Many workplaces in Boston, Massachusetts expose workers to harmful chemicals, toxic substances and dangerous work environments. It is the employer’s legal responsibility to protect employees from suffering injuries and illnesses because of these hazards as much as possible. If you or a loved one has been injured or diagnosed with a serious illness due to exposure to harmful chemicals at work, you may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit in Boston. Contact Barry D. Lang, M.D. & Associates for a free case consultation.
Why Clients Choose Barry D. Lang, M.D. & Associates
- We are a premier workers’ compensation and personal injury law firm in Boston. Our attorneys have been effectively and efficiently handling cases for over 20 years.
- Our attorneys exclusively practice personal injury, workers’ compensation and medical malpractice law. This gives us a great deal of knowledge and experience in these practice areas.
- Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis for workplace injury cases. This means you won’t pay us anything unless your case ends in financial compensation.
Common Hazardous Chemicals and Substances at Work in Boston
Harmful chemicals cannot be avoided completely; many of them are necessary for products that make up an important part of the U.S. economy. When chemicals are unavoidable, workers should be made aware of the potential health risks associated with them and be given adequate protection – such as safety gear and training. Common examples of hazardous chemicals that workers in Boston may be exposed to include:
- Oil and gas
- Toxic fumes
- Noxious gases
- Acidic or basic chemicals
- Caustic substances
- Heavy metals
- Carbon monoxide
In any work environment that may potentially expose workers to harmful chemicals, safety measures must be in place. These measures must be strictly enforced, and worker safety should always be the top priority. An employer falling short in worker safety in any regard can increase the risk of severe or fatal injuries and illnesses suffered by workers.
Injuries and Illnesses Caused by Chemical Exposure in the Workplace
Depending on the type and nature of the chemical involved, exposure could cause irreparable harm to a worker’s skin, eyes, organs, respiratory system and other parts of the body. Common injuries and illnesses connected to harmful chemical exposure are:
- Respiratory problems
- Eye injuries or loss of vision
- Trouble breathing
- Allergic reactions
- Skin irritation or rashes
- Skin cancers
- Chemical burns
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Birth defects
A worker in Boston could be exposed to harmful chemicals through his or her skin (dermal absorption or contact dermatitis), the respiratory system (inhaling toxic fumes or mists), or from unintentionally ingesting chemicals.
Who Is Liable for Exposure to Harmful Chemicals at Work in Massachusetts?
Workers in Boston may knowingly or unknowingly be exposed to toxic and harmful chemicals while performing their jobs. Some employees are aware of the dangerous nature of their jobs, such as those who work around oil and gas fumes or at chemical plants. Yet these workers should never be exposed to a higher risk of harm than necessary due to employer negligence or an unsafe workplace.
It is an employer’s responsibility to protect workers from all known exposure risks. If there is proof of employer negligence, the company can be held liable for a worker injury or death. If the employer carelessly neglected to provide personal protection equipment, safety-train workers or implement chemical containment protocols, for example, the employer can be liable. An employer can also be held vicariously liable for the negligence of its employees, such as a coworker who carelessly exposed someone else to harmful chemicals.
Some workers in Boston are unaware that they have been exposed to harmful chemicals by their jobs until it is too late, and they are already sick or injured. An example is the thousands of certified pesticide applicators who have used Roundup pesticides for the last few decades, only to find out that exposure to Roundup may cause cancer. In this situation, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective and dangerous product may be held responsible through a product liability lawsuit in Massachusetts.
Workers’ Compensation Can Provide Benefits Without Proof of Negligence
In Massachusetts, it may be possible to recover financial compensation without needing to prove that your employer or a product manufacturer was negligent by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Massachusetts law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the number of workers. This insurance covers most employees, but not independent contractors.
The benefit of a workers’ comp claim is the no-fault system, where an injured worker can be reimbursed for medical bills and partial lost wages even if no one is at fault for the harmful chemical exposure. One drawback, however, is that a workers’ comp settlement will not result in as much financial compensation as a worker can potentially receive with a personal injury claim.
Once you accept a workers’ comp settlement in Boston, you give up the right to sue your employer. If you believe that you were exposed to a harmful chemical due to a mistake made by your employer, therefore, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney before accepting a settlement offer. If a third party is at fault, such as the manufacturer of a harmful chemical, you may be able to receive benefits through both workers’ comp and a lawsuit.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Boston Can Help
Whether you are eligible to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury lawsuit and/or a wrongful death claim in Boston, a work injury lawyer can protect your rights and interests. Your lawyer can investigate your exposure to a harmful chemical, search for evidence of negligence or fault, and guide you through the legal process – whatever that looks like for you. You can trust your lawyer to pursue maximum financial compensation through all available outlets while you concentrate on recovering.
Request Your Free Case Review in Boston, MA Today
You aren’t alone as a worker in Boston who has been exposed to harmful chemicals or toxins in the workplace. The Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at Barry D. Lang, M.D. & Associates are here to listen to your story, answer your questions and provide an effective case review so that you can learn more about your rights.
We know what it takes to stand up against employer negligence in Boston and how to pursue the compensation that you deserve. Request a free case consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today at 1-877-LAW-DOCS.