Understanding The Legal Process

Lead Paint and Your Apartment: What You Need to Know

by Eli Gregory

Lead paint can cause serious health concerns, particularly for young children. If you discover your apartment has lead-based paint and your landlord did not disclose this information, you may be wondering what action you can take to ensure the health and safety of your family. Here are a few steps to take after discovering the presence of lead paint in your home so you can protect your legal rights.

Find Out about Your State's Laws

Not every state requires landlords to disclose the presence of lead-based paint or to even test for it. In California, landlords need only make lead-based paint testing results available to tenants and potential tenants if the results exist. In other states, landlords are required to provide tenants information about the paint and potential safety hazards. If your landlord has a legal obligation to disclose the fact your home has lead paint and did not do so, you are in a position to take legal action.

Consult a Doctor

If you or your children are exhibiting symptoms of lead poisoning, you should consult a doctor immediately. Some of the symptoms of lead poisoning include these:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Memory loss
  • Growth delays in children
  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping

Be sure to request copies of your medical records, as this documentation will help you should you decide to take legal action against your landlord. Even if you don't see evidence of lead poisoning, getting the lead levels of everyone in the household checked can help with a personal injury case.

Seek Legal Advice

Long-term exposure to lead can lead to low IQ, developmental issues, and other health problems. If you moved into an apartment that contained lead and you were not made aware of this fact, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. The money you receive in a settlement goes towards your child's continued medical care so you can pay for therapies and treatments to help your child overcome any disabilities that were caused by the lead exposure. Contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling lead poisoning cases for a consultation so you can defend your child's rights.

Lead paint is found in many homes built before 1978. The older the home is, the greater the chances are that lead paint is present. Ask your landlord about lead paint, and if you aren't given any information about the existence of lead in your home, do a little bit of research to see if you or your children are at risk. Knowing whether or not lead paint is present can give you peace of mind and can help you determine whether or not to remain in your home. Contact a personal injury attorney for further advice and information.