Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawyers
Carbon monoxide poisonings account for nearly 200 deaths each year in the U.S. – which is about 4 people each week. Carbon monoxide poisonings, if not fatal, can cause brain injuries with long-lasting or permanent symptoms. Each year, in addition to the number of deaths, thousands of people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for carbon monoxide poisonings. In the last few years, there have been several high profile cases of carbon monoxide deaths. While these types of situations may seem like freak accidents, the unfortunate reality is that carbon monoxide poisoning injuries and deaths are 100% preventable. The lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt are actively investigating lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have been injured as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can result in serious side effects, and for some, these injuries may be permanent. When carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by the negligence of another individual or entity — such as an employer, building owner, or product manufacturer — our team of lawyers may be able to hold these parties legally responsible for medical bills and other damages resulting from the exposure.
About Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is a by-product of combustion. It claims the lives of hundreds of people every year and makes thousands more ill. CO is found in fumes produced from burning fuel in cars, trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.
CO poisoning can often be mistaken for other illnesses, such as the flu. The most common symptoms include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, upset stomach and confusion. A sleeping or intoxicated person may not experience symptoms before they lose consciousness or die. Often, other people in the place of business or household will exhibit similar symptoms.
In addition to death, carbon monoxide can cause severe learning disability, memory loss, and personality changes. Young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of carbon monoxide and may show symptoms sooner than a healthy adult. Because of their smaller bodies, children process CO differently than adults and may be more severely affected.
Carbon Monoxide in Businesses
Furnaces, heaters, and generators are the most common sources of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens in hotels, rental units, and businesses every day. Improper venting is a major cause of carbon monoxide poisonings. Leaks in vents and exhaust pipes can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, improper design can lead to issues in venting.
Prevention is Key
To prevent residential carbon monoxide poisonings, homeowners should install carbon monoxide detectors, which should be operated and tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To prevent commercial carbon monoxide poisonings at places like hotels and restaurants, property owners and businesses should be sure to have at least annual checks of all fuel burning equipment. In addition, businesses should install carbon monoxide detectors.
Legal Rights of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Victims & Families
Victims of carbon monoxide poisonings and surviving family members of those who died due to carbon monoxide poisonings have legal rights to receive compensation. This area of law is known as premises liability (the liability of a person or business entity for an injury or accident on the premises). Unlike more complex areas of personal injury law, injured plaintiffs only need to prove ordinary negligence. As a general rule, ordinary negligence is usually defined as the failure to do something that should have been done or doing something that another reasonable person would not do. Under the laws of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, injured individuals can receive financial compensation for the following:
- medical bills
- lost pay
- pain and suffering
Spouses of injured parties may recover under a loss of consortium claim. These claims are reserved for cases where an injured party’s spouse suffers as well, due to the injury/accident.
Individuals who are victims of carbon monoxide poisonings and surviving family members of those who died due to carbon monoxide poisonings have legal rights to receive compensation. Contact our team of lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today if you or a loved one have suffered from CO poisoning from someone else’s negligence.