Mold is more than just a cosmetic concern. For some people, prolonged toxic mold exposure can lead to serious health problems.
If you have been exposed to dangerous levels of mold due to another party’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered. Weir & Kestner Injury Lawyers is here to help ensure you have access to the resources you need to deal with the lasting effects of your condition.
Possible Sources of Mold Exposure
Mold can grow whenever there is excessive moisture. Some common causes of mold growth indoors include:
- Flooded basements
- Damp carpets
- Poorly maintained air conditioning units
- Plumbing leaks
- Roof leaks
- Windows that don’t seal properly
There are more than 1,000 different types of mold that can grow indoors, but most are not harmful to your health. Toxic mold exposure generally refers to two specific types of mold: Stachybotrys chartarum and toxigenic aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum is often referred to as “black mold” due to its distinctive greenish-black color.
While private homes or apartments are the most common cause of mold-related health problems, you could potentially be exposed to toxic mold in the workplace. The more time you spend in a building with mold issues, the greater the possibility of negative health effects.
Risks Associated With Toxic Mold
Predicting the effects of toxic mold exposure can be difficult. For most healthy people, exposure does not result in illness. However, certain groups are more vulnerable:
- Elderly people
- People with compromised immune symptoms, including those who must take immunosuppressant medication
- People with asthma, mold allergies, or preexisting lung conditions
Symptoms that can indicate health problems associated with mold exposure include:
- Chronic coughing and sneezing
- Breathing difficulties, including chronic bronchitis and/or sinusitis
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle and joint pain
- Persistent headaches
- Skin rash
- Ear infections
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
- Heart palpitations
- Weight loss
In severe cases, mold exposure can lead to respiratory damage, kidney damage, liver failure, and memory loss. The risk of a permanent impairment increases when treatment is not received in a timely fashion or if the victim has co-occurring medical conditions. Toxic mold exposure can be fatal in some cases.
There is a great deal of misinformation related to the effects of toxic mold exposure, which can lead to some individuals being incorrectly diagnosed. Mold exposure can be mistaken for conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatism, lupus, Lyme disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Potentially Liable Parties
When you’ve suffered harm due to the effects of toxic mold exposure, you may be eligible for compensation. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may have a claim against one or more of the following parties:
- Your employer. Exposure to toxic mold in the workplace qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.
- The property owner. Toxic mold exposure from your home or apartment may be the result of negligent maintenance, which means you could have a premises liability claim against the property owner.
- Previous property owner. If you purchased your home, the property owner had a legal obligation to disclose issues with toxic mold before the sale was finalized.
- Product manufacturer. If problems arise from faulty windows, siding, or other home components, there may be a claim against the product manufacturer.
- Individuals involved in home construction. There could be a claim against the contractor, subcontractor, architect, or engineer if mold exposure was due to the way to property was built.
If your loved one passed away from complications related to toxic mold exposure, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their estate. A wrongful death claim can be thought of as an extension of the personal injury claim the deceased would have been entitled to file if they had not passed away.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
If you think you may have a valid claim for toxic mold exposure, you should take the following steps:
- See a doctor. Follow all treatment recommendations. Keep copies of any bills you receive for your medical records, even if they have already been paid by your health insurance.
- Keep a journal. Take note of what activities or conditions seem to trigger your symptoms and how they have affected your daily routine.
- Document the source of the mold. Take pictures and/or videos of any visible mold in the affected area. Document all attempts you’ve made to report the problem to the property owner, as well as any steps you’ve taken on your own to attempt to address the issue.
- Contact an experienced attorney. An attorney who handles cases involving toxic mold exposure can help you thoroughly document the damages you’ve suffered and negotiate with the liable party’s insurance company to maximize your compensation. If the case is unable to be settled out of court, they can prepare to represent your interests at trial.
Have You Been Harmed by the Effects of Toxic Mold Exposure?
If you are struggling with symptoms you believe are the result of toxic mold or your loved one's death was attributed to the complications associated with mold exposure, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 615.220.4180 to schedule your free consultation. We will schedule a time to meet with you at one of our offices in Smyrna, Nashville, Murfreesboro or Chattanooga, by telephone, video chat, or another location most convenient to you (including an in-home consultation).