While limited exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can cause some health problems, exposure to higher doses can be fatal. As a result, there are strict rules relating to the installation and maintenance of boilers, cookers and other fuel-burning devices. If you’ve been made ill because of a carbon monoxide leak, you could be entitled to claim for your suffering. This article about carbon monoxide poisoning claims will review some scenarios that could mean you’re entitled to compensation.
We can help if you’re thinking about claiming. Firstly, a specialist from our team will review your case during a free consultation. Then they’ll assess the chances of you receiving compensation. If there is a fair chance of winning your claim, we’ll ask one of our personal injury solicitors to discuss the case in more detail with you. If you both decide to work together, you’ll be represented on a No Win, No Fee basis.
To find out more about claiming carbon monoxide poisoning compensation, please carry on reading. Alternatively, give us a call on 0800 652 1345 to speak to an advisor.
What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide (chemical symbol CO) is produced when fuels are burned without enough oxygen present. It is a gas that is tasteless, colourless, odourless and non-irritating which makes it very dangerous.
Carbon monoxide exposure can occur when using damaged, poorly maintained or poorly installed devices like boilers, cookers and BBQs. Exposure to carbon monoxide can also occur in workplaces where generators or machinery are powered by petrol or LPG.
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when the gas travels around the body by attaching to haemoglobin in the blood. This leads to a reduction of oxygen in the body.
Common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning
Generally, exposure to carbon monoxide in the home or at work occurs because of blocked, badly maintained, poorly installed or poor ventilated appliances including:
- Gas fires, open fires, chimneys, wood-burning stoves and flues.
- Household heating systems powered by gas or solid fuel.
- Boilers, cookers and water heaters.
- Portable gas devices in caravans and mobile homes.
- Faulty exhausts on vehicles.
Effectively, CO poisoning can occur whenever someone is in a poorly-ventilated location and faulty fuel-burning equipment is being used.
Carbon monoxide poisoning statistics
Government data from 2011 reveals that each year, carbon monoxide leads to:
- 4,000 people going to A&E.
- 200 patients are hospitalised.
- Around 50 fatalities in England and Wales.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
According to this NHS article, some of the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Muscle and chest pain.
- A feeling of weakness.
- Shortness of breath.
The symptoms may worsen when you’re in an enclosed space containing carbon monoxide and get better when you are outside in the open.
If you are exposed to carbon monoxide over a prolonged period, the symptoms can be much more serious. They can include:
- Personality changes.
- Loss of coordination (ataxia).
- Vertigo (feeling that the room you are in spinning).
- Heart attack or angina.
- A fast pulse and breathlessness (tachycardia).
- Seizures and muscle spasms.
- Unconsciousness leading to death where medical treatment is not quickly available.
If high levels of carbon monoxide are suspected, your carboxyhaemoglobin levels will be checked. If they are too high, breathing equipment may be used to deliver 100% oxygen until safe levels are monitored.
If you or a loved one has been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, why not call us to discuss your options?
Can I claim compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning?
Employers, landlords and other organisations that own properties have a duty of care to protect anybody who enters their premises. Laws such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 can be used to establish this duty.
You could therefore be entitled to compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning if:
- The defendant in your case breached their duty of care through negligence; and
- That negligence caused a leak or exposure to carbon monoxide; and
- You were diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning as a result.
As you can imagine, proving what caused a carbon monoxide leak can be difficult as can proving how it made you suffer. For that reason, we’d always suggest seeking legal advice if you’re considering making a claim. If your claim is reviewed by a personal injury lawyer from our panel, they’ll always be completely open and honest about your chances of being compensated.
Examples of negligence leading to carbon monoxide poisoning claims
We mentioned above that claims for carbon monoxide poisoning are only possible if the defendant was negligent in some way. As such, let’s look at some examples of the types of negligence that could lead to a carbon monoxide poisoning claim:
- If a tenant was poisoned because their residential landlord failed to carry out gas safety checks on a rented property.
- Where your employer fails to provide breathing apparatus or ventilation if there is a risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.
- If your landlord failed to carry out repairs on a fuel-burning device in a swift manner.
- Where your employer or landlord failed to maintain fuel-burning devices in accordance with the law or the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- If a carbon monoxide detector was not installed by your landlord or employer in rooms containing a fuel-burning device.
If you’re not sure whether somebody else was to blame for making you ill, please speak to our team. We’ll review what happened with you for free and could appoint one of our specialist solicitors to help you claim.
Fatal carbon monoxide poisoning claims
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, around 50 people die in England and Wales each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning. While we know that claiming compensation for the loss of a loved one will not make up for their death in any way, it could help you deal with any financial implications.
A solicitor from our panel could help you to lodge a fatal accident claim if you were financially dependent on the deceased’s benefits, pension or earnings. They could also try to claim back any expenses such as funeral costs that you’ve paid.
Please call and speak with a friendly member of our team to find out more. We won’t rush you or put any pressure on you to claim but will provide free legal advice.
How much compensation do you get for carbon monoxide poisoning?
Any compensation you receive for carbon monoxide poisoning is supposed to help you recover from any physical, psychological or financial problems you’ve endured. As suck, you should consider all of these factors before filing your claim as everything must be included in a single claim.
If you win your claim, it could include compensation that covers:
- Any pain and discomfort caused by physical symptoms.
- Fear for life, anxiety, depression and other types of psychiatric harm.
- Remedial medical treatment.
- Loss of amenity i.e. if your condition means you can’t enjoy your usual activities.
- The cost of a carer.
- Travel costs.
- Lost earnings and future losses if there’s a long-term impact on your income.
If your claim is taken on by a solicitor from our panel, they’ll get a full understanding of the impact of your injuries before contacting the defendant. In all cases, they’ll aim to ensure that you receive the highest amount of compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning as possible.
Providing proof for a carbon monoxide poisoning compensation claim
If you sue your landlord (or anyone else) for carbon monoxide poisoning, you’ll need to convince their insurance provider that your landlord was liable for the incident and how you’ve suffered as a result. To do this, your solicitor will try to secure as much proof as possible including:
- Medical records. One of the most important tasks is to prove that you were diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. As such, your solicitor will contact your GP or the hospital that treated you and request copies of your medical records.
- Photographic/video evidence. You could provide video or photographic evidence to show any damage to boilers or heaters responsible for your symptoms.
- Inspection reports. Your solicitor will ask the defendant to provide copies of any health and safety and inspection reports that they are legally required to carry out.
- Correspondence. If you emailed or sent text messages to the defendant to raise concerns about your safety, you should forward copies to your solicitor as they could help to prove that the defendant failed to act.
- Financial records. If you’ve been left out of pocket because of carbon monoxide poisoning, you should provide copies of receipts, invoices and bank statements to help recoup your losses.
Don’t worry if you don’t have everything listed above. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will work with you to secure any proof needed to support your claim.
No Win, No Fee claims
We think that claiming compensation is made easier if you have a legal professional on your side. As well as being able to deal with the complexities of the carbon monoxide poisoning claims process, we believe that being represented by a personal injury solicitor from our panel could lead to an increased compensation payout if the claim is successful.
Not only that but all claims taken on by our solicitors are handled on a No Win, No Fee basis. As such, you:
- Don’t pay legal fees upfront.
- Won’t have to pay for your solicitor’s work if the claim is lost.
- Will simply have a set per cent of any compensation deducted as a success fee if the claim is won.
Success fees are used to cover your solicitor’s time and expenses if they secure compensation for you. The exact amount you’ll pay will be detailed in your Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Your solicitor will start working on your carbon monoxide poisoning claim once you’ve signed the CFA. Their main goals will be to:
- Seek out the proof needed to support your claim.
- Write to the defendant and set out your case.
- Use their legal expertise to try and counter any arguments raised.
- Let you know how things are progressing with regular updates.
- Discuss any settlement offers with you to make sure that it’s fair.
To see if a No Win, No Fee solicitor on our panel could help get you compensated, please call today.
Carbon monoxide poisoning claim time limits
In a normal personal injury claim, you’d have 3 years to start your claim from the date of your accident. However, as you might not know exactly when you started being exposed to carbon monoxide, your 3-year time limit will start from your date of knowledge. Typically, this is the date your illness was diagnosed by a doctor.
If your child has suffered because of carbon monoxide poisoning, you’ll usually have more time to claim as their time limit doesn’t begin until their 18th birthday. As such, you can claim at any time before this as their litigation friend.
Usually, it’s better to start your claim as soon to avoid going beyond the 3-year time limit. This will also allow plenty of time for medical reports to be arranged and proof to be gathered.
The time it takes for a carbon monoxide poisoning claim to be settled will vary. In straightforward cases, the claim could be settled in around 6 months. However, if more time is needed to investigate your prognosis or to negotiate over liability, claims can take longer.
Start a carbon monoxide poisoning claim today
Our team of friendly advisors is available to help if you’d like to claim compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning. Simply call 0800 652 1345 today. There’s no obligation to make a claim but we’ll answer whatever questions you have and will provide legal advice about your options.
If your claim appears to be strong enough, we could connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel. They’ll fight your corner on a No Win, No Fee basis if they agree to represent you so you’ll only pay legal fees if compensation is awarded.
If you want to know more about carbon monoxide poisoning claims, please go ahead and connect to our live chat service or claim your free consultation here.