Possible Liability for Health Problems Caused by Fracking

Conventional wisdom dictates that the practice of fracking poses a health hazard for those in the immediate vicinity of the fracking site, mostly from the contamination of ground water and exposure to natural gas. However, there are no significant studies that definitely prove this; what studies there are tend to deal with a small sampling and only provide indications, not proof. This has not deterred those in the immediate area of a fracking site who have developed health problems to file lawsuits.

Fracking is the short term for a process called hydraulic fracturing where the ground is broken up by drilling and injection of fluid under high pressure in order to get at the mineral and gas deposits, which are then collected. A study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Studies entitled Environmental Health Perspectives attempted to look into the possible health issues from fracking by taking a sampling of 180 households which had ground-fed wells from a community within the proximal area of a fracking site. The study indicates that there is a positive correlation between proximity of a fracking site with skin and upper respiratory tract problems. People who lived within one kilometer of a site had a higher incidence of rashes, dermatitis, allergies, itchy eyes, and sore throats among other symptoms than those who lived further away.

While the study was not definitive, the researchers consider the matter worrying enough to warrant further investigation to determine if fracking is indeed the cause for these health problems. It was pointed out in the study that the health problems reported by surveyed household members could be due to other factors such as stress or anxiety or contamination in the air or water not connected with natural gas.

Those who are already suffering from health problems should file a lawsuit. With the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer who can present a good circumstantial case, there is a good chance of prevailing and getting compensation. At the very least, the facts of the case go into the record until such time that the health hazard posed by fracking becomes a fact rather than speculation so that the statute of limitations will not be a problem.

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Some Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries

Traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur more frequently than is commonly known. Every year, there are at least 12,000 new cases of SCI in the US, 46% of which resulted from motor vehicle accidents. About 200,000 people live with the consequences of SCI at any one time with an average annual cost of $20,000 per patient and a lifetime cost of up to $3 million for the most severe cases. SCI is basically damage to some part of the spinal column, and may either be temporary or permanent. In some cases where the insult to the spinal cord is resolved, the patient may recover fully and resume their regular activities after a period of recuperation. In too many cases, spinal cord damage is permanent and catastrophic. SCI may also be attributed to surgical errors, but more commonly it is due to participation in sports, as a result of being a victim of violence, or from falls. In all cases, the injury is always treated as serious until otherwise indicated. This is because, of course, all spinal cord injuries are serious. The spine is the main relay of information to and from the brain for most of a vertebrate’s body.

When negligence of a third party is suspected, immediate steps are made to determine the circumstances surrounding it to determine who was at fault and to what degree. This is important because each state recognize different rules for fault in personal injury cases. This can be a major problem for an SCI victim who faces a lifetime of high medical bills and lifetime care costs. It is important that if the victim is truly not at fault that it be determined with vigorous investigation.

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