Toxic torts are a subset of personal injury law involving injuries that are caused by exposure to toxic substances. And like some personal injury cases, toxic tort cases are some of the most complex claims and require skilled representation. This article will discuss a key element of the statute of limitations in taking legal action for a toxic tort.
Statute of Limitations and Toxic Torts
One of the first thing you want to understand is the statute of limitations for your toxic tort case. This is because the symptoms of exposure may happen years after the actual incident of exposure. Most states have a statute of limitations of two years for personal injury claims. The starting date of the statute of limitations is the date when the injury happened. However, most states allow for the statute of limitations to be delayed. This applies to cases where the plaintiff was reasonably not able to discover their injury.
Basically, the date of discovery means the date the victim noticed that they had suffered harm caused by the plaintiff. Or it may refer to the date that the victim should have reasonably learned of the harm with normal diligence. To illustrate, an employee develops cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos at his workplace. The employee does not notice adverse symptoms for several months or years and then received a cancer diagnosis. As a result, the statute of limitations is likely to begin on the date when the victim discovered the harm and not the date of diagnosis.
To succeed in a toxic tort lawsuit depends on the plaintiff’s ability to prove four elements. These elements are:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- There was a breach in that duty of care
- Injuries were sustained
- The breaching of the duty of care directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries
For legal advice in your toxic tort claim contact a skilled and knowledgeable Vinson Law Office attorney today.