The popularity of gas stoves and fireplaces has unfortunately led to an increased number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning nationwide. The use of carbon monoxide detectors is important in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning, although many people move into a home connected with gas, not understanding the devastating impact carbon monoxide can have.
If you or a loved one suffers carbon monoxide poisoning, contact the Omaha personal injury attorneys at the Knowles Law Firm for counsel. You may have an injury claim against the manufacturer of a product, a property owner or another party for damages.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it is an odorless and colorless gas and will often remain undetectable without alerts fixated throughout your house or business. It is produced any time fuel is burned, not only on gas stoves or furnaces but also through cars, trucks, grills, and lanterns. Carbon monoxide poisoning quickly leads to symptoms such as vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. It is particularly since victims often pass out before symptoms reveal themselves. This is an extremely dangerous situation for infants who may sleep through carbon monoxide poisoning only to suffer severe injuries. Some of the most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are car engines, leaking gas lines, damaged central heating systems, water heater leaks, open fires that use gas and improperly ventilated appliances.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 20,000 people visit hospitals and emergency rooms each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. While the number of people who require ongoing medical treatment is much lower (around 4,000), this still represents a sizeable number of people each year who are poisoned through something that has such a simple early detection system.
Common Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If not caught quickly enough, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. The sooner you notice the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, the sooner you can get to a safe location and receive medical care. The nature of carbon monoxide leads to several common, telltale symptoms in most patients as they unknowingly breathe in the invisible gas. If you notice any of the following symptoms in yourself or others, it could be a carbon monoxide leak – especially if multiple occupants of a home experience them together.
- Chest pain
- Weakness or fatigue
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Nausea and vomiting
- Respiratory problems
- Shortness of breath
- Confusion or disorientation
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
While just one of these symptoms might not mean carbon monoxide poisoning, multiple symptoms should be enough to convince you to seek medical attention. Some victims of carbon monoxide poisoning notice subtle symptoms, while others notice the effects more significantly. Either way, recognize the condition as a life-threatening emergency and get immediate medical care.
What to Do About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
As soon as you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, exit the area to get fresh air. Carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous levels in a home, apartment, workplace, business, restaurant, boat, vehicle or another enclosed space. Leave the space and get far enough away to breathe fresh air for a while. Restoring oxygen to your red blood cells, tissues and organs can help relieve the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If other people were also in the space, especially children, pregnant women or older adults, tell them to evacuate.
Get emergency help immediately if you notice symptoms of possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Once you or someone else is exhibiting symptoms, the carbon monoxide has already replaced the oxygen in the bloodstream. Prompt medical care could remedy the situation quickly enough to avoid serious, long-term or fatal effects from carbon monoxide inhalation. Call the police to report a suspected carbon monoxide leak. Do not reenter the space until the fire department has arrived, inspected and cleared the location.
Treatments for carbon monoxide poisoning often include an oxygen mask delivering pure oxygen straight into the nose and mouth. Oxygen treatments can restore oxygen to the organs and tissues to help them function properly. If carbon monoxide poisoning is serious enough to prevent you from breathing on your own, you may need a ventilator. In severe cases, a physician may recommend therapy in an oxygen chamber to speed up the replacement of lost oxygen in your blood.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Recovery
Carbon monoxide poisoning is often the responsibility of a property owner. The failure to install proper carbon monoxide detections throughout the property when the property has a gas line may lead to liability. Additionally, a manufacturer who sold a defective product which led to a gas leak may be held liable for any negligence during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, any home repair or maintenance technician who repaired a gas line or related item on the property may be held liable for a gas leak caused by the repair.
As a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, you are entitled to seek damages from the responsible party which will cover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very serious injury such as a slip and fall and can quickly lead to death if not treated in time. The number of people who are stricken with carbon monoxide poisoning has decreased from a few decades ago but still remains high largely due to the negligence of property owners and manufacturers. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assist you in making the appropriate claim for your injuries.
Is There a Time Limit on Carbon Monoxide Claims?
If you believe another person or entity negligently caused your carbon monoxide poisoning, you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit in Omaha, Nebraska. Speak to a lawyer right away if this is the case. An attorney from the Knowles Law Firm can help you take prompt action to avoid missing your statute of limitations or deadline to file. In Nebraska, you have four years from the date of carbon monoxide poisoning to bring your claim against a defendant, in most cases. If your loved one died, you have four years from the date of death. The courts in Omaha take statutes of limitations very seriously. They may not allow you to bring your claim after your deadline, even if you have solid proof of someone’s fault.
The Knowles Law Firm | Omaha, Nebraska
If you or a loved one have experienced carbon monoxide poisoning, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Knowles Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling personal injury cases that involve devastating injuries. Contact our Omaha, Nebraska office today for your initial free consultation.