved one suffers long-term serious medical condition, they may get compensation for damages to their relationship.
Getting Legal Help
If you or your loved one is experiencing symptoms of any medical condition related to exposure to toxic welding rod fumes, get medical help as soon as possible. Another thing you may want to consider is working with an experienced lawyer in order to find out more information concerning your legal rights and possible chance of legal compensation for your injuries.
In some cases, there may be more than one person or company liable for the injuries you suffered because of exposure to toxic welding rod fumes. Working with an experienced attorney will help you in knowing the proper steps to take to recover for damages.