We all expect to stay safe in an environment and remain free of any harm when visiting, working or living in a structure. When injured or killed through the negligence of others, victims and surviving family members have a legal right to seek and obtain financial compensation to cover their damages, injuries or death. This right is especially valid when tenants, visitors, guests, and workers are hurt or killed by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide in high concentrations for short periods or at low levels over time kills and injures victims silently. This hazard is deadly is because CO gas is odorless, tasteless and colorless. It can only be detected, measured and monitored through a carbon monoxide detector.
The burning of organic compounds including wood, gasoline, petroleum, kerosene and other substances primarily produces the deadly gas. Exposure to the toxic levels of CO can occur when gas-fueled equipment is operated indoors, when a gas heater malfunctions or external exhaust from a vehicle infiltrates the inside of a car, truck or van.
The initial signs and symptoms of CO poisoning can be very subtle. In many situations, carbon monoxide robs the victim of much-needed oxygen, making them very tired, fatigued and sleepy. Without immediate action including moving to a vented area, the victim can suffer severe injuries including brain damage or succumb to the exposure of toxic gas.
Carbon Monoxide Sources
Many carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuits have been filed against corporations, companies and property owners. This is because numerous carbon monoxide sources produce toxic levels of the dangerous gas. These sources include:
- Back drafting air from furnaces
- Leaky chimneys
- Cracked heat exchangers inside furnaces
- Malfunctioning fireplaces, gas stoves, wood stoves and gas-fueled water heaters
- Tobacco smoke
- Automobile exhaust in an enclosed environment including attached garages
- Gasoline-powered equipment, tools, and generators
Maintenance on most of the items listed above is the responsibility of the property owner, landlord or property management.
Filing a Lawsuit Following a CO Exposure Injury or Fatality
Property owners, landlords, businesses, and corporations are legally bound to provide a safe environment for all invitees and workers on their premises. When the company fails in their duty to ensure safety, and someone is injured by carbon monoxide poisoning, they can be held legally liable for financial compensation.
More than 40,000 individuals are injured every year by carbon monoxide poisoning and approximately 500 more die from exposure. Many victims who have suffered severe injuries associated with exposure to CO gas, along with surviving family members of a loved one killed by the toxic fumes, have filed carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuits.
A case for compensation involving exposure to carbon monoxide can be complicated. If a tenant has suffered injuries caused by CO poisoning, the landlord may be legally liable if it can be proven that the furnace, stove or other gas-powered appliance was not maintained or repaired when needed. However, the landlord’s liability might not be as clear if they did not know that the device or appliance was malfunctioning. Usually, it takes the skills of a competent personal injury attorney who specializes in CO poisoning to investigate the case to determine every party at fault.
The investigation conducted by the lawyer working on behalf of the victim might determine that the malfunctioning appliance was defective in its design or installation. Filing a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit might involve additional third-party defendants including the furnace manufacturer or service installer.
If you have suffered severe injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. If your exposure to CO fumes were caused by the negligent actions of the landlord, property owner or gas-powered appliance manufacturer, you might be entitled to receive compensation. Your financial recovery can help pay your medical expenses, lost wages and other associated costs. Also, you may also be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering through an out-of-court settlement or jury award at trial. (see also)
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 can help determine every party at fault for your injuries. Potential defendants in your case might include landlords, hotels or other property owners. Alternatively, manufacturers of defective equipment including carbon monoxide detectors might also be found at fault, as could maintenance companies or the homebuilder.