Dangerous CO (carbon monoxide) exposure is considered a “silent killer” that takes the lives of thousands in the U.S. every year. The deadly gas is both odorless and colorless, making it impossible to detect by smell or sight. Inhalation of the lethal gas is attributed to many poisoning injuries and deaths.
The deadly gas is a byproduct of burning organic compounds including gasoline, kerosene, paper, and wood. All fuel-burning vehicles including cars, trucks, RVs, boats, and motorcycles can generate CO gas, as can pool heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces. Even cooking appliances that create heat by burning fuel can produce a significant amount of CO gas. Improperly operating fuel-burning devices produce fatal levels of CO concentrates.
Each year, deadly carbon monoxide poisonings kill more than 5000 individuals in the United States, with another 10,000 individuals injured by exposure. Survivors often suffer immediate devastating effects including severe brain damage, neurological problems, heart issues or lifelong disabilities. Victims and surviving family members have the right to sue all responsible parties for compensation including a property owner, builder, heating and air conditioner company, gas company or product manufacturer.
Wrongful Death Legal Steps For Families When Pursuing a Claim for the Loss of a Loved One
Proving liability in CO cases can be tricky because causation of the incident is often complicated. Hiring a personal injury attorney who specializes in carbon monoxide wrongful death claims can be beneficial to ensure adequate compensation is received. A lawyer can usually obtain recompense to cover expenses endured by the surviving family members that could include:
- Medical expenses associated with the death
- Lost wages
- Loss of potential future earnings, inheritance, and benefits
- Cost of care related to the decedent
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Emotional distress and mental anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Other damages
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC works on behalf of the surviving family members can build the case on premises liability, product liability, neglect or other legal theory.
Premises Liability: An Alternative Legal Theory for Recovery
Following the doctrines of premises liability laws, property owners can be found legally at fault for any injury sustained by a visitor, invitee or occupant on the property. As an example, if the owner of the property fails to maintain the structure’s heating system that then causes CO poisoning, they might be held legally liable.
Premises liability extends to all property owners and not just landlords and management. If a loved one dies from CO fumes at a neighbor’s house, in a hotel, at summer camp or any other location, surviving family members might have the legal right to obtain redress for all damages and losses.
Product Liability: A Claim Against the Manufacturer
If the fuel-burning heating unit is found to be defective, the product manufacturer or installer might be found legally liable for damages, losses, and injuries. The product may have a design defect, a manufacturing flaw or malfunctions due to improper installation. There may be more than one party found legally responsible for the death of a loved one.
Filing a Lawsuit for the Loss of a Loved One Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Not every carbon monoxide fatality is considered a wrongful death, but many are. However, CO poisoning deaths that occur in stores, offices, restaurants, hotels and a neighbor’s home usually are wrongful deaths. This legal foundation is based on the property owner's likely failure to maintain specific standards in providing others a safe place, including ensuring the structure was properly ventilated.
No amount of financial compensation can ever make the pain, grief, and suffering of losing a loved one go away. However, if the exposure to carbon monoxide could have been prevented, the family likely has specific wrongful death rights for compensation.
Obtaining compensation requires filing a claim or lawsuit against all parties at fault. If your family has lost a loved one from a deadly CO poisoning, it is best to hire a skillful attorney to file a carbon monoxide wrongful death lawsuit. The law firm can help family members obtain justice and legal accountability from every person or entity at fault for the death. Every case for wrongful death in the state must be filed before the expiration of the statute of limitation.
The carbon monoxide poisoning law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at 888-424-5757 investigates wrongful death claims. If our investigation determines the accident could have been prevented, our attorneys can build a solid case to ensure the family receives the financial compensation they deserve.