Every year, when the cold weather strikes, we hear about another tragedy involving an individual or family killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning when their furnace malfunctioned or was improperly vented.
Thankfully, many necessary preventative measures can be employed to drastically reduce this deadly situation from occurring or identify danger at its onset (carbon monoxide detector).
A basic understanding of gas dangers is vital to protect people from harm to keep families safe.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our law firm appreciate the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning that people face daily. Our Cook County personal injury attorneys work hard to investigate all carbon monoxide poisoning cases to ensure all parties are held responsible for their role.
Each Chicago carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer in our firm has years of experience handling toxic injury cases. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
A Body Exposed to Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is formed when a fossil fuel such as gasoline, oil, or charcoal is not entirely combusted during burning. When inhaled, the vapor combines with hemoglobin in the person’s blood, blocking their ability to carry needed oxygen to the body’s cells.
By inhaling large quantities of toxic fumes, the body begins to suffocate even though the person is still breathing in fumes.
Common Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Depending on the number of deadly gas ranges in the air, the symptoms of carbon monoxide can affect the body within minutes or be delayed for a few hours.
Poisoning can happen with lower exposures over a more extended period or substantial exposure in a short time. In a severe case, death can occur in as little as a few minutes.
The general symptoms, in the order of severity, are:
- Brain Damage
- Convulsions / respiratory arrest
- Chest pain
- Unconsciousness / Death
Exposure to carbon monoxide can produce adverse long-term effects. Often, delayed neurological disorders happen a few days or weeks after exposure.
These delayed effects can include amnesia, short-term memory loss, dementia, and other neurological disorders. When a person dies due to CO exposure at work or on the premises of another party, the family may contact an attorney and pursue help for a lawsuit for a wrongful death
Treatment for Carbon Monoxide Ingestion
The apparent first medical treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning is your removal from the toxic fumes or area of exposure. Leaving the area will alleviate the symptoms within a few hours for slight toxic exposure.
However, for more severe exposure, oxygen is administered to hasten the depletion of accumulated gaseous levels in the body. Oxygen supplied through a ventilation mask can help remove CO in the body in one-quarter the time it takes to breathe healthy air.
Other medical treatments may be needed for damage to the brain and other organs from oxygen deprivation.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Build-Up in Homes And Apartments
Since CO is odorless and colorless, it cannot be easily detected. The best prevention for homes that use gas or oil-fired heaters requires installing detectors in the house’s rooms.
These devices are inexpensive and will give off an alarm if the levels become too high in the house.
Other prevention methods are:
- Never burn a charcoal grill inside an enclosed home or garage. Every year when the power goes out, people try to dangerously heat or cook using a grill in an enclosed space, creating a life-threatening environment,
- Never allow your car to idle within an enclosed area
- Install a CO alarm to save lives and avoid serious injuries, including a brain injury
- Always use the fan above gas-fired stoves when cooking
- Know the dangers of using keyless ignition when parking in an enclosed area and not turning the engine off when leaving the vehicle
- Though rare, CO poisoning during pregnancy can lead to fetal mortality or fetal neurologic complications that could result in cerebral palsy
- Always have chimneys, fuel heaters, and fireplaces inspected before winter use
Approximately 15,000 people are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the United States, and an average of 430 people die from CO exposure. Many of these cases involve the failure of a business owner, property owner, or management company failing to maintain the furnace to ensure visitor and tenant safety.
The auto industry states that truck drivers and other motorists are at risk of a carbon monoxide leak from gaseous fumes or diesel exhaust that could result in death or permanent brain injury. Do not let a family member become one of these statistics.
Help Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Surviving family members are often distraught after losing a loved one exposed to carbon monoxide fumes. Our carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers have successfully resolved cases filed against property owners and management companies who failed to ensure every tenant’s safety.
Many of our client’s cases involved injury or death caused by defective heaters or equipment releasing toxic fumes into the air, leading to a loss of consciousness or shortness of breath.
Do you suspect that your injuries result from exposure to toxic chemicals? Call our carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers (888) 424-5757 today for a free consultation to discuss your case and hold the property owner financially accountable for their negligence.
Legal Ramifications Related to CO Poisoning In Homes, Mobile Homes & Apartments
Like most personal injury lawsuits, a faulty heater case begins with determining who is responsible for the injuries or death.
Numerous parties may be included in the CO poisoning lawsuit if the problem was defective, poorly maintained equipment or improperly installed furnaces that result in injury or death.
Potential defendants (parties responsible for damages) in a case may include:
- Furnace installation companies
- Maintenance companies
- Landlord or property owners
Contact a carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer if you suspect that a loved one suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, resulting in brain damage, or death from inhaling the fumes.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Fatality FAQs
Our personal injury attorneys understand that families have unanswered questions on filing and resolving a CO poisoning case. Our legal team has answered some of those questions below.
Contact a carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment with our carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers for additional answers. We are here to help.
How Long Does It Take to Get Gas Poisoning?
Poisonous fumes builds up high levels of carbon monoxide gas in the victim’s bloodstream, replacing oxygen in red blood cells. Without immediate medical treatment, poisoning may result in extensive tissue damage or death.
Researchers show that a buildup of CO can lead to poisoning in as little as two hours under constant exposure. Long-term exposure to carbon monoxide at low levels can also cause life-threatening neurological symptoms, including disruptive concentration and confused thinking.
How Do You Know If You Have Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide exposure victims often experience weakness, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, vomiting, upset stomach, and confusion. Some victims have displayed “flu-like” symptoms.
Inhaling large amounts of CO can cause the victim to pass out, develop brain damage or die. Sadly, most fatal CO poisoning cases occur in the late autumn or early winter when defective heaters are turned on for the first time in months.
How Do You Get Rid of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Doctors and emergency medical technicians will ensure victims of CO poisoning breathes in pure oxygen that helps remove high levels of carbon monoxide from the bloodstream.
The procedure usually requires wearing an oxygen mask over the mouth and nose while inhaling.
Does Carbon Monoxide Make You Sleepy?
Most victims exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide poisoning could experience fatigue, nausea, headaches, and accelerated heart rate. In some carbon monoxide poisoning cases, the victim will display signs of fatigue and weakness that could present like sleepiness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, or drowsiness.
Initial symptoms of CO poisoning, including severe breathing problems, can occur immediately without proper ventilation. Installed carbon monoxide detectors can alert occupants that they are exposed to deadly gas levels to leave the area for a safe environment.
Can You Smell Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called the “silent killer.” CO gases have no taste, smell, or sound, making them nearly impossible to detect when breathing.
Victims exposed to carbon monoxide could experience drowsiness, disorientation, sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, nausea, and headaches. Long-term carbon monoxide exposure often leads to death.
What Appliances Cause Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide production is a byproduct of flames by any burning material, including gas, wood, and fuel. Sources of carbon monoxide in the house include:
- Wood stoves
- Gas ovens and stoves
- Carbon-burning fireplaces
- Boilers and furnaces
- Gas-powered water heaters
- Clothes dryers
- Power tools
- Lawn equipment
- Water heaters
- Outdoor grills
Other dangerous sources of carbon monoxide could lead to severe symptoms, injuries, or death.
What is CO? How is CO made?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called the “silent killer” because it is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and deadly.
The gas is released when fossil fuels like oil are burned in open fires, gas stovetops, ovens, and furnaces.
In confined areas, the gas can cause sickness and death. The best way to prevent toxic fume poisoning requires you to protect yourself, your family, and your home to avoid exposure to noxious gas.
A carbon monoxide poisoning case is more likely to occur on an aging property, where the heater may be decades old and need repair, refurbishment, or inspection.
Hiring Chicago Carbon Monoxide Lawyers
Did carbon monoxide poison you? Did you lose a loved one from exposure to carbon monoxide gas that could have been prevented?
The carbon monoxide attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC understand that the time following an incident presents the best opportunity for obtaining valuable evidence to determine who is to blame.
Our personal injury lawyers are ready to battle for you and your family members for compensation for your medical bills, hospitalization costs, lost wages, future lost income, pain, and suffering.
The furnace or device is a crucial component in prosecuting these cases, meaning it is essential to have engineers examine the furnace as soon as feasible following an incident.
Every carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer in our law firm is on call and ready to help with a free case review. All discussions with our carbon monoxide poisoning law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Contingency Fee Agreement
We accept every case on a contingency fee basis, meaning you’ll pay nothing until we negotiate your carbon monoxide poisoning settlement or win a jury award.