Raleigh Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawyer
CO Poisoning Lawsuits in North Carolina
Carbon monoxide (CO) is called “The Quiet Killer” for a reason; it’s odorless, colorless, and a leading cause of poisoning death in the U.S., according to the CDC. Although there are many ways to prevent CO poisoning, negligence and failures of those with legal obligations to take reasonable safety precautions can put innocent victims and their families at risk.
At Edwards Kirby, our firm is led by two of the nation’s most accomplished civil trial lawyers – former Senator John Edwards and David Kirby. Along with our award-winning attorneys, they’ve earned our practice a reputation for its record of success in complex personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Since 1993, Edwards Kirby has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for clients, as well as a number of record-setting results. Learn how we can help you in the fight for justice by calling (919) 335-7005.
Understanding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide has no color, no odor, and no discernable taste; you can’t tell when you’re being exposed to the harmful gas until it is too late. It’s found in fumes which are produced any time fossil fuels are burned (i.e. in cars and engines, grills, lanterns, stoves, and furnaces). When CO builds up indoors, it can poison any people and pets who breathe it.
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when inhaled CO accumulates in the bloodstream. When there’s too much of it in the air, the body will replace oxygen in red blood cells with carbon monoxide – which can lead to serious tissue damage or death. The risks are most pronounced when CO builds in poorly ventilated areas, and in tightly enclosed spaces.
Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Dizziness or confusion
- Nausea, stomach aches, and vomiting
- Shortness of breath / chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Brain damage
- Loss of consciousness
Who’s at Risk?
The CDC reports that unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for over 400 deaths each year in the U.S., as well as more than 20,000 Emergency Room visits, and over 4,000 hospitalizations. Everyone is at risk of CO poisoning, but infants, elderly individuals, and those with anemia, heart disease, or breathing problems are more likely to become sick from exposure.
Because risks are ever-present, it’s important to take preventative measures, including:
- Regular maintenance, inspection, and servicing of HVAC / heating systems, water heaters, and other gas, oil, or charcoal burning appliances (at least once a year);
- Ensuring proper ventilation for gas appliance and equipment;
- Purchasing and using appliances approved by a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories;
- Annual inspections and cleanings of chimneys;
- Avoiding vent patches using tape, gum, and similar adhesives;
- Prohibiting the burning of charcoal indoors, the use of gas ranges for heating, and portage gas stoves indoors;
- Installing a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector.
Who’s Liable for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Victims of preventable injuries, as well as families who lose loved ones in preventable incidents, have the right to hold at-fault parties financially responsible for their damages – including their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
If you or someone you love has been harmed as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, determining who can be held liable for your damages requires a meticulous investigation of the facts and surrounding circumstances. Typically, it’s important to look at how parties with legal duties to keep others safe failed to do so – whether it’s not maintaining a property, designing a dangerous product, or violating regulations.
Because every case is different, it’s difficult to say who’s responsible for your injuries and losses. However, there are some common examples of potentially liable parties in CO poisoning cases. These include:
- Manufacturers of defective products, including defectively designed or manufactured appliances or consumer products, and products with inadequate warnings (product liability).
- Automakers and auto part manufacturers (including commercial truck manufacturers).
- Negligent landlords, property owners, or property management companies (premises liability).
- Repair companies or maintenance companies that negligently performed work, failed to identify CO leaks that could and should have been identified, or failed to meet their legal duties.
- Contractors, builders, and developers of residential and commercial buildings.
- Employers or third-party contractors / subcontractors on worksites (workplace accidents).
- Safety equipment manufacturers (i.e. manufacturers of defective PPE / respiratory masks).
Questions? Edwards Kirby is Here to Help.
Edwards Kirby is based in Raleigh, and proudly serves injured victims and families across North Carolina and beyond. If you have questions about a potential carbon monoxide poisoning claim, your rights, and how our team can guide you through the legal journey ahead, call (919) 335-7005 or contact us online for a free consultation.