You expect to be safe from hazardous materials in your home and place of work, but sometimes this is not the case. Defects in construction can create the perfect environment for mold, which can have far-reaching health consequences.
If you suspect that there is toxic mold in your home or place of employment that is making you sick, it’s important to seek the help of a qualified attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. The personal injury law firm Peake & Fowler can protect your rights and pursue the parties responsible to recover full compensation for your losses.
Toxic Mold Syndrome and Its Symptoms
An illness that results from the exposure to certain mold spores might be referred to as Toxic Mold Syndrome (TMS). These spores produce a poison known as mycotoxin that can cause serious health issues. When the spores are released into the air, they are usually inhaled. Symptoms of TMS include:
- Throat and nose irritation
- Shortness of breath and lung congestion
- Burning or watery eyes
- Vertigo and lightheadedness
- Memory problems and loss of cognitive function
As with most bacterial and chemical exposures, people who already have weakened immune systems may be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of TMS. Anyone with existing respiratory issues or allergies may experience more pronounced symptoms from exposure to mold. Children and the elderly are also at risk, which is why it is even more tragic when there are cases of daycare centers or nursing homes that allow mold issues to persist.
The Origin of Toxic Mold
Most toxic mold develops from exposure to Water Damaged Buildings (WDB). These are more common than many realize. A report by the Federal Facilities Council titled Implementing Health-Protective Features and Practices in Buildings had some disturbing findings. Over 40 percent of the buildings examined had existing water damage, and 85 percent had past water damage. Mold can begin to materialize in as little as 24 to 48 hours when water gets into a building’s interior.
These figures are alarming, but they don’t tell the whole story about toxic mold. Even though water intrusion is the biggest cause of these issues, mold can develop in buildings that haven’t suffered from water damage but that experienced high levels of humidity. In South Carolina, this can certainly be a concern. Experts recommend that indoor humidity levels be kept between 30 and 50 percent to prevent mold, and anything higher can lead to the growth of dangerous biotoxins.
The Necessary Elements for a Toxic Mold Case
Exposure to indoor mold growth has been medically and scientifically shown to lead to adverse human health outcomes. South Carolina strictly regulates moisture conditions and mold in apartments and rental homes. In general, the landlord is responsible for remedying any water intrusion or mold conditions once notice is given. Mold remediation must not only be prompt but in accordance with state regulations.
You need immediate legal help if you have toxic mold where you live or work and either your landlord or employer refuses to remedy the conditions. You should also contact an attorney if you or a family member have developed respiratory problems, skin rashes, headaches, or other immune system issues due to these conditions.
As with other personal injury cases, civil law provides remedies in situations where the exposure to dangerous mold could have been prevented had another party acted reasonably. To prove a toxic mold case, the victim must be able to show several things. First, the disability or illness that you’ve experienced is the result of toxic mold. Second, there is mold exposure, and the defendant failed to prevent the mold or remove the conditions that caused the mold.
Why Hire an Attorney for Mold?
Not all personal injury cases are the same, and toxic mold cases can be particularly challenging to prove. Suing and proving a case against a landlord or other building owner requires the skills of a seasoned mold attorney who has experience in this area of law. Depending on the type of property, there are any number of potential legal claims that could be brought including negligence, strict liability, worker’s compensation, professional malpractice, breach of express and implied warranties, breach of contract, and building code violations.
When you hire us, our job is three-fold: we will identify the source of the mold; establish that there is a link between the toxic mold and your medical issues; and prove that another party was negligent in failing to prevent the mold or fix the issue promptly. Mold cases not only require thorough investigation, but also scientific testing and the use of expert witnesses to support the evidence. Our legal team will handle these complex issues, and deal with insurance companies and their lawyers who will attempt to undermine the evidence.
Once we have made our case, we will seek to recover damages on your behalf for medical treatment, lost wages, permanent disability, and pain and suffering. In cases where there was a knowing violation of state or federal regulations or egregious negligence, we may also request an award of punitive damages. While we can certainly settle your case in its initial stages, we are fully prepared to take all of our client’s cases to trial if that is what is required to achieve the most favorable outcome.
Help for Families and Workers Exposed to Toxic Mold
No one should have to live or work near toxic mold. If you or someone you love has become sick from exposure to toxic mold, we can help. Our legal team understands that you want to reclaim your life as soon as possible. Therefore, we will do everything in our power to thoroughly investigate your case, and get you the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Peake & Fowler has over 100 years combined legal experience helping injury victims throughout South Carolina. Contact us now at 800-WIN-WIN1 or online to schedule a free consultation.
Peake & Fowler Law Firm, P.A., is located in Columbia, SC and serves clients in and around Newberry, Lexington, Sumter, Allendale, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Bishopville, Florence, Blythewood, State Park, Eastover, Columbia, Elgin, Irmo, Hopkins, Ridgeway, Lugoff, Ballentine, West Columbia, Kershaw, Camden, Dusty Bend, and Richland County, Lexington County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Fairfield County, Lee County, Clarendon County and Florence County.