Our Michigan carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by this deadly gas. We have won substantial settlements for victims harmed by this toxic gas exposure. You need a lawyer with experience in toxic poisoning lawsuits.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas-a by-product of incomplete combustion. It interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. High carbon monoxide exposures can result in physical problems, neurological problems, and even death.
- Common sources of carbon monoxide
- Non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning death statistics
- How to file a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit
- Carbon monoxide statute of limitations
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide causes a number of symptoms, including:
- Chest Pain
- Impeded Coordination
- Worsening Cardiovascular Conditions
- Neurological injuries, including brain damage
CO is referred to as the “silent killer” because the victim cannot smell the danger and occurs during sleep.
What are Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide?
The most common sources of carbon monoxide (CO) gas are:
- Vehicles running in a closed garage
- Clothes dryers
- Gas ranges, ovens, and stoves
- Water heaters
- Space heaters
- Portable generators
Many unsafe exposures occur in campers and boats. When there is enough fresh air in the area, the CO produced by these sources is not typically dangerous. However, when an appliance is defective or an area is not properly vented, the gas can be poisonous and deadly.
The pie chart below shows the distribution of deaths by location in non-fire carbon monoxide poisonings from 2014-2016. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 80% of all deaths happen in the home or a temporary shelter, with all other deaths mostly happening around the home.
- Home: 68%
- Temporary Shelter: 12%
- Home – External Structure: 8%
- Vehicles & Boats: 5%
- Home, But Not House: 4%
- Other: 3%
- Outdoors: 1%
- Unknown: 1%
More than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental non-fire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators, according to CPSC. Other products include faulty, improperly-used, or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters, and fireplaces.
The pie chart below shows the distribution of consumer product non-fire carbon monoxide deaths from 2014-2016 in the United States. According to the CPSC, three out of every four deaths are due to engine-driven tools and heating systems, with the rest of the products being responsible for all other deaths.
- Engine-Driven Tools: 45.03%
- Heating Systems: 29.82%
- Multiple Products: 7.02%
- Charcoal Grills, Charcoal: 4.68%
- Water Heaters: 4.09%
- Ranges or Ovens: 2.4%
- Lanterns: 2.34%
- Grills, Camp Stoves: 2.34%
- Other Products: 1.75%
- Pool Heaters: 0.58%
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
- Shortness of breath
Non-Fire CO Poisoning Death Statistics
The bar chart below shows the annual deaths of non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning from 2006-2016 in the United States. Deaths have stayed consistent over the past decade with only a range of 49 deaths between the high and low years.
- 2006: 180
- 2007: 186
- 2008: 178
- 2009: 148
- 2010: 159
- 2011: 163
- 2012: 137
- 2013: 146
- 2014: 164
- 2015: 172
- 2016: 179
Filing a Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawsuit
Negligence lawsuits are filed against property owners, landlords, maintenance companies, and contractors by people harmed by carbon monoxide. Product liability lawsuits are filed against the manufacturers of defective products that cause harm from the dangerous gas.
To win a lawsuit settlement, the evidence must prove that:
- You were exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. This is often measured through testing by the gas company, fire department, furnace repairman, or a private inspector.
- Blood tests show levels of CO poisoning. These labs are typically taken at the emergency room or a hospital after suspected exposure.
- A product or premises was defective or in disrepair and caused your poisoning.
- You suffered physical and/or psychological injuries from the toxic exposure. Injuries are proven by medical records, neurological testing, and other medical evaluations. An autopsy can determine if a fatality was caused by hazardous exposure.
How Much are Carbon Monoxide Settlements?
Carbon monoxide poisoning settlement amounts are substantial. This is especially true in cases of brain damage, breathing problems, and other serious medical conditions. The medical bills and lost income also factors into the amount. Compensation includes payouts for physical pain, emotional suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
In cases involving death, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensation includes payment for the pain and suffering of the decedent before death and loss of companionship by family members of the loved one. Other damages include loss of income, future earnings, and payment of funeral expenses.
Statute of Limitations
In Michigan, you must file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the poisoning. The time is longer for cases involving minors harmed by CO exposure.
It is important to preserve all evidence for testing if possible. Hiring a lawyer soon after the incident gives you the best chance to win your lawsuit.
Choose the Best Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawyers
Toxic poisoning cases require significant legal and medical expertise. Our award-winning carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys have the skill and experience to win your case.
There are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.
Contact us now so we can start our investigation immediately.
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