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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

David C. Thompson, P.C.   Feb. 7, 2024

Many victims who have suffered serious injuries or tragically lost their lives due to carbon monoxide exposure have won successful lawsuits. The linchpin to a promising lawsuit is establishing the fault of another party. 

For instance, if a consumer has been harmed by carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty, or improperly labeled product such as an RV, generator, or appliance, the manufacturer, or retailer of that product could be held liable for the damages the victim endures.  

Or, if a tenant experiences carbon monoxide poisoning in a rental unit, the landlord, or property manager may be at fault. In such circumstances, they could potentially be named in a lawsuit.  

If you or a loved one has been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning due to the fault of another, don't hesitate. Explore your legal options with the help of an experienced toxic exposure attorney. David C. Thompson, P.C. is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and represents people across the state.  

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What It Is & Common Causes

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It's a colorless, odorless gas that's produced when fuels such as gas, wood, propane, or charcoal are burnt. The danger lies in the fact that it's not easily detectable without specialized equipment, making it a deadly threat in enclosed spaces. 

  • One common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is faulty or improperly ventilated appliances. Heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and gas stoves — if not well-maintained and regularly inspected by qualified professionals — can lead to an accumulation of this lethal gas. 

  • Engines, too. Cars left running in garages, portable generators used in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, or any gas-powered engine can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. 

It's important to note that certain individuals are at higher risk. Unborn babies, infants, children, and older adults may suffer more severe complications from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can often be mistaken for other illnesses. These symptoms include: 

  • Confusion 

  • Dizziness 

  • Weakness 

  • Headache 

  • Chest pain 

  • Nausea or vomiting 

If you or someone you know starts showing symptoms of toxic exposure, it’s essential to consider the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if you’ve been near an appliance that emits carbon monoxide. 

The long-term impacts of carbon monoxide poisoning can be severe, including permanent brain damage, heart problems, or organ failure. As you can probably imagine, treatment and recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning can be costly and time-consuming. Don't let someone else's negligence derail your life; contact a lawyer who can help you seek legal compensation from the responsible party. 

What to Do Post-Poisoning

If you've been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, take immediate steps to ensure your safety and legal rights.  

First and foremost, seek fresh air and call 911 if you or anyone affected is experiencing severe symptoms. Ongoing exposure can be fatal, so it's crucial to act swiftly. Follow up with a visit to a healthcare professional even if symptoms seem to subside. Some effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can be delayed or long-lasting, and it's essential to have a full medical examination to understand the extent of the exposure. 

Next, contact a personal injury attorney who has experience with carbon monoxide cases to explore your legal options. If your poisoning is due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

In addition, document everything related to the poisoning incident: keep records of medical visits and treatments, take photos of the source of carbon monoxide, if possible, and maintain a journal detailing your symptoms and recovery process. This documentation can be invaluable when making a legal claim. 

Lastly, have a professional inspect and repair the source of the carbon monoxide leak to prevent further risk. It's also advisable to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home to provide an early warning should carbon monoxide levels rise again. 

Prevention Tips

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning at home or in a business setting, proactive measures are essential. The following tips can help ensure safety and reduce the risk for being sued: 

  • Install CO Detectors: Place carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home or business, especially near sleeping areas, and check the batteries at least twice a year. Advanced detectors that provide digital readings can also alert you to low levels of the gas before it becomes a critical threat. 

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule annual inspections and maintenance for all heating systems, including furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and any appliances that burn gas, oil, or coal to ensure they are working correctly and safely. 

  • Ventilate Properly: Ensure proper ventilation in areas where fuel-burning appliances are located. Never use a gas oven to heat your home or business, and do not run a vehicle or generator inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open. 

  • Know the Signs: Educate your family and employees about the sources and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Awareness can lead to quicker detection and quicker action to prevent harm. 

  • Safe Use of Generators: Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, and vent openings. Measure a safe distance to ensure exhaust does not enter the home/business. 

  • Chimney Check: Inspect and clean your chimney and flue regularly to prevent blockages, which can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside your home. 

  • No Idling: Never leave a motor vehicle idling in a shed or garage, or any other enclosed space. 

  • Know Your Appliances: Only purchase appliances that have been tested and approved by a recognized testing laboratory and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. 

Adhering to these prevention strategies can significantly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, creating a safer environment for all occupants. Remember, prevention is the most effective way to protect against the silent dangers of carbon monoxide. 

Ask a Lawyer for Help

It's important to remember that each case is unique and should be evaluated individually by a competent attorney. David C. Thompson, P.C., an asbestos and mesothelioma firm located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, serves clients throughout the state, including the communities of Minot, Bismarck, and Fargo.  

If you or a loved one has been impacted by carbon monoxide poisoning, please reach out today for a comprehensive evaluation of your case. You don't have to navigate this alone.