What is Black Mold and How to Prove Negligence

what is black mold

What you’ll learn reading this article:

  • Black mold exposure can lead to health problems and financial damage.
  • You’ll need to prove someone’s negligence, but this is very difficult.
  • An attorney can help you build a strong case for the compensation you need.

Black mold is something nobody wants to find in their home or workplace. It poses a danger of many health problems, not to mention expensive cleanup of the area where it’s discovered.

You might assume that insurance will automatically cover a claim for black mold, but it’s not that simple. Insurance companies try to avoid paying these large claims and lawsuits require plenty of evidence.

There are Many Health Threats From Black Mold

Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, is a green-black moisture-seeking mold that spreads on surfaces that have a high cellulose content paired with a low nitrogen environment. It is most commonly discovered in areas with flooding, water damage, poor moisture control, and ongoing dripping water issues, although it is not limited to these areas.

The most common materials black mold is found on include paper, wood, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, drywall, insulation, fabric, and upholstery. In some cases, black mold has been found deep within household paint and glue, or even in environmental dust buildup.

The human body is quite sensitive to toxins like black mold and can exhibit health problems after exposure, including:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Eye, ear, mouth, nose, and throat problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Sinus infections
  • Persistent and worsening illnesses
  • Psychological effects
  • Organ failure
  • Brain damage

According to the CDC, there are reports that infants can experience acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage after black mold exposure, but no solid link has been proven. The CDC recommends that any infant with possible black mold exposure should be evaluated by a physician.

Black Mold Brings Cleanup Costs and Structural Damage

It can be extremely expensive to clean up a home or business that has black mold damage. Not only can black mold permanently destroy the structure of a building, but it can also threaten the health of anyone who attempts to clean it up, compounding the problem.

In a typical scenario, a homeowner or renter discovers black mold that wasn’t visible to the naked eye. Perhaps they moved a piece of furniture or made a wall repair, and suddenly the black mold was apparent. Now they’re faced with blocking off the affected area or possibly moving out of the space until a resolution can be found.

Often, the mold is the result of a slow water leak or low-level flooding that was difficult to detect. Maybe a pipe burst and after the repair, there was still mold-supporting moisture. Toxic mold can grow within just 24 to 48 hours and cause extensive property damage.

Sometimes, toxic mold is the result of a design or repair defect in a home or commercial building. An architect, builder, construction company, or local repair person may have some responsibility.

When a structure is so damaged or contaminated that the materials must be replaced – or the entire structure must be demolished/rebuilt – the costs can become astronomical. As you can see, black mold leads to a cascade of problems and causes many lawsuits.

You May Have Mold, But You’ll Have to Prove Negligence

Although black mold should always be cause for concern, it doesn’t bring an automatic win in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. These situations can become litigation nightmares, especially for people who don’t retain a lawyer with experience in this area.

There are three basic elements to a successful claim for black mold:

  • A proven link of causation between your injuries and someone’s actions.
  • Proof that the person owed you a duty of care to keep the area free from black mold.
  • Proof that they breached their duty of care.

So, for example, let’s say you discovered black mold in your brand-new home within a few months of it being built. You sue your home builder. You must prove that something about the way they built your home caused your injuries, that they owed you a home free of black mold, and that they breached their duty to provide you with a black mold-free home.

This is surprisingly difficult. The other side will likely claim that they couldn’t have predicted the situation you believe caused your black mold exposure. Expect them to put up a fight and request detailed evidence of your claims.

You must see a doctor as soon as possible after you discover black mold and start a paper trail of medical evidence. You may need to obtain a statement from your doctor explaining the link between your symptoms and the black mold exposure.

Save all of your medical bills, insurance paperwork, repair bills, and anything else that relates to your case. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

Hurt by Black Mold? We Can Help.

If you, your child, or a family member experienced health problems due to black mold in your home or workplace, contact Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery. We can help you make and prove an insurance claim or start a personal injury lawsuit to recoup your costs and move forward with your life.

Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product, or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Don’t hesitate – one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.