Your chances are much higher of winning a lead poisoning lawsuit if you are the claimant than if you are the defendant.
Lead poisoning has always been a great concern for people, regardless of the United States area that they live in. Research shows that 90% of the people born from 1951-1980 were exposed to high quantities of lead, leading to harmful mental effects such as drops in IQ. The exposure is not as high nowadays, especially for people living in high-class neighborhoods, but there are still instances where this can happen.
The state protects your rights when it comes to lead poisoning, and certain regulations should prevent this condition from happening. That being said, if you or a loved one still fall victim to lead poisoning, what are your chances of winning a lawsuit? Can you be successful, or will you just lose time and money in courtrooms with no results? The answer to that can depend on several factors, which we will talk about throughout this article.
How Lead Poisoning Affects People
Sadly, severe cases of lead poisoning can cause irreversible effects that can affect a person’s lifestyle. Depending on the amount ingested, lead poisoning may take weeks to make itself known – whereas, in others, it may take years. Even five micrograms of lead can affect a person’s ability to stay focused, cause behavioral challenges and diminish academic performance.
The problem is that millions of children are going untested for lead poisoning, which not only worsens the symptoms but also makes your case more complicated in the eyes of the law. This type of negligent behavior is punishable by law, especially if it is done knowingly, but certain kinks may affect the course of a lawsuit.
Determining Fault in a Lead Poisoning Case
Lead exposure can deal great damage to a person’s health, and it’s even lethal sometimes. If you suffer from lead poisoning as a result of a neglectful home seller or landlord, you are entitled to receive compensation. After all, lead poisoning can bring along long-term brain damage – and along with it, multiple medical expenses.
That being said, the laws of California may be slightly complicated, especially if lead poisoning is not discovered early on. In Los Angeles, you have two years to file a lawsuit from the moment you discovered your condition – at which point, you need to bring proof. Most people only find closure by hiring lead poisoning attorneys in Los Angeles, as they often have more resources.
Winning on the Defense Strategy
If a legal lawsuit was filed against you, winning can be challenging – especially if you are the only one at fault. For example, if the water was contaminated by lead pipes that were not changed, or if you left the furniture with lead-based old paint unchecked, you might be found responsible.
That being said, certain strategies can divert responsibility from the defendant. For instance, if the family moves around a lot, then their claims may be discredited. After all, they may have been exposed to the lead in any other place.
A dysfunctional family may also be held at fault for not paying attention to their children, and allowing them to eat paint chips. Certain judges may rule in favor – and others may not. If the claimant is unemployed, a drug abuser, or has other issues that may have led to physical or behavioral issues, their claim may also be discredited.
Winning When You’re on the Offense
When you are on the offense, you have a higher chance of winning the lawsuit. The only condition here is that you need to file within the statute of limitations and bring the necessary proof. The main evidence you need to focus on is your medical report.
If the child or individual undergoes regular lead testing, this can help prove your case. If the condition and high levels of lead correlate with the time that you moved into the house, then you have half the case. The other half is determined by the samples taken from the house (i.e., lab tests on the water, ingesting or inhaling lead-based paint, etc.).
A win may not be guaranteed, and circumstances may depend on the care of the claimant. Usually, once the evidence becomes obvious and the medical proof comes to light, the judge will start a negotiation session. This will bring both parties to a settlement and avoid a trial case.
The Bottom Line
Your chances are much higher of winning a lead poisoning lawsuit if you are the claimant than if you are the defendant. However, this mostly depends on the evidence that you have, your lifestyle, and the attorney that you get. You may want to hire a good lawyer, as they can find the loophole that you need.