I lost my spouse to complications from Parkinson’s disease. I have now heard that exposure to welding rods can cause Parkinson’s. Is it too late for me and my family to prove a case?

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I lost my spouse to complications from Parkinson’s disease. I have now heard that exposure to welding rods can cause Parkinson’s. Is it too late for me and my family to prove a case?

It may not be, although the damages that you receive will be limited since you are filing a wrongful death action rather than having your spouse file an action for his own ongoing injuries. If your spouse was a welder for any length of time, you may be able to prove that his exposure to welding rod fumes more likely than not caused his Parkinson’s and led to his death. One of the ways that welder’s disease can be proved is if your spouse had an MRI of his brain which was T1 weighted and included images of the Globus Pallidus region of the brain. In manganism cases, there is distinct damage that is visible in the region in the brain that can be seen by a doctor who has an understanding of this disease process. In addition, another important factor for distinguishing welders disease from Parkinson’s the role of leva-dopa drugs. If your spouse was unresponsive to l-dopa therapy, it is more likely that they did not have Parkinson’s disease, and instead actually had welder’s disease (Manganism). In this type of case you will want to work with an attorney who has experience dealing with welding rod exposure cases. Your attorney will want to know how, where, and for how long your spouse was exposed to welding rod fumes. From this information, your attorney will have a better idea of what parties to sue and how strong your case is.

The types of damages that you may receive are designed to put you in the same position as you would be had your spouse not died. The easiest damages to prove are compensatory in nature – damages for medical expenses, burial expenses, and lost wages. You may also be able to recover damages for other, more intangible losses. These would include damages to compensate you for the loss of the marital relationship, for lost economic opportunity and benefits, and for your spouse’s pain and suffering while he was battling Parkinson’s. You may also be compensated for your emotional distress from dealing with your spouse’s illness and death.

One question that will need to be answered quickly is whether you still have time to file a claim. States have different statutes of limitations for wrongful death matters, and depending on how long ago your spouse died, you may have exceeded those limits or be very close to the end of them. You need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that you do not miss any filing deadlines and to get an idea how your case might proceed.

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