Traces of illegal substances found in a person’s blood are often red flags for a person who may be under suspicion by the police. Many illegal substances may be perceived as adding a bigger high to the person when the evidence points at more grim circumstances. It is up to a forensic toxicologist to discover which illegal substances are in a suspect’s bloodstream and how much has been ingested.
Analgesics like morphine can be found in your blood between six to eight hours after ingestion but take up to three days until it exits with the urine. Amphetamines, heroin, and codeine stay in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours and are out with the urine in no more than three days.
Some drugs take a long time to stay in the blood and even longer to be flushed out in the urine, upping the chances of traces being detected if a suspect underwent a checkup. Crystal meth stays in the blood between 24 hours to 72 hours, depending on the method of administration, while being taken out in the urine in between three to six days. Cannabis takes the longest to leave the system– tetrahydrocannabinol lingers in the blood for two weeks and stays in your urine for the next month.
Determining the drugs found in the bloodstream can work in an investigation. They may even work as evidence for other related drug cases.
“In general, physical injury cases are easy to sort out in terms of what exactly happened to whom, like a victim who suffered fractured limbs from a car accident for instance. Toxic tort cases, on the other hand, are rarely as telling.
Most of the time, for an attorney to successfully give justice to his client, a reliable medical expert witness should be hired. Here are some basic facts about the technical realm of toxic tort claims and litigation that every lawyer should arm themselves with.”
“Calling in the Cavalry
This is when expert witnesses like Dr. Nachman Brautbar of Environmental Diseases are called in. Whether it be for the prosecution or the defense, witnesses who are certified experts on forensic toxicology can review the DUI testing process in every stage, and they will find out if there was indeed any flaw in the procedure which could significantly influence the verdict.
If DUI offenders are getting smarter, then prosecutors’ job of delivering justice just got tougher. Thankfully, they can still rely on the services of a reputable, expert forensic toxicologist to ensure that the medical aspects of a DUI case process is done right and free of potential conviction-reversing flaws.”
Toxic tort cases are similar to personal injury suits in the sense that victims in both kinds of cases want their defendants to take responsibility for the fate that they suffered. Both legal procedures promise financial compensation if the plaintiffs win their case.
However, the similarity stops there. Personal injury cases deal with accidents that could have been avoided if the defendant had been more careful with his direct actions. For toxic tort cases, a plaintiff’s illness caused by harmful chemicals indirectly administered by the defendant is the usual grounds. Here are some of the most important criteria that have to be proven/rebutted during the proceedings of the case:
The connection between the plaintiff’s illness and the defendant’s involvement in the entire matter is one of the most difficult facts to connect. Defendants will consistently probe into invalid arguments, and the plaintiffs would have to make a valid connection between the defendants and their illness.
Nothing is more vital to a plaintiff’s case than evidence; the sooner it is presented, the better. Witnesses can be hard to track down, and time can easily blur any accounts of an event that happened a long time ago. The existence of hard evidence will help plaintiffs get the reward they deserve.
When we think of forensic toxicologists, we usually think of investigators seen on popular crime shows with their fingerprint powders and high-tech photographic equipment. However, they do more than just sit in labs and solve crimes. Forensic toxicology is also about identifying foreign substances in a body and how much of it is present. This field of expertise has applications in various areas more than crime-solving.
Poisoning isn’t always due to a person secretly placing toxic substances in another person’s food or drink. Humans can likewise be exposed to toxic materials in nature, whether the source is natural or man-made. Some examples of toxic elements present in nature are asbestos and lead.
Asbestos is usually used as a fire retardant. However, too much of it in a home, and the residents would be breathing in a lot of asbestos particles, which can eventually cause lung cancer. Lead, usually found in old pipes, can mix with drinking water and be ingested by people, thereby resulting in lead poisoning. Identifying the presence of these toxins is part of a forensic toxicologist’s work.
Court cases need expert evidence. Many forensic toxicologists are called upon by both prosecutors and defense lawyers to give their knowledgeable opinion about various cases, ranging from drunk driving to poisoning cases with circumstantial evidence. Providing the right information can help keep innocents out of jail and ensure that justice is aptly served.
Humanity doesn’t always bring about its own plagues – sometimes, even naturally occurring substances can be just as deadly as man-made toxic wastes and pollutants. A lot of people may not be aware of it, but some metals can pose a serious threat to the health of an individual or a group of people, and nickel, despite its plethora of uses, is one of the causes of many common environmental diseases today.
Toxic tort is a type of lawsuit that deals with a person or entity having harmed an individual or a group via exposure to particularly dangerous chemicals – a common example of which would be a company illegally dumping hazardous waste near a residential area, causing the people therein to be sick. As a paralegal of your law firm, you should familiarize yourself with the tasks involved when handling such a case. For instance, you might be called upon to look for a forensic toxicology professional to stand as an expert witness.
A reliable forensic toxicologist, like one from Environmental Diseases, can definitely be a great asset in helping your client.
Toxic tort cases can be tricky, and it takes a lot of medical knowledge and expertise to win one. You, as the trusty paralegal, have an important role in making sure that your firm and your clients get the justice they deserve.