Myrtle Beach Toxic Mold Lawyer
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has a section of its website dedicated to indoor mold after severe weather events. The DHEC discusses the signs of mold, people at greatest risk of health effects from mold exposure, and cleaning wet or moldy items after a severe weather event.
Toxic mold is not limited to occurring only after certain weather events, and it can be disturbing for homeowners or even families who are renting property to learn that they have been exposed to mold in their homes. Mold removal can be a costly and complicated process, and most people are confused about what they can do after discovering toxic mold.
Do you know or have reason to believe that there is toxic mold in your home or workplace in the Myrtle Beach area? You should retain legal counsel for assistance getting the mold removed and possibly obtaining damages from the negligent party. The Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers represents people in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Little River, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Socastee, and many other communities in Georgetown County, Marion County, and Horry County. You can have our Myrtle Beach toxic mold attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (843) 839-4795 or complete an online contact form to set up a consultation.
Why Do I Need a Toxic Mold Lawyer?
When people discover toxic mold in their homes or workplaces, they certainly have every right to be alarmed. However, it can be very difficult getting the issue corrected.
Supervisors and landlords are not always responsive, and action is often delayed. Even when these parties do take corrective measures, they may not be as thorough as a person was hoping for.
An attorney will be able to help make sure that your mold removal is conducted correctly so you can have a clean and healthy living or working environment. The lawyer will also be able to conduct an independent investigation to determine how the mold appeared and who could be liable for damages in these cases.
An attorney can help deal with any insurance companies that may contact you. Some insurers will offer victims lump-sum settlements, but these amounts are usually far less than what a lawyer will be able to recover. Never speak to an insurance company without legal representation.
Why Choose the Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers?
William J. Luse has over a dozen years of legal experience and is a member of the South Carolina Association for Justice and the National Employment Lawyers Association. He is licensed in state courts throughout South Carolina as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers represents people, not corporations. We will take the time to get to know everything about your full story so we can make sure to cover all of the important details that will resonate with a jury. Our firm can negotiate with an insurance company for a just settlement that covers all of your needs. If the settlement negotiations prove to be unsuccessful, we will not be afraid to file a lawsuit. You may think that you cannot afford a toxic mold lawyer. Know that the Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers represents clients on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless you recover a financial award.
Toxic Mold Cases We Handle
Toxic mold does not always lead to people suffering immediate injuries. These cases can be complex because certain health effects can be more subtle or may even become apparent later. In general, some of the common symptoms some people can experience because of toxic mold may include, but are not limited to:
- Throat and nose irritation
- Burning or watery eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Memory problems
Liability for toxic mold can also be complicated. Most parties will deny any responsibility or wrongdoing. Toxic mold can be found in virtually any kind of setting. Some of the different parties that could be held responsible in these cases include, but are not limited to:
- Builders or contractors
- Architects or engineers
- Construction suppliers
- Prior owners
When you have identified toxic mold in your home or workplace, be sure to take pictures of the mold. Many landlords or other negligent parties could attempt to cover up or destroy evidence to minimize or avoid liability. You should also have the mold tested and should provide written notice about the mold to your landlord or employer in applicable cases. Make sure that you keep track of all of your expenses relating to mold issues and remediation. Do not hesitate to visit your regular physician to discuss your mold problem and undergo an evaluation to determine any health effects that the toxic mold might have had on you. Finally, be sure to contact an attorney before you speak to an insurance company.
The Effects of Mold in South Carolina Households
Molds are basically a kind of fungus which thrive on damp, unattended spots and reproduce through spores in the air. The spores can be harmless in small amounts, but can turn toxic when the spore count increases.
According to American Risk Management Resources (ARMR), South Carolina ranks 4th in the United States in having a high occurrence of molds. Considering South Carolina is typically a “wet state”, the development of molds is a major problem in residences. Another contributing factor which can often cause mold problems is the construction practices and materials used. The point? Molds can form everywhere in South Carolina, regardless of where you live.
The effects toxic mold has on people have been thoroughly discussed in the medical community. Studies suggest that infants and young children exposed to mold have an increased likelihood of developing asthma by the age of seven. Moreover, other respiratory ailments may be caused by exposure to damp indoor places for an extended amount of time. People who have compromised immune systems are also more susceptible to not only respiratory symptoms but also to fungal infections.
Molds in small amounts can be harmless; however, infants, children, older adults, compromised immune system, and people with co-morbid respiratory ailments are more vulnerable to the effects of molds, and will most likely suffer long-term effects. Further, some molds are more toxic than others and can cause severe health issues and even death. In addition, long term exposure to molds can cause permanent health conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered toxic mold?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that while certain molds are toxigenic because they can produce toxins called mycotoxins, the actual molds are not toxic or poisonous. Mycotoxins are the metabolites produced by fungi organisms that cause disease or, in some cases, death. Common types of molds considered toxic household molds include Memnoniella and Stachybotrys, but other molds considered to be toxic include Chaetomium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Paecilomyces, and Penicillium.
How do I have my home or workplace tested for mold?
Multiple companies in Myrtle Beach provide mold remediation services, and some people prefer to handle mold cleanup on their own. As the DHEC notes, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that people cleaning mold buy an N-95 or N-100 mask and wear it while cleaning the home. Most home mold tests only identify the type of mold without really gauging the levels of mold. In general, a person should assume that any identified mold is unsafe and requires action, but determining the level of the mold problem will usually require hiring a professional. An attorney will be able to help you determine the best mold remediation services for your particular situation.
What kinds of damages could I be entitled to in a toxic mold action?
Many toxic mold cases are resolved through settlements, as the insurance companies for the negligent parties often do not want to bear the costs of taking a case to trial and also risking a possible award on top of those costs. When a case does go to trial, a victim could be awarded many kinds of compensatory damages specific to their injuries. Compensatory damages often include and noneconomic damages, with economic damages being costs that are tangible and can be proven while noneconomic damages are more subjective and cannot be quantified. Economic damages may include medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages often provide for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability or disfigurement or even the effects suffered by a family as a result of the victim’s injury.
Toxic Mold Statistics
In August 2008, the Post and Courier reported that a Berkeley County jury awarded $50,000 in actual damages and $75,000 in punitive damages against Prudential Carolina Real Estate after an agent allegedly failed to disclose that the residential property that was sold had a toxic mold problem. On November 19, 2017, the Associated Press reported that five current and former Morris College students were seeking $55 million in damages in a lawsuit claiming they were exposed to toxic mold while living in three dormitories.
A 2016 article published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, “Valuing the Economic Costs of Allergic Rhinitis, Acute Bronchitis, and Asthma from Exposure to Indoor Dampness and Mold in the US,” attempted to estimate the full economic cost of illnesses resulting from exposure to dampness and mold using cost of illness (COI) and willingness to pay (WTP) methods. The study found that the total annual cost to society attributable to dampness and mold was an estimated $3.7 billion for allergic rhinitis, $1.9 billion for acute bronchitis, $15.1 billion for asthma morbidity, and $1.7 billion for asthma mortality.
The EPA publication Biological Pollutants in Your Home states that one-third of all structures have damp conditions that could encourage the development of pollutants such as mold. A study published in the journal Indoor Air in 2007 by David Mudarri of the EPA and William J. Fisk found that approximately 4.6 million of the 21.8 million people reported having asthma in the United States are attributable to dampness and mold exposure in the home.
Contact a Myrtle Beach Toxic Mold Attorney Today
If your home or workplace has a toxic mold problem in Myrtle Beach, you will want legal representation for help determining who might be accountable. Toxic mold can lead to a variety of serious health conditions, and you should not delay in taking legal action. The Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers is committed to helping you recover all of the compensation you are entitled to. Call (843) 839-4795 or contact us online to have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a consultation.