Toxic Mold Exposure and Your Rights
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Quick Facts About Mold
Toxic Mold is a fungal growth that usually can be seen (it’s usually greenish-black, but it can also be white, gray, black, brown, or green, and it can be cottony, velvety, rough, or leathery) and has a musty smell. While air testing is important, noticing a musty smell is a pretty good indication that mold exists in the environment. Mold is normally caused by excessive moisture caused by water damage, roof or plumbing leaks, and becomes toxic and harmful to humans when it amplifies to abnormal levels. A serious incident of toxic mold can leave a victim with significant medical expenses, lost wages, and lingering health problems.
According to the CDC, the most common molds that are known to amplify in indoor environments when excessive moisture is present include:
- Stachybotrys – this mold is not initially airborne because it is usually wet when it grows. When it dries, it can become airborne
- Aspergillus – Rare infections caused by aspergillus include pneumonia – people with allergic aspergillosis usually get better over time. It is common for the disease to come back.
The simple facts are, that mold needs moisture to grow and it usually grows in drywall, wood, ceiling tile, closets, showers and bathrooms, air conditioning units, plants, drain pans and drain lines, and by or under sinks and toilets. An incident of toxic mold exposure can cause serious long-term health problems, and Alan Sackrin is aware that victims can suffer the consequences of mold exposure for months and even years after the initial illness occurs.
What Should You Do If You Believe You Have Been Harmed by Mold?
If you suspect toxic mold exposure, it is crucial to:
1. Take Pictures and Videotape
Ideally, it’s best if you immediately take video and lots of pictures of any water damage, damage to property, and anything that you think maybe the cause of the problem (the video and your pictures can be used later as evidence). It’s ok if you don’t have a video camera. Also, take pictures of the outside conditions including potential causes of moisture and water damage.
2. Have the Property Tested
Hire a qualified testing company to test the amount, type, and levels of mold in the property. Depending on the location of the mold (i.e. at your workplace or office) you may need to consult with a microbiologist or industrial hygienist (according to OSHA, industrial hygienists use environmental monitoring and analytical methods to detect the extent of worker exposure and employ engineering, work practice controls, and other methods to control potential health hazards).
3. Give Notice to the Landlord and/or Property Manager
If the landlord fixes the problem, then you may not need any additional help (it depends on the facts – for example, if the landlord knew of the condition prior to renting the property to you, then you may be able to collect damages). Be sure to give notice, in writing, to the Landlord, property manager, or other responsible party and keep good records of any written communications you have with the landlord or other responsible party.
Related (From Our Blog): How To Get A Refund Of Your Security Deposit From Your Landlord
4. Keep Receipts and Make An Inventory of Any Damages
Keep receipts and make a written inventory of any property that is destroyed or other damages you suffer as a result of the mold, including moving expenses, testing expenses, property damage, hotel bills, restaurant bills, or any other expense you incur as a result of the property’s condition.
5. Get Medical Help Immediately
If you become ill because you were exposed to toxic mold, then immediately go see a doctor. If you can, go to a doctor who is experienced with mold injuries, which can include an allergist, pulmonologist, or toxicologist.
Alan Sackrin has 37+ years as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer with an emphasis in personal injury matters and his goal is to help his clients obtain maximum recovery of damages for their mold injuries. As a public service and for those who would like to know more, Alan has prepared a list of some of the excellent State and Federal resources he has used to educate himself about mold, including:
- Florida Department of Health – a comprehensive resource with definitions and links to several Federal and State Resources
- A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace From U.S. The Department of Labor
- Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum and Other Molds from the Center for Disease Control
- Dampness and Mold in Buildings from the Center for Disease Control
- Mold, Moisture, and Your Home from the U.S. EPA
Injuries Caused By Toxic Mold Exposure
The effects of toxic mold can be serious and long-lasting. The unfortunate thing is that in most cases, toxic mold exposure is preventable. Victims can experience:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Eye Irritations
- Difficulty with Breathing
- Skin Rashes
- Flu-like Symptoms
- Respiratory Infections
- Lung Disease
Damages You Can Recover From Mold Injuries
Just like any other serious illness, toxic mold exposure can lead to hospitalization, medical bills, and missed work. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Pain and Suffering
- Medical Bills – Past and Future
- Medical Expenses – Care, Therapy & Equipment
- Lost Wages
- Relocation Expenses
- Workers Compensation
- Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress
- The Return of Previously Paid Rent or Rent Reduction
- Payment for Damaged or Destroyed Property
Who We Represent – Types of Mold Claims We Handle
Tenants who live, or used to live, in residential housing. The injuries should be severe (meaning, they caused the tenant to seek medical attention).
Homeowners of condominiums with claims against their association, claims against a contractor or developer, claims against other unit owners, or claims against contractors.
Commercial Tenants – tenants who lease commercial buildings, office buildings, industrial warehouse, or the like
Workplace Claims – employees or other persons who spend considerable time at a workplace location.
Update: Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we are not accepting mold injury cases because of the high burdens needed to prove causation. However, we strongly advise anyone living in a residential building with mold that they believe to be making him or her sick, to immediately move out after giving the required notices. Many people feel better and breathe easier within days of leaving.
Experienced Florida Trial Specialist – Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
Alan Sackrin’s 37+ years of experience handling Florida personal injury cases makes him qualified to handle even the most complicated cases. Alan is a Board Certified trial lawyer which means he is a trial specialist with an emphasis in personal injury matters. A simple call puts you in contact with a committed, local attorney who will handle all aspects of your matter and work hard to help you get what you deserve. Alan will fight for your rights if you have suffered harm at hands of others in injury matters in South Florida and throughout the state of Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured due to toxic mold, contact Alan Sackrin, an experienced Personal Injury Attorney, today for a free consultation.
Get A Free Case Evaluation By An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer – Call (954) 458-8655
Contact Alan Sackrin to find out how he can help you. You can contact him by phone at 954-458-8655 or by e-mail through this web site to schedule an appointment and learn more about your rights from an injury lawyer. He offers a free initial consultation.
To learn more about Alan Sackrin, click on this link: Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Alan Sackrin adds value to his clients because he will go to trial when the insurance company denies coverage or doesn’t make a settlement offer that he believes is fair. Alan won’t send his client to a different lawyer to file a lawsuit, he’s the lawyer that other lawyers send their cases to when they are unable to obtain a reasonable settlement offer.
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