Benzene is a naturally occurring chemical, but it is also used in much higher levels for many industrial purposes. Exposure to low levels of benzene is not usually harmful, but there are health risks associated with prolonged exposure or acute overexposure to high levels of benzene.
If you or a loved one faced excess benzene exposure in Maryland and suffered injuries or developed adverse health complications, you might be entitled to sue for the injuries and conditions you faced. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice’s Maryland benzene exposure attorneys might be able to help you file a lawsuit to get you and your family compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to the injury. For a free legal consultation, call (410) 694-7291 today.
Common Injuries and Illness from Benzene Exposure
If you were exposed to benzene, the injuries and health consequences you face can vary greatly. Benzene is found in many household products, gasoline, cigarettes, and other products you interact with every day, so not all exposure to benzene is going to cause serious adverse effects. However, prolonged exposure to moderate levels or acute exposure to high levels can cause health problems.
Many people exposed to high levels of benzene can become physically ill. Stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fast heartbeat, and fainting are all potential symptoms. If you ingest it, you could also have seizures or other issues. Exposure to very high levels can also be deadly.
If you are exposed to lower volumes of benzene over a prolonged period, you could develop other health problems. Benzene often affects your bone marrow and other parts of your body that produce blood cells. In some cases, these blood cells might be negatively affected, causing anemia and other health concerns.
Benzene is also a carcinogen. This means that exposure to benzene can cause cancer, which often takes the form of leukemia and other cancers that affect the blood and blood-producing organs.
Accidents Leading to Benzene Exposure in Maryland
You can be exposed to benzene in many ways. Benzene is an element in many household products and items, but the level of benzene in these products is usually limited to prevent harmful exposure. Gasoline and the crude oil used to produce it also contains benzene, and manufacturing often uses benzene to help produce products. It is far more common for exposure to high levels of benzene to occur at work, especially in jobs dealing with manufacturing and oil and gasoline production.
Suing for Benzene Exposure in Maryland
If you are exposed to benzene in the home or while going about your day, you may be entitled to sue various parties for the exposure. If you were exposed due to a gas leak or an explosion, the property owner or the owner of the damaged pipes might be responsible. If you are exposed to high levels of benzene in a dangerous product, the product manufacturer might be responsible for failing to warn consumers of the levels of benzene in the product or for committing manufacturing errors that led to increased levels of benzene.
If you are exposed at work, you might be able to sue your employer for the injuries you faced. In some cases, Maryland’s workers’ compensation rules might prevent you from suing, requiring you to instead file for damages through that process. However, in some cases the damages might be higher in a lawsuit, and you should speak with a lawyer for help fighting your case.
Employers are often responsible for overexposure and other issues brought on by improper safety training and improper safety gear. Benzene exposure can be dangerous, and if workers are not properly warned of the dangers and allowed to decide for themselves whether to risk exposure, they might be entitled to sue. They might also be entitled to sue if they were not properly trained on how to handle benzene and what steps to take to avoid and deal with exposure.
Other benzene overexposure cases usually occur because safety gear was inadequate to keep workers safe. This could occur if there is not enough ventilation in the area or if fans and air vents are broken or improperly maintained. Personal safety gear like respirators and safety goggles should also be properly maintained and kept in working condition. Moreover, employers are usually required to supply this safety gear, not workers. Failing to provide proper safety gear could be negligent.
Damages for Benzene Exposure Lawsuits in MD
If you do sue for benzene exposure, you may be entitled to damages for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to the injury. If your injury or medical condition requires emergency medical care, ongoing care, cancer treatment, or other healthcare expenses, you might be entitled to compensation for these costs. If your injury causes you to miss work or makes you unable to go back to work, damages for the lost wages should be paid by the responsible parties. Lastly, damages for the intangible harms, like mental anguish and physical pain, should be covered in full.
Insurance claims and workers’ comp. payments might not include all of these areas of compensation or might not pay the full value of these damages. The same is true for settlements offered outside of court, which might be intentionally lower than your full damages. Talk to a lawyer for help understanding what your case is worth before you accept any money for your injuries.
Call Our Maryland Benzene Exposure Lawyer Today for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one was exposed to high levels of benzene because of a defective product, as part of your job, or in an accident, call our lawyers today. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice’s Maryland benzene exposure attorneys represent injury victims and their families and fight to get them the compensation they need after an injury from chemical exposure. For your free legal consult, call us at (410) 694-7291.