Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be caused by a number of things including the incorrect installation of a gas appliance such as a boiler or oven, or an improperly ventilated wood burner for example. Therefore, employers, landlords, gas appliance installers, service engineers etc have a legal obligation to ensure that an appliance is in good working order and safe to use. Importantly, if you have suffered poisoning from carbon monoxide due to the negligence of somebody else, you may have grounds to make a carbon monoxide compensation claim.
If you have suffered poisoning from carbon monoxide, please contact us at 0800 6524 881 to determine if you are eligible for compensation. To learn more about the process of making a claim, please read the rest of this guide.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Claim?
- Common Causes Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Who May Be Liable For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Home?
- Who Is Liable For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In A Rented Property?
- Who Is Liable For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Work?
- Which Workers Are At A Greater Risk Of Suffering From CO Poisoning?
- How Much Compensation For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
- Evidence To Support A Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Compensation
- Starting The CO Poisoning Compensation Claims Process
Whether or not you are eligible to claim compensation for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning depends on the circumstances of your exposure to the gas. Generally, if your CO poisoning was caused by another party’s negligence, such as a landlord’s failure to properly maintain a fuel-burning appliance, or your employer exposed you to carbon monoxide through a failure to provide a safe working environment you may be eligible to claim compensation.
If you call us, an advisor will first try to verify that:
- The person you blame failed in their duty of care to ensure your safety; because
- They were negligent; and
- Due to that negligence, you suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.
Duty of care is something our solicitors can usually determine quite easily. For example, all gas service companies have a duty of care towards their customers under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Similarly, employers have a duty of care to employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and animals when inhaled. It is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, and gas and is known as the silent killer.
We are generally exposed to small amounts of carbon monoxide during everyday life. Vehicles release some carbon monoxide in their exhaust fumes, cigarettes and the like produce carbon monoxide and so on.
The most common causes of CO poisoning are:
- Faulty boiler, central heating systems or other gas appliances within the home.
- Incorrect installations of the above.
- Faulty or damaged vehicle exhausts.
- Poor ventilation whilst burning fuel such as coal.
- Blocked chimney.
- Fumes from some types of paint.
However you’ve suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, please get in touch with an advisor on our team to see if you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Carbon monoxide poisoning often occurs without the victim realising what is happening to them. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to illnesses such as food poisoning or migraines and so can often be mistaken for something else. Common symptoms include:
- Feeling/being sick.
- Feeling faint and dizzy.
- Feeling weak.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Feeling disorientated or confused.
- Blurred vision.
- Personality changes.
- Heart and lung problems.
- Loss of consciousness.
The symptoms will usually appear quite mild to start with, but if left unchecked can soon become more severe. If the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning is left untreated and not removed from the area, they will eventually become unconscious leading to death.
If you suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning at home, it may have happened due to a variety of reasons. In order to determine who is potentially liable, you would first need to find out what caused the high level of carbon monoxide in the first place. It’s also possible that more than one entity could be held liable. Possible causes are:
- Defective gas appliance – If carbon monoxide poisoning was from a defective appliance due to negligence in the manufacturing process, the manufacturer would likely be responsible.
- Incorrect installation of a gas appliance – If the leak occurred due to the incorrect installation of a gas appliance, then the person or company that carried out the installation would be at fault, and therefore liable.
- Insufficient safety inspection – If a safety inspection has been carried out but they failed to detect any CO leak, they could be held responsible.
- Faulty carbon monoxide detector – If you have a carbon monoxide detector that failed to alert you to high levels of carbon monoxide, then the manufacturer may be at fault.
If you are unsure who may be to blame for your carbon monoxide poisoning at home, you could speak to one of our personal injury solicitors for free advice.
Landlords by law, have to make sure the property they are renting out, is safe and in good repair. They are required to fit CO detector alarms in all areas of the rented property where a carbon monoxide leak could occur. They are also responsible for making sure any gas appliances are regularly serviced and checked. They should be able to provide you with an up-to-date gas safety certificate when you first take out the lease to show this has been done.
If the landlord fails in their legal duty of care resulting in you suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, then they may be considered as negligent and potentially responsible for paying compensation.
All employers have a legal duty of care to ensure that employees have as safe a working environment as possible. If there is a higher level of risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to the type of work involved, it is the employer’s responsibility that measures are put in place to ensure the employees are not dangerously exposed. For example, they could have extractor fans installed, open air vents or windows or provide personal protective equipment such as a gas mask.
Employers should also ensure any gas appliances are regularly serviced to make sure they are not faulty.
If an employer fails to ensure the correct health and safety measures are in place and adhered to, and an employee suffers carbon monoxide poisoning, they could be liable if a carbon monoxide compensation claim is made against them.
Some professions are at a greater risk than others to be exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, these include:
- Vehicle mechanics.
- Police, Ambulance and other emergency responders.
If you have been, or are ill, due to carbon monoxide poisoning at work, please contact our advisors to find out if you’re eligible to make a compensation claim.
This all depends on the circumstances. If you suffered carbon monoxide poisoning at work, it may be against your employer. If a leak occurred due to a faulty gas appliance at home, it may be the manufacturer’s fault. It really does just depend on how and where you became poisoned with carbon monoxide, and what caused the gas to rise to such a dangerous level.
Our personal injury solicitors would of course need to determine this aspect before filing a claim.
Every compensation payout for carbon monoxide poisoning will typically vary as no case is ever exactly the same. Some of the main factors that may get taken into consideration include:
- General damages to cover the amount of pain and suffering you may have experienced due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Any medical costs that you may have had to pay.
- Any travel costs related to any medical appointments and treatment.
- Any resultant loss of income or predicted losses.
If you use a personal injury solicitor from our team to claim compensation for CO poisoning, you can be sure that all factors will be considered.
If you’ve suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and want to make a compensation claim, you’ll typically need to provide evidence to support your claim to stand a good chance of success. The types of evidence for a carbon monoxide poisoning claim you could use include:
- Medical records. Providing medical evidence that shows you suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning including medical reports from your doctor or hospital records that shows you were diagnosed and treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Source of the exposure. Evidence that shows where the carbon monoxide came from, such as a gas leak from a faulty appliance in your home or workplace. This could include gas safety certificates, reports from gas engineers, or any other documentation that proves the source of the carbon monoxide.
- Correspondence. If the carbon monoxide leaked from a new appliance or product, any correspondence relating to your purchase or installation could help support your claim.
- Personal and witness statements. A statement or diary from yourself and any witnesses such as family or friends that paints a picture of how the carbon monoxide poisoning has impacted your daily life.
- Expenses and costs. Keep hold of all receipts of expenses and costs due to the carbon monoxide poisoning, and all bank statements, wage slips etc as proof of loss of earnings if you’ve been unable to work.
If your claim’s taken on by one of our personal injury solicitors, they can help you to gather the evidence needed to support your carbon monoxide poisoning claim.
There is a time limit of three years for personal injury claims in the UK, generally starting from either:
- The date an accident/incident happened; or
- The date an injury or illness was diagnosed.
For carbon monoxide poisoning this would mean the time limit would almost certainly start from when you realised you were being poisoned.
If your child has suffered, you won’t need to worry about time limits until they turn 18. A claim is possible at any time before then, however, by becoming a litigation friend, but if you don’t take any action yourself, they’ll have to do it before their 21st birthday.
To clarify how long you’ve got remaining to start a claim, please contact our claims advisors.
Making a carbon monoxide poisoning compensation claim can be quite a complicated process. Although you don’t have to have legal representation to file a claim, speaking with a personal injury solicitor to get legal advice will be helpful.
We provide a free consultation to first assess the eligibility of your claim, and to answer any questions you may have. If a personal injury solicitor agrees that you have a good case, they may offer to file the claim for you and see it through on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that they will fund your case for you from start to finish. If it’s successful, a set percentage of the settlement will be deducted directly from the compensation awarded to you as payment. If it is unsuccessful, you’ll pay nothing. This way, you get legal representation without it costing you any money upfront, meaning you essentially have nothing to lose for trying.
If you would like to discuss starting the carbon monoxide poisoning compensation claims process today, feel free to contact us on 0800 6524 881. We will be happy to look at the details of your case in a free non-obligatory consultation to determine the eligibility of your claim and help you decide on how you wish to proceed.