Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
If your carbon monoxide poisoning resulted from your employer’s or landlord’s negligence or mistake, you may have grounds to make a carbon monoxide compensation claim.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that can be extremely dangerous and often results in carbon monoxide poisoning when inhaled. You may be exposed to this toxic gas in your home or workplace if a gas appliance is not installed correctly, or if it is not maintained regularly and carbon monoxide leaks out. The risk is magnified when the ventilation is not enough to let the gas escape outside.
Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning an individual might experience could include:
- Feeling weak or dizzy;
- Nausea or vomiting;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Feeling confused or disoriented;
- Blurry vision;
- Abdominal pain;
- Loss of consciousness.
Initially the symptoms are mild and can resemble that of food poisoning, which is why it often goes undetected straight away. Inhaling higher levels of carbon monoxide causes the symptoms to get worse and may even result in loss of consciousness, or in extreme cases, death.
What Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is generated from the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels such as coal, gas, wood, and oil. This gas is called a silent killer for a reason – it has no smell, sound or taste, which makes it virtually impossible to detect in the initial stages. By the time the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning start to manifest, a lot of damage could already have been done.
Today, carbon monoxide poisoning at home or at work may be caused because of several reasons, including:
- Incorrect installation of damaged gas boilers, central heating systems and other household appliances;
- Faulty or blocked car exhaust;
- Burning fuel such as charcoal in poorly ventilated spaces;
- Blocked chimneys;
- Paint fumes.
Welders, vehicle mechanics, fire fighters, police, emergency first responders, forklift operators, and those who work in confined spaces are at a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace.
Who Do You Make A Claim Against For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
The person or organisation responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning depends on where and how the exposure occurred.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Work
According to the law, all employers have a responsibility to conduct a workplace risk analysis and accordingly put preventive measures in place to ensure their employees’ safety. If carbon monoxide is a potential threat in the workplace, then employers are legally required to take steps to protect their workers from carbon monoxide exposure.
If your carbon monoxide poisoning occurred because of exposure while at work, you would file a carbon monoxide poisoning compensation claim against your employer.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Home
Carbon monoxide poisoning in your own home could be due to the mistake or negligence of one or multiple entities. You will have to identify exactly what caused the exposure in order to determine fault.
- If the gas leaked because the appliance was defective or damaged when it was made, the company that manufactured the appliance is responsible for the exposure.
- If the leak occurred due to faulty installation, you would file a carbon monoxide poisoning compensation claim against the person or company that installed the appliance.
- If a safety inspection was carried out and the leak was not detected, the person or company that carried out the safety inspection would be considered at fault.
- If the appliance did not work properly and a carbon monoxide detector did not notify you about the leak, your claim would be against the company that manufactured or installed the detector.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Rented Properties
Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that the property that they are renting out is safe in all respects. As part of this responsibility, landlords are required to fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms where there is a possibility that carbon monoxide may be generated. They are also required to provide you with an up-to-date gas safety certificate when your tenancy begins.
If your landlord fails to comply with any of their legal requirements and you suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, they may be considered negligent and responsible for paying you compensation.
What Compensation Could You Claim For?
While the specifics vary from one carbon monoxide poisoning compensation claim to another, in most cases you will be able to claim for:
- All medical expenses related to the carbon monoxide poisoning;
- All travel expenses associated with ongoing medical treatment;
- General damages such as pain and suffering;
- Loss of income from being unable to go to work;
- Bereavement award for surviving family members in case of death by carbon monoxide poisoning;
- All funeral expenses in cases where the carbon monoxide poisoning resulted in death.
How To Make A Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Compensation Claim
If you suspect that you may be eligible to claim compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning, the first thing you should do is to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor as early as possible. A personal injury solicitor will be able to give you sound legal advice, and if it’s in a free consultation you won’t have to pay a penny for it.
An important thing you should know about having a personal injury solicitor who works on a No Win No Fee basis processing your claim is that it won’t cost you anything until after the case has been successful. To start with, you can take advantage of the obligation-free first consultation that most reputed solicitors offer. If, after this consultation, both of you decide to go ahead with the claim, a No Win No agreement between you and the solicitor ensures that you only pay legal fees if your carbon monoxide poisoning claim is successful, and you pay nothing if it is lost.
Pursuing a carbon monoxide poisoning claim with a No Win No Claim agreement stacks all the benefits in your favour. You will get expert legal advice and representation without having to pay any upfront fees. If you do win and have to pay legal fees, the amount you have to pay is generally calculated as a percentage of the total amount that you are awarded so you are never out of pocket at any time.
If you would like to speak with a personal injury solicitor regarding a carbon monoxide poisoning compensation claim or have any questions or concerns on how the process works, please get in touch today.