It’s no secret that commercial pesticides and weed killers have vastly increased the output and efficiency of the agricultural industry for decades. Unfortunately, it’s also known that many of these chemicals have extremely harsh side effects for both the land and the people working it. One of the most poignant examples of this is paraquat, an herbicide that is featured in numerous agricultural products. Over the years, the highly toxic chemical has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, a serious and degenerative neurological condition.
Farmers, agricultural workers, and even nearby neighbors who contracted Parkinson’s after being exposed to paraquat may understandably have a lot of questions about the damages they’ve suffered, and their options for recovery. Let’s take a look at how this connection developed and how claimants can defend their rights:
The Link Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s
The use of paraquat products has been formally banned in over 30 countries around the world, including in both China and the European Union. However, in the U.S., paraquat use is staggering–according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 10 million pounds of paraquat products are sprayed onto domestic crops every year.
The reason why paraquat is so heavily regulated is because of its association with Parkinson’s disease, which is a nervous system disorder that affects muscle function, movement, cognitive ability, and speech. It is easily recognized by the constant muscle tremors that cause patients to shake and spasm. It is a progressive condition, meaning it gradually worsens, and at this point in time there are no real effective treatments other than medication and physical therapy.
When paraquat is ingested or contacted with the skin, it begins to damage the body on a cellular level. When large numbers of our cells become damaged, we become much more susceptible to permanent damage and conditions like Parkinson’s and cancer. Doctors and researchers aren’t exactly sure as to why paraquat is so harmful to brain cells, but studies have shown that individuals with high amounts of paraquat exposure have large-scale damage to their brain and surrounding organs, which is why the development of Parkinson’s is so common.
What to Look For When Consulting Paraquat Attorneys
The best way that paraquat victims can defend their rights is by retaining an experienced paraquat attorney. They can help you file a paraquat claim and recover the compensation that you will likely need for remainder of your life, so long as you can prove that:
- You were exposed to paraquat either as part of work duties or by simply living in close proximity to a farm or outfit that uses paraquat products;
- You subsequently developed Parkinson’s disease as a direct result of this exposure; and
- You suffered demonstrable damages after your diagnosis;
Given the fact that most people don’t experience this process very often, it’s easy to understand why claimants may be intimidated or unsure of how to proceed. Here are some of the biggest things to consider when choosing between prospective lawyers:
- Free and Confidential Consultation: Do the attorneys or firm in question offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for your paraquat claim?
- Proven Track Record: Have they had successful settlements or verdicts for cases similar or identical to yours in the past?
- Requisite Expertise and Resources: Does the prospective attorney or firm have the expertise and the resources to handle your claim effectively? This includes manpower, relationships with expert witnesses, and more.
- Proper Licensing and Certification: Is the attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction, and are they familiar with the laws and regulations that govern your paraquat claim?
Questions About a Potential Paraquat Claim? Contact Van Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has developed Parkinson’s disease as a result of paraquat exposure, don’t hesitate to contact the Van Law Firm office nearest you right away. Our award-winning and versatile paraquat attorneys can help get to the bottom of your claim and determine the parties liable for your damages. Parkinson’s is a chronic condition, and victims deserve to be compensated for the hardships they will face for the rest of their lives. Call today to schedule a risk-free consultation and case review.