Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is called “the silent killer,” because it is an odorless, scentless, colorless emission that is often undetected until it is too late. CO can cause serious illness, brain injury, and even death in humans and animals.
Carbon Monoxide fumes are produced when material that contains carbon is burned. This often happens via fuel fumes from vehicles, engines, or appliances commonly found in homes and business settings that are then inhaled by occupants or tenants. While CO poisoning can affect anyone, the most vulnerable are infants, the elderly, those with anemia, heart disease, or respiratory issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the US, nearly 500 people die from CO poisoning each year. Hospital emergency rooms see about 50,000 people for CO inhalation per year.
What Are the Most Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide?
- Engine fumes
- Motor vehicle exhaust
- Smoke from fires
- Gas water heaters
- Kerosene space heaters
- Charcoal grills
- Propane heaters and stoves
- Gasoline and diesel-powered generators
- Propane-fueled tools
- Gasoline-powered saws
- Boat engines
Carbon monoxide poisoning is often triggered by faulty or obstructed exhaust systems.
Examples of Situations at Risk for Carbon Monoxide Exposure
- Heat sources or electric generators, particularly prevalent during power outages/after hurricanes
- The scene of a fire
- Riding in the back of enclosed pickup trucks, especially children (very high risk)
- Workers at pulp mills, steel foundries, and formaldehyde producing plants
- Swimming under or near a boat’s running engine
- Inclosed spaces with combustion engines
- Tying up next to a boat that is running a generator or engine
What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
In high quantities, exposure to carbon monoxide can cause death in as fast as 5 minutes. Because CO is often undetectable, even low exposure for extended periods can cause illness and serious health problems.
- Persons exposed to CO leaks may experience:
- Confusion, memory problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Flu-like symptoms, fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
A person who is sleeping or has been drinking alcohol may not be aware of symptoms and can die before signs are noticed. If you or a loved one has suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to the negligence of another person or business, you may be compensated through legal action.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Negligent parties often include:
- Building, Vehicle (Rental) or Property Owners
- Nursing Homes, Day Cares or Schools
- Maintenance Workers
- Product Manufacturers
- Others depending on your case
What You Should Do If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
- Seek medical attention immediately, a blood test is the most effective way to diagnose CO poisoning
- Make sure the site is safe to return to – your local fire department or public service company can help find the source of the carbon monoxide
- Hire a legal team with the resources and experience to pursue your case
How We Can Help You
Few people truly understand how it feels to lose a loved one due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence. Instead of having time to grieve, you are faced with urgent and difficult questions about the circumstances of your loved one’s death. Let our experienced and compassionate wrongful death attorneys stand by you through your tragedy. We have the in-depth knowledge, experience, and determination to bring you justice. You are not alone during this difficult time; we are here to help you and your family.
Our attorneys are skilled at investigating and litigating liability claims. We have the knowledge, resources, and expertise required to handle carbon monoxide poisoning cases and our board-certified trial lawyers are experienced in preserving evidence and testimony. We have the financial resources to hire premier experts, recognized as a specialist in their field to get the optimum resolution for our clients in these complicated cases. For a free consultation with our team, contact the personal injury lawyers of Rubenstein Law today. Remote and virtual appointments are available.