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    How Long Does it Take to Settle a Lead Poisoning Lawsuit?

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    While the catastrophic impact of lead poisoning is well known throughout the world, cases of lead exposure continue to cause injury and deaths in many countries, including the United States. Unlike the average toxin, lead exposure takes place over many months, sometimes years, before the victim or their family members realize that something is wrong. By the time symptoms are apparent, the victim is visibly suffering from a variety of health issues, including seizures, high blood pressure, and brain damage. Children 6 years old and under are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, as it can have an adverse effect on their growth and development.

    If you or someone you know was diagnosed with lead poisoning, there are state and federal laws to help you sue the responsible parties and obtain compensation for your harm and suffering. But the legal process can be extremely complicated with these cases, and succeeding in a lead poisoning lawsuit requires guidance from an experienced attorney. The lead contamination injury lawyers of Kenmore are ready to advise you of your rights and legal options. Please contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation.

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    How Long will it Take to Settle a Lead Poisoning Case?

    While exposure to lead seems like a problem of the past, lead poisoning is an on-going issue that affects countless children and families. The problem is most apparent in older buildings and houses, where lead paint is still on the walls, siding, and many areas of the property. Some of these cases involve one family, while others injure and kill thousands of people over many years. Take, for example, the lawsuit filed against Sherwin-Williams and ConAgra Brands. This case took 19 years from start to finish, ending with a settlement of $305 million for the victims.

    We want to stress that this is a highly unusual case that involved thousands of plaintiffs, a highly complex trial, and a successful appeal that reduced the original award of $1 billion down to $305 million. Each of these stages took years to accomplish, but most personal injury lawsuits settle much quicker, without the need for a trial.

    Just how long it will take to recover payment in your case depends on various elements, particularly the injuries to you or your child. It’s a sad reality that most lead poisoning affects children the most, as they are likely to develop the following health conditions:

    • Brain injury
    • Hearing loss
    • Speech problems
    • Disorders of the nervous system
    • Stunted growth and development

    The liable entities for a case of lead poisoning (businesses and landlords, for example), are usually reluctant to admit responsibility and make the victim a fair settlement offer. If anything, the defendant’s insurance company will exploit the victim’s weakness to try and pressure them into a lowball offer. One tactic they commonly use is to discourage you from talking to a lawyer, who can protect your interests and calculate a fair amount of compensation to ask for. That’s why we strongly urge you to contact a lawyer with experience in lead poisoning lawsuits if you or your loved one is suffering from prolonged exposure to lead.

    While we use the word “lawsuit” as a general term in this article, it’s important to note that a lead poisoning case begins with private negotiations between you, your attorney, and the insurance company. This process can be as short as 30 days for some claimants, though most claims take at least 6 months to negotiate. With lead contamination cases, however, it can take over a year to reach a settlement based on the health complications that are involved.

    If it turns out that the other side is unwilling to negotiate in good faith, a lawsuit is the next step in the legal process. Building a solid foundation for a lawsuit requires a great deal of work, which we refer to as the discovery phase. Discovery allows both the plaintiff and defendant to engage in the following actions:

    • Questioning witnesses and asking for statements, i.e., deposition
    • Conducting an investigation and gathering the necessary evidence.
    • Finding expert witnesses to strengthen your case, along with questioning experts that are being called by the party you are suing.

    All this work is needed to provide a basis for a trial, which as we’ve mentioned before, is uncommon with personal injury lawsuits. In over 90% of these cases, both sides come to an agreement before the trial date, typically through court-ordered mediation. However, the preparation work is essential to proving your case and recovering the highest possible settlement. If your case does proceed to a trial, it can take up to several years to bring you justice from a lead poisoning lawsuit.

    Monetary Restitution for Injury Victims of Lead Poisoning

    There is clear and conclusive evidence of the harm that can be caused by exposure to high levels of lead. As a result, those that violate the federal lead laws and regulations should be held accountable for the harm they’ve inflicted. As a lead poisoning injury victim, here are the damages you may be entitled to from a lawsuit for lead exposure:

    • Cost of medical care, including future medical expenses, depending on the severity of injuries.
    • Lost income if you are a parent that needed time off or left your job to care for a child that was diagnosed with lead poisoning.
    • Restitution for emotional trauma – pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, etc.

    Depending on the level of negligence that led to your injuries, you may receive punitive damages, which can only be awarded by a jury. Essentially, punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for acts that are especially reckless or negligent. Here is an example to illustrate a case of punitive damages in a lead poisoning lawsuit:

    The defendant is the landlord of a property with high concentrations of lead due to old paint on the walls, ceilings, and other parts of the house. Instead of taking care of the problem, he has continued to rent out the house year after year. There is a history of tenants complaining about feeling sick in the house, but the landlord still refused to do anything about the paint. Finally, a family whose child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning files suit against the landlord. The case goes to trial, where a jury rules in favor of the family. On top of their compensation award, they receive an extra $2.5 million in punitive damages due to gross negligence by the landlord.

    Though your own case may not qualify for punitive damages, you can be sure that we will fight for every penny of the payment you deserve. To discuss your legal rights with the lead poisoning attorneys of Kenmore, give us a call at your earliest convenience.

    Death from Lead Poisoning – Compensation for Loved Ones

    In the most tragic cases, prolonged exposure to lead can result in fatality. If your spouse or family member passed away due to complications from lead poisoning, monetary damages may be available to you in the form of wrongful death compensation. A wrongful death lawsuit can provide you with compensation for:

    • Funeral expenses
    • Medical bills up until the decedent’s date of death
    • Loss of expected savings and benefits
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of consortium

    We know that there is no amount of money that can take the place of your loved one. But you should not have to struggle with the financial and emotional costs of losing someone due to another party’s careless or dangerous conduct. If you would like to speak with a wrongful death lawsuit attorney at our law firm, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

    Average Settlement Value for Lead Poisoning Cases

    Coming up with a fair settlement value in these cases can be quite difficult, due to the impact of being exposed to lead for a prolonged period of time. Case values are especially high when the incidents involve children, as they may need lifetime medical care and other services due to their growth and development issues.

    Frankly, it would be a disservice to state a specific number and label it as an average case value for these lawsuits as a whole. But we know for a fact that lead poisoning settlements and verdicts are usually in the 6 to 7 figure range. For example, it’s not unusual to see awards of $3 million and up if the victim is a child that’s been exposed to lead over a period of several years. Overall, the length of exposure and the level of injury will determine what your case is worth, but even cases on the lower end may be worth around $500,000 to $1.5 million.

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    Statute of Limitations – How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

    In California, you have two years to file a lead poisoning lawsuit, typically from the time you are diagnosed with complications associated with lead contamination. It’s crucial to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible, who can investigate the source of your injuries and ensure that your lawsuit is filed on time.

    If you miss the statute of limitations to sue the liable individual or entity, you can end up losing the right to compensation altogether. There are very few exceptions to this rule, though if you were a minor at the time of exposure, you can ask the courts for an additional two years from the time you turn 18. Still, this is not a lot of time when you think about it, so we recommend that you contact us immediately if you or your child was harmed from lead poisoning.

    Second Opinion Consultation

    If you are being represented by an attorney, we hope you’re getting the time and attention you deserve as someone that’s been harmed by lead exposure. But what can you do if you’re not happy with the way your case is being handled? If you have any concerns with an active lead poisoning lawsuit, we believe that you would benefit from a free second opinion. A personal injury attorney at our office will evaluate your case and verify whether it’s on the right track. If not, we can provide you with the available legal options, including switching your lawyer and continuing your lawsuit with us. But this is completely up to you, and the second opinion is free no matter what you decide. If you’d like to schedule a free second opinion with a lead poisoning lawsuit attorney, contact us today.

    Contact Kenmore Law Group

    There’s no telling how many homes and structures throughout the U.S. contain lead paint, or how many businesses will continue to employ unsafe practices that expose people to lead. However, doctors and scientists agree that there is no “safe” level of lead concentration in the blood. That means manufacturers, landlords, and business owners must follow the laws and take all the required measures to protect others from lead-based injuries. When these people fail in their duty of care, victims and their loved ones have the right to demand justice in the form of monetary compensation.

    Our attorneys work on contingency, as we don’t believe in charging victims for the cost of legal representation. All of our expenses are paid by the defendant at the end of your case, when you receive payment from a successful insurance claim or lawsuit. If we don’t win your case, the Zero Fee Guarantee is our promise to you that you won’t be responsible for any legal fees.

    For a free consultation with a Los Angeles lead poisoning lawyer, contact the offices of Kenmore Law Group.

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