Environmental Toxicology: Why Hire an Expert Witness

While most jobs are generally safe, a few are more hazardous than the rest. E-waste recycling, sulfur mining, and sanitation are some of the industries which involve jobs that pose some health and safety risks, including the exposure to dangerous substances. In all of these, employers have the responsibility to minimize risks to employees. If a worker gets exposed to hazardous materials and becomes ill and unable to work as a result, he or she can seek justice for it if it can be proven that negligence is involved.

The victim will have to contact a personal injury lawyer. Whether it’s a chemical burn or a radiation exposure, a personal injury lawyer can create an effective strategy to prove to the court that the injury, which has impaired his client, was due to exposure to hazardous substances, caused by another party’s negligence. To do this, the complainant will need the services and testimony of an expert witness specializing in environmental toxicology.

An expert witness has the knowledge the court can rely on for factual evidence on such cases. An environmental toxicologist will make an appropriate expert witness in a case of chemical exposure, as he can show how certain chemicals can affect a person’s health or the environment.

It is crucial for lawyers and paralegals to have a network that can identify expert witnesses in these kinds of cases. The other party may also provide their own expert witness, so it is important to work only with highly-reliable professionals.

Filing a Toxic Tort vs. Medical Malpractice

If an illness arises from pharmaceuticals, should you file a toxic tort case or a medical malpractice suit? If you develop symptoms after taking a drug, you may be a victim of some form of negligence. You can consult a lawyer, who will need guidance from a forensic toxicologist or a similar professional, in determining what type of lawsuit to file.

Defective Drugs

If the pharmaceutical is defective in nature, then a toxic tort could be more appropriate. In cases like this, the defect may have risen from the manufacturing process of the drug. There could be a dangerous imbalance of ingredients, a use of incorrect or expired compounds, a contaminated medium, etc. The manufacturer or distributor would be liable for the injurious side effects that victims suffer. Usually, mass torts are filed in cases of defective drugs, involving the individuals that have taken the drugs.

Erroneous Prescription

On the other hand, if a drug has been inappropriately prescribed by a doctor, then a medical malpractice may be in order. When a doctor misjudges a patient’s condition, he/she may issue treatments that are unnecessary or unsuitable. The erroneous treatment would not be provide the right treatment, which can be financially costly at best, and physically damaging or even fatal at worst. Whatever effect the wrong prescription brings, the doctor can be held responsible for it.