Is A Building Making You Sick?

Each year, insurance claims and lawsuits are filed for people who suffer from sick building syndrome, or SBS. The condition can cause several symptoms that could lead to the need for medical treatment. If you believe you suffer from SBS, here is what you need to know:

What Causes Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome can result from exposure to a range of contaminants, including mold and asbestos. In most instances, the source of the condition can be traced back to chemical contamination. For instance, cleaning agents and pesticides can sometimes lead to symptoms.

Others are caused by exposure to a biological contaminant. For instance, exposure to pollen, mold, and harmful bacteria could all cause symptoms.

The symptoms you can experience can vary. You could experience nosebleeds, skin rash, wheezing, and nausea. Depending on the severity of the illness, your ability to work could be impacted. In worse case scenarios, secondary conditions can result from the exposure to the contaminants. For instance, exposure to asbestos could lead to the development of mesothelioma.

What Can You Do?

If you have not been formally diagnosed, schedule an examination with your doctor. Explain to him the symptoms you have and when you first started to experience them. It is important that you know the timeframe. It will be helpful in tying your illness to the time spent in the building.

Once you have a diagnosis, you need to inform the property owner. He or she has a legal requirement to take measures to ensure the building is safe. If he or she fails to take responsibility or you have damages that result from the exposure to the building's contaminants, you can take legal action.

You should contact an environmental law attorney as soon as possible. He or she can arrange for tests to be conducted of the building to determine what the contaminant is that is causing your illness. He or she can also help file a complaint with the government if the illness is related to your work area.

After collecting evidence, your attorney can file a claim with the property owner's insurance company to recover damages. If the insurance company is unwilling to pay the costs of your care and other expenses, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf. The lawsuit's basis could include negligence, breach of contract, and even misrepresentation. Your attorney will decide the grounds for the lawsuit when filing. 

Contact a law office like Moore Smith Buxton & Turcke-Chartered for more information and assistance.