Information Regarding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to the CDC, as many as 400 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, (although lower levels of carbon monoxide can be an underlying contributor of a person’s death, but would not be stated as the primary cause of death). Another 40,000 suffer carbon monoxide injuries. Carbon monoxide has no color, no taste and no smell, yet when it seeps throughout a home, hotel or motel room, apartment or condo while the residents inside sleep, it can result in death and injury. Carbon monoxide, produced when fuels such as coal, wood, propane, oil, gasoline or natural gas are burned, is often known as the silent killer.
Lack of Proper Ventilation Leads to Oxygen Deprivation
When there is a lack of proper ventilation in a home or other area, or when CO is unable to dissipate due to a blocked or dirty chimney, a family can innocently go to sleep at night, and never wake up the next morning. Carbon monoxide can also build to dangerous or deadly levels when space heaters, barbecues, or other appliances which are meant to be used outside or in well-ventilated spaces, are brought indoors, or into a poorly-ventilated garage. Carbon monoxide takes away the blood’s ability to absorb oxygen, building up quickly in the bloodstream. When body tissues and cells aren’t receiving enough oxygen, they are unable to function properly, with the brain being particularly vulnerable to oxygen deprivation.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Low levels of carbon monoxide exposure can result in symptoms which are similar to the flu, or other common medical problems. If you are exposed to lower levels of carbon monoxide, you might feel headachy and tired, be a little short of breath, feel sleepy, and your motor functions might experience some level of impairment. As the exposure to carbon monoxide increases, you could experience chest pain, dizziness, exhaustion, and could have trouble with cognitive tasks. A higher level of exposure will result in convulsions, coma, and death, which can occur within minutes when the levels of carbon monoxide are particularly high.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide
There are many sources of carbon monoxide which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, such as:
• Furnaces with cracked heat exchangers;
• Chimneys which leak;
• Chimneys which are stopped up;
• Auto exhaust inside an enclosed space;
• Malfunctioning gas-fueled water heaters;
• Malfunctioning gas stoves;
• Malfunctioning wood stoves;
• Malfunctioning fireplaces;
• Tobacco smoke;
• Gasoline-powered generators used in an enclosed space, or
• Gasoline-powered equipment or tools used in an enclosed space.
Maintenance on these items is generally the responsibility of the landlord, property owner or property management company; a safe environment is the legal mandate for businesses, corporations, landlords and property owners. When the duty of care is breached, and someone is injured or dies as a result, these entities can be held legally liable for financial compensation.
Your Right to Be Safe
You have the right to stay safe in your environment, and remain free of harm when you visit, work, or live in a structure. If an injury or death occurs due to the negligence of those in charge of your home, motel, hotel, apartment, condo or workplace, you have the legal right to seek and obtain financial compensation to cover damages, injuries or death. Since carbon monoxide can only be detected through the use of a carbon monoxide detector, landlords, employers and the owners of hotels or motels have a responsibility to have these detectors installed.
Getting Legal Help After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If you or a loved one suffered injury from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, your attorney will need to show that the furnace, stove, or other appliance was not properly maintained or repaired. Unfortunately, the landlord’s liability may not be as clear-cut, if he or she had no knowledge of such a malfunction. Having a highly-experienced Washington D.C. personal injury attorney by your side who specializes in carbon monoxide poisoning, is crucial to a positive outcome to your injuries. If a loved one died from carbon monoxide poisoning, your attorney can file a wrongful death claim on your behalf. Your financial recovery can help pay your medical expenses, lost wages and other associated costs. You could additionally receive additional compensation for pain and suffering.
Contact Washington DC Dangerous Drug Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our injury lawyers have extensive experience representing victims and patients in Washington, DC metro area, Virginia, and throughout the State of Maryland who have been injured due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6645 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The injury attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Maryland, and throughout Virginia.