Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to the Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA), carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous, and tasteless gas. It is also known as the “silent killer,” as prolonged exposure may lead to the gaseous substance binding to hemoglobin in the blood. This may decrease the ability of blood to transport oxygen to organs throughout the human body.
In some cases, CO leaks are often the result of a failure to take proper precautions and steps to prevent carbon dioxide gasses from releasing into the air and enclosed spaces. Short-term exposure to the gas may result in serious injury or even wrongful death in some extreme cases. This may leave the affected party and their family with many unanswered questions on who should be responsible for the preventable CO exposure.
At our law firm, we can determine whether carbon monoxide poisoning could have been prevented by the exercise of due care by a maintenance company, property owner, or other entity. To learn more, contact our attorneys in Sacramento for free, friendly case advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
The unfortunate reality is that in many accidental CO poisoning cases, they are often caused by the negligence or carelessness of other people. This may include landlords, manufacturers of faulty products, and more. Our Sacramento carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys at our law firm are available anytime to help families impacted by such cases obtain the justice and financial compensation they rightfully deserve. To learn more, contact us today for free, friendly case advice.What is CO Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the result of CO accumulating in the bloodstream. When there is excess CO gas in the air, the body may replace oxygen in red blood cells with this gaseous substance, resulting in severe damage to tissue or even death.National Statistics on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 50,000 patients visit emergency departments at hospitals each year in the United States because of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Conversely, around 430 patients are killed in the U.S. from unintentional CO poisoning.
The CDC also states that poisoning from this gaseous substance is also entirely preventable. To protect yourself and your loved ones, it is essential to learn about the symptoms of CO poisoning and the steps that must be taken to prevent it.What are the Signs and Symptoms of CO Poisoning?
Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, as reported by Mayo Clinic, may include the following:
- Blurred vision
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Dull headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
CO poisoning is dangerous, but especially for those who are intoxicated or resting because of the way symptoms initially present themselves and how exposure results in a state of unconsciousness. What is most unfortunate is that people may suffer irreversible damage to the brain or even succumb to their injury before realizing the issue.
If you or a loved one believe that you have CO poisoning, it is critical for your health to get fresh air and seek immediate treatment.Who is at Risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Unfortunately, everyone faces the risk of CO poisoning. However, exposure to CO may be especially hazardous for:
- Children: Young children breathe much quicker than their adult counterparts as they have little space to exchange the carbon dioxide and oxygen in their lungs. This may make children more susceptible to CO poisoning.
- Older Adults: People older and exposed to carbon monoxide may be more likely to suffer brain damage.
- Patients with Chronic Heart Disease: Those with a history of breathing difficulties and anemia are more likely to suffer an illness from CO exposure.
After a patient has suffered CO poisoning, getting them to an area with fresh air is essential. Once they are taken to the hospital, they will receive treatment with pure oxygen. Depending on the severity of the exposure, medical professionals may deliver the oxygen in various ways, including:
- Cases of mild poisoning will be treated with an oxygen delivery device
- Cases of severe CO poisoning may require the placement of the patient in high pressure and full-body chamber to assist in forcing oxygen into the body
Depending on the extent and duration of exposure, CO poisoning may lead to:
- Heart damage often resulting in life-threatening cardiovascular complications
- Permanent damage to the brain
- Miscarriage or fetal death
To ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe, it is essential to test, clean, and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke detector alarms in your home to alert you should a hazardous condition arise.What are the Most Common Sources of CO Poisoning?
CO gas is produced through the burnings of materials. Some of the most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning often stem from:
- Chimneys, furnaces, and gas space heaters
- Gas stoves, generators, and other equipment that is powered by gasoline
- Fumes from vehicle exhaust in attached garages without proper ventilation
Various parties may be held financially accountable for losses resulting from accidental CO poisoning. To learn more, reach out to an experienced carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer in Sacramento today.Who Can Be Held Liable for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Each CO gas poisoning case is different, and there are many ways in which an experienced attorney can provide assistance:
- Premises Liability: Business owners, property managers, and landlords are required by law to prevent CO exposure on their property at all costs. This includes meeting all federal and state safety standards by performing routine inspections and maintenance to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. Property managers are also expected to install certified CO detectors. Maintenance or utility companies are also responsible for inspecting and maintaining lines and appliances that produce carbon monoxide. When CO poisoning occurs in private or commercial property, an attorney may bring a liability lawsuit against negligent parties responsible for damages incurred.
- Products Liability: A products liability claim may arise when a defective or dangerous product causes harm through carbon monoxide exposure. Improper use instructions, poor design, and manufacturing defects of products producing gaseous substances may lead to issues. This type of case may be brought against a manufacturer or company of a faulty product that produces CO gas.
- Wrongful Death: When a loss of life occurs from carbon monoxide exposure, no amount of money may undo the pain from losing a loved one or bring them back. However, compensation from a wrongful death claim may help surviving family members move forward. It may also serve as a message in the community that the at-fault party’s products or actions are unacceptable and unsafe and will be held liable under these circumstances.
When you need a Sacramento carbon monoxide poisoning attorney, it is essential to work with someone who has years of experience handling cases like yours. For details on how to find the best injury attorney to handle your case, watch the video below.What Type of Compensation is Recoverable?
Two types of damages may be available to those who have suffered accidental carbon monoxide poisoning caused by negligent parties. These include economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages for time missed at work to recover from an accident-related injury
- Lost future earning capacity if an injured party has suffered permanent injury and is unable to work
- Pain and suffering for the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by accidental CO poisoning
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages may also be sought from the at-fault party as a way of punishing them for their egregious conduct and to prevent similar tragedies from happening to other families in the community.
There is no set compensation awarded to those bringing carbon monoxide poisoning cases in Sacramento County and throughout California. Instead, the value of the case will depend on the various facts and circumstances involved.How an Attorney Can Help with Your Carbon Monoxide Exposure Case
When an injury from CO poisoning was caused by someone else’s negligence, financial compensation may be sought through civil action. An experienced carbon monoxide poisoning attorney in Sacramento can help an injured party by:
- Evaluating the facts and circumstances surrounding the accidental CO exposure
- Reviewing medical records related to the injury
- Determining whether another person or entity may be liable
- Working with expert witnesses to determine whether reasonable standards were met
- Keeping you and your family well-informed throughout the legal process
- Building a strong personal injury case for fair compensation to handle in insurance negotiations or present in civil court
Protect your rights and best interests by speaking with an attorney to learn whether you may be eligible for financial compensation through a carbon monoxide injury case. Receive free, friendly case advice by contacting our law firm today.Contact a Sacramento Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Attorney Today
A carbon monoxide poisoning case often requires extensive analysis and testing by forensic experts. Such cases should be handled by an experienced attorney as they may take time because of the effort and collection of compelling evidence to build a strong compensation claim. Rest assured that an attorney will have your best interests at heart, unlike negligent parties, insurance companies, and defense counsel.
Since 1982, our personal injury law firm has represented those whose lives have been impacted by unintentional CO poisoning either through a catastrophic injury or the loss of a loved one. Our legal team will work diligently to ensure they receive the justice and financial compensation they rightfully deserve. From our office in Sacramento, we serve people throughout California. To learn about how our family can help your family, contact us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly case advice.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 9.16.21]
Image Credit: By "kalhh" via Pixabay
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