If you’ve suffered dioxin poisoning due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a dioxin poisoning compensation claim.
What Is Dioxin Poisoning?
Dioxins are a group of compound chemicals that may be created naturally or generated through certain man-made industrial processes such as the manufacture of pesticides and metals. They are also found in low levels in domestic fires and hospital waste.
Exposure to low levels of dioxins is relatively common and harmless. However, exposure to high levels of dioxins can result in dioxin poisoning. This usually occurs in workplaces that either use or emit dioxins. Outside of the workplace, dioxin poisoning can occur when toxic substances are incinerated in an open space without putting measures in place to prevent dioxins from leaking into the atmosphere.
Causes And Consequences Of Dioxin Poisoning
Dioxin poisoning can occur when a person inhales or ingests significant amounts of contaminated dust or when the skin comes in repeated contact with contaminated substances. Symptoms can range from mild to very serious. The severity of the poisoning and the resultant symptoms depend on the length of exposure, how the chemical entered the body, and how much of the chemical entered the body.
Nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain are some of the immediate symptoms that manifest after significant exposure to dioxins within a short period.
When the exposure is at lower levels but occurs repeatedly over extended periods of time, it may take some time for the effects of the poison to become apparent.
In the long term, high doses of dioxin can cause serious medical issues including:
- Birth defects
- Organ damage, particularly kidney and liver damage
- Certain cancers
- Compromised immune system
- Chloracne, a serious skin disease that manifests as acne-like lesions
- Decreased fertility
- General health problems such as chronic fatigue
- Eye irritations
- Respiratory infections
- Excessive hair growth
- Irritating rashes accompanied by discoloured skin
Who Is At Risk Of Dioxin Poisoning?
Small amounts of dioxin are found naturally in the environment. Almost everyone is likely to be exposed to low levels of these chemicals in their lifetime. However, this low level of exposure is harmless and usually goes unnoticed.
Workers who are employed in industries where dioxins are used or emitted are at high risk of being exposed to toxic levels. This includes workers employed in these types of work places:
- Pulp and paper mills
- Chemical factories
- Pesticide production plants
- Incinerator plants
- Waste recycling plants especially where aluminium or copper a being recycled
- Steel works
Firefighters are also at high risk of exposure to toxic levels of dioxin when putting out transformer fires.
Employers Responsibility For Mitigating The Risks Of Dioxin Exposure
Employers have a duty of care toward their workers. This is a legal mandate. To abide by this legal duty of care, employers are required to first identify the risks of that particular workplace. Where there is a risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals, employers must comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Control of Substances Hazardous to Health’ regulations. This may include providing workers with adequate personal protective equipment and clothing, such as gloves, goggles and respiratory protection. They must also implement recommended control measures to minimise exposure.
If you can prove that your employer did not comply with the HSE regulations and you were exposed to toxic dioxin levels as a result, you may have a valid dioxin poisoning compensation claim.
Making A Dioxin Poisoning Compensation Claim
Your first step to making a dioxin poisoning compensation claim is to get a detailed report from your doctor stating that your illness was caused due to exposure to dioxin. Meanwhile, keep a record of your symptoms and any medication or treatments that your doctor prescribes to alleviate those symptoms. Also keep a record of any medical expenses.
As soon as possible you should get in touch with a personal injury solicitor to determine whether or not you have valid grounds for a compensation claim, in their expert opinion. Most solicitors offer at least one no-obligation, complimentary consultation. You can make use of this consultation to get expert legal advice at no cost. After listening to the details of your situation and looking through what evidence you might already have to prove your claim they can make an assessment on what action should be taken next. If you have a strong claim, they will advise you to pursue a dioxin poisoning claim. If not, they will advise you against.
No Win No Fee Dioxin Poisoning Claims
One thing you need not worry about is how you are going to fund your dioxin poisoning claim. Personal injury solicitors know all too well the dilemma that poisoning victims face. On the one hand you may be faced with mounting expenses and on the other hand you might also be dealing with loss of income from being unable to resume work. Under these circumstances, most poisoning victims cannot even think about paying any legal fees.
To ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you get the compensation due to you, most personal injury solicitors will offer to fund your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
A No Win No Fee agreement is designed to help dioxin poisoning victims get much-needed legal representation without having to pay anything upfront.
How Much Compensation For Dioxin Poisoning?
How much compensation is paid for successful dioxin poisoning claims depend on several factors but mainly on the severity of the injuries, your pain and suffering, and your actual financial losses. Financial losses take into consideration factors such as all medical expenses related to the poisoning, all travelling expenses related to the ongoing medical treatment, lost wages, and home care. Your solicitor will make sure that you get the maximum settlement due to you.
The important thing to know is that there is a time limit for filing dioxin poisoning claims. Depending on the circumstances, this could be 3 years from the time the poisoning occurs or 3 years from the date the diagnosis was made. Delay in seeking legal advice could cause a delay in filing a claim. Any claims filed after the deadline may not be considered. The earlier you speak to a personal injury solicitor, the higher your chances of successfully filing a dioxin poisoning compensation claim and receiving compensation for your injuries.