Property contamination can destroy your property’s value, losing you money and causing serious headaches.
Luckily, the state of Texas does allow you to sue if your property becomes contaminated under certain circumstances.
We’ve written a comprehensive article concerning the ins and outs of property contamination in Texas, but here’s a rundown of the basics.
When you can sue
Texas law states that you may sue for property contamination if you can prove the following:
- You must prove that the damage to your property directly stemmed from a source of pollution such as a gas or oil company that negligently handled its waste.
- If you were injured or suffered from a disease, you must prove that your condition was directly caused by the pollution to your property and not from any pre-existing conditions.
If you do prove that your property was contaminated by another’s negligence, you may receive several types of damages to help cover your losses. Those damages can include:
- Any medical treatment required because of the contamination
- The cost of your property’s decreased value
- The cost to clean up your property
In severe cases, or times when gross negligence is the culprit, punitive damages may also factor into the equation. These sorts of damages are not designed to pay you back for your losses, but are used to punish the guilty party and keep them from committing similar acts down the road. For example, an oil company may be required to pay punitive damages to discourage them from further negligently handling their waste.
Resolving the contamination
Contamination cleanup is usually accomplished by a remediation plan. In a remediation plan, all parties involved in the contamination will also help with the cleanup process along with environmental experts and scientists familiar with the industry. The plan will work towards returning your property to its state prior to contamination.
Before a remediation plan can get underway, however, the extent of the contamination must be established and fault determined.