Every year, about 20,000 to 30,000 people suffer from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious medical condition that results from the inhalation of too much carbon monoxide in the air. Carbon monoxide is an odorless poisonous gas that can cause serious physical harm, including death. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also called CO poisoning. If you or someone you love was seriously injured due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the negligence of another, you may be owed money for your injuries.
What Causes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is produced by combustion. The most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning in homes include the use of gas-powered engines and malfunctioning heating and cooking appliances. For example, running a generator indoors can cause carbon monoxide buildup. An appliance that is not working properly or does not have sufficient ventilation, such as a gas water heater, can cause CO poisoning. The gas can build up slowly and cause symptoms ranging from minor to life-threatening. CO injuries and deaths are preventable.
Symptoms of CO Poisoning
One of the reasons why CO poisoning is deadly is that people may not initially notice the symptoms. When the concentration of CO is dense, the victim could suffer severe poisoning and if not rescued quickly, could die. The symptoms of CO exposure are headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, chest pain, and fatigue. Continued exposure will result in unconsciousness, which is a medical emergency. It can be difficult to know that you are exposed to CO gas, which is particularly true if you are asleep. Many of the deaths that occur happen because the victim was asleep at the time.
Preventing CO Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented. The use of CO monitors is one of the best ways to ensure safety. Monitors detect a concentration of CO and sound an alarm to warn people of the danger. If the alarm goes off, immediately open the windows, exit the building, and call 911. Do not operate gasoline motors in or near your home, including inside a closed garage. Check the operation of appliances such as water heaters. In some cases, the landlord or building owner could be responsible for the injuries caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The owner should make sure that the appliances function properly with no CO leaks and should and maintain a working CO detector. The negligent party should be held accountable for the damages caused by the injury, including such things as medical expenses, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering. If a loved one died as the result of someone’s negligence, you may need to file a wrongful death case.
If you or your family were hurt due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by negligence, that party should pay for your damages. Calling a carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer to investigate is a good first step.