Posted on June 3, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. While you play, eat or sleep, it quietly seeps into your home, your car or any other play where you have all the reason to feel safe. Since the presence of carbon monoxide is hardly noticeable (it’s odorless and colorless), you don’t know that the poison has invaded your family.
Carbon monoxide poisoning may be caused by a variety of reasons:
- Poorly maintained and defective appliances
- The absence of the proper ventilation for gas powered heaters and stoves
- Defective and poorly maintained heating systems and boiler systems - Clogged up chimneys and exhaust systems
- Fuel-powered equipment that is run by internal combustion engines. This includes cars, portable generators and lawn mowers
According to statistics, there are about 40,000 carbon monoxide injuries annually. In addition, carbon monoxide poisoning leads the top 10 causes of fatal poisonings in the country, with some 170 people dying every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by non-automotive products. If you or a loved one has sustained serious physical damage (or even a fatality), you can file a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit to claim for compensation.
Carbon Monoxide Basics
When carbon based material or fuel (such as charcoal, coal, wood, kerosene, natural gas or oil) is burned up, the resulting gas is carbon dioxide. However, there are instances (particularly in badly ventilated areas and enclosed spaces) where there is an inadequate amount of oxygen – the fuels are improperly burned up. Instead of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide is produced. This is composed of one carbon and one oxygen atom each.
Carbon dioxide enters into the body through inhalation. Once it is in the bloodstream, it inhibits the blood from transporting vital and life-giving oxygen to the cells of the body. The victim starts feeling the symptoms (nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, mental confusion, vomiting and fainting) but it may be too late. If the body has been starved of the oxygen it needs, it loses coordination and control. The victim is powerless to move to save himself. If not rescued, the victim may die.
Even if a victim survives the carbon monoxide accident, it can still result in serious physical damages:
- Kidney failure
- Brain damage
- Heart damage
- Blindness or visual problems
- Deafness and/or speech disturbances
- Irritability or dementia
- Memory problems
- Skin lesions
- Muscle necrosis
The victim may require extensive medical treatment, physical or occupational therapy and special education. Aside from that, the victim will suffer from a diminished quality of life and lost wages or loss of a job. The victim may also need to have his house installed with adaptive equipment.
Who is liable?
Based on the situation, there are a number of entities or persons who may be liable for carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Landlords, condo or apartment complex owners, rental property managers and owners who fail to provide proper maintenance for property being rented out or being used for commercial purposes
- A manufacturer of heating systems or boiler systems that provided a defective product
- A manufacturer of carbon monoxide alarms
- A car manufacturer. There is a case where the car manufacturer, Toyotam was sued because the automatic shut off in the car (which was supposed to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning) was defective
- Contractors where it can be shown that their negligence resulted in the carbon monoxide leak
- Repair companies who are responsible in providing maintenance services
- Gas companies
- Employers who allow their employees to be exposed to carbon monoxide
Filing a Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Case
To help you file your lawsuit, you should consult a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling carbon monoxide poisoning cases. The lawsuit will demand for compensation not just for medical expenses, but also for pain and suffering, lost wages and punitive damages.
Carbon monoxide can be complicated since it can cover a wide area (premises liability, products liability, negligence). You need to prove the source of the carbon monoxide poisoning and also show who is liable for the incident. Aside from that, it may need the testimony of various experts – doctors, engineers, toxicology experts, environmental health practitioners and psychologists.
A carbon monoxide lawsuit may last longer than you expect. This also means that the compensation due you will come long after the hospital and household bills have piled up, you have become broke due to losing your job and having to face the need to pay for therapy and your financial worries have long been wearing you down.
At this point, lawsuit funding may be the solution to your problem. A lawsuit loan provides you with ready access to much-needed funds without you having to go through hoops and be buried in mounds of paperwork. It provides you with the financial solution to your financial woes while you are fighting to get the compensation that is due you.
Lawsuit funding, which is also called a settlement loan, provides non-recourse funding to eligible applicants. This means that once your lawsuit cash advance application is approved you can get the funds and only pay it when the lawsuit has been settled.