When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is file a lawsuit. But if your illness was caused by contaminated water and you don’t file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you might lose your right to compensation.
Water contamination is one of the most common causes of sickness. According to WHO, nearly 485,000 people die yearly from diseases like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea caused by contaminated water.
Therefore, you must know how to protect yourself and take advantage of your legal rights if you suspect something in your local water supply may make you sick. Here are some things to consider before filing a personal health lawsuit due to water contamination:
1. Identify Your Health Concerns
The first step in filing a personal health lawsuit is identifying the health concerns caused by contaminated water. Next, you can compile a list of all symptoms you have experienced and all medical conditions you have been diagnosed with. You must also include all medications and any tests performed on your body.
Once these factors are identified, then it’s time for research. If possible, try to find scientific data which confirms or denies that exposure to polluted water has resulted in similar health issues as yours. Also, look up any information on litigation cases involving similar problems as yours.
2. Don’t File Individual Lawsuits
When it comes to water contamination, you should avoid filing individual lawsuits. These cases are hard to win and will likely result in a low settlement amount. Many people have settled out of court for less than they received from their state or municipality after filing a class action lawsuit against a major corporation.
You may be able to get compensation for your injuries if you prove that the contaminated water supply harmed you, but this is not an easy task. First, you will need expert witnesses who can testify about how the contamination caused your illness and show that there is no other reason for your sickness.
The burden of proof will be on you, so unless your case is strong, it’s probably best not to file individual lawsuits against local governments.
3. File a Class-Action Lawsuit
If you have suffered from water contamination and would like to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must consider the viability of filing a class-action lawsuit. Class-action lawsuits are more likely to be successful than individual cases. It is because they allow more people to participate in the case and therefore increase the likelihood of reaching a settlement that will benefit everyone.
For example, hundreds and thousands of lives got impacted at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina due to water contamination. Several people got severe health issues, and many deaths were reported from the same negligence. To counter this, people came together to file a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit for compensation.
Moreover, a class-action lawsuit can be filed faster and easier than individual cases. Finally, class actions are also more likely to get larger settlements for everyone involved in the case because they involve many people at once.
4. Make Sure You Have the Right Lawyer
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, you need to have the right lawyer by your side. It’s crucial to find someone with experience with this type of case and who is licensed in your state. According to IBIS World, there are around 60,670 personal injury attorney businesses in the US. Make sure the lawyer you choose has a good track record of representing you well in court.
Additionally, try to get a lawyer that doesn’t cost too much so that you can afford all the other expenses associated with trying cases against big companies.
If you’re unsure where to start, try asking around or searching online for personal injury lawyers in your area. Make sure they have experience with cases like yours and find out if they are taking new clients.
5. Prove the Contamination Wasn’t Your Fault
If you have been diagnosed with a critical illness due to water contamination, you may be considering filing a personal health lawsuit. But before doing so, it’s necessary to understand that the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused their illness.
According to the general law of tort, if the plaintiff can prove more than 50% of the evidence, the jury may deliver a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
It is not just enough for them to show that they became ill after drinking contaminated water. They must also demonstrate that their illness was not caused by any other factor known or unknown at this time. It means proving whether there were any other factors involved in your condition and proving whether there were any other possible causes for your sickness besides contaminated drinking water.
6. Prove That the Water Contamination Caused Your Illness
The most important thing to consider when filing a personal health lawsuit due to water contamination is proving that the water contamination caused your illness. The best way to do this is by bringing in a medical expert who can testify about the link between the contamination and your illness.
You can also bring in an expert who can testify about how the contaminants in your water supply are linked with illnesses such as cancer, kidney failure, or birth defects.
You can get information from government agencies like the EPA or CDC that shows links between contaminated drinking water and these types of illnesses.
7. File Within Your State’s Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a federal law that sets a time limit on filing a lawsuit. In addition, each state has its statute of limitations, which vary by state. In most cases, these laws are designed to ensure that people don’t file lawsuits too long after an incident. In other words, they want to ensure that people aren’t allowed to hold onto their right to sue forever.
The time limits vary from state to state, but the typical range is between one and three years from the date of injury or death. However, some states allow claims beyond this timeframe. But only if there was a discovery delay or filing due to circumstances beyond your control, like poor health or age.
File Your Lawsuit As Soon As Possible After Illness
There are laws to protect you from being sued after something has occurred that causes harm, but they also put limits on how long you have to file your lawsuit. These statutes are called statutes of limitations. For example, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is usually two years, and it can be longer depending on the type of case and where in the country you live.
If you’re sick, suffering from a health issue, or have lost a loved one due to water contamination, you must file a personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible. Then, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses and time off work while also helping others who have been affected by the same problem.