Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is toxic to inhale. Carbon monoxide can exist within motor vehicles, hot water heaters, generators, and cooking equipment that operate using carbon-based fuels. Carbon monoxide leaks can go undetected until symptoms of poisoning start to appear, unless the structure has a detector in place. Negligence often contributes to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which can injure and even kill victims. Henshaw & Henry, PC are here to help carbon monoxide poisoning victims in San Jose and San Francisco.
Breathing in carbon monoxide is non-irritating at first. Most people do not notice they are breathing the gas in until they’ve inhaled too much. At this point, the carbon monoxide has combined with the hemoglobin in the body, preventing the blood from carrying oxygen. This can cause flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, headache, chest pain, and confusion. Long exposures can eventually cause seizures, loss of consciousness, and death.
There are tools that exist to detect carbon monoxide before it reaches levels that are toxic. Ventilators, clean chimneys, and stable exhaust systems can all prevent carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide detectors can pick up the presence of this gas and alert occupants before it gets to the point of toxicity. If poisoning does occur, the victim needs 100% oxygen and supportive care right away to help prevent long-term effects.
Surviving carbon monoxide poisoning can sometimes have lifelong effects such as memory problems, fatigue, and motor function loss. Some may suffer hypoxic injuries, nervous system damage, and damage to cardiovascular health. Different people can have different tolerance levels for carbon monoxide. Chronic exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide, such as at work, can cause headaches, depression, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and nausea over time.
If doctors diagnose you with carbon monoxide poisoning, your first goal should be to pinpoint where the exposure occurred. Then, figure out why. Did a pipeline spring a leak? Does an appliance have a defect? Did your employer fail to give you a gas mask? You may need to hire an investigator to discover the source of the dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your environment. The why of the poisoning can then allow you to understand if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries.
A carbon monoxide poisoning claim can identify one or more defendants, including product manufacturers, property owners, employers, and other parties. The defendant is the party you believe is responsible for causing your injuries. Proving your claim may involve gathering evidence of negligence and hiring experts to testify on your behalf. The team of trial attorneys at Henshaw & Henry can help with all of the steps required in the pursuit of compensation.
A successful claim could result in payment for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any short- or long-term disabilities the poisoning caused. A good lawyer can strive to maximize your financial recovery by showing the extent of damage the carbon monoxide poisoning had and will have on your life. If a loved one died because of carbon monoxide poisoning, a wrongful death claim may be in order. Speak to an attorney in San Jose about your case. Call (408) 533-1075 or go online to schedule your consultation.