Minneapolis Attorneys Handling Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cases
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Brazil, P.A., we represent clients throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing people affected by CO exposure as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior. We will investigate the circumstances that caused your injuries or the death of a loved one and hold the person, manufacturer or corporation accountable.
Please call us for a free consultation at 612-874-6109. You can also send us an email to find out how we might be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve if you are exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is present in the air you breathe every day. However, at concentrated levels it can be poisonous or deadly. If you are working or living in well-ventilated areas with constantly-circulating fresh air, CO is generally not dangerous. With proper ventilation and a steady supply of fresh air, you can prevent carbon monoxide from accumulating at dangerous levels even during the winter months when people have their doors and windows closed and no fresh air comes in to dilute it.
The Effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide, or “CO” (its chemical name), causes a variety of illnesses and even death. Fossil-fuel powered appliances and machines like space heaters and cars produce carbon monoxide as a waste bi-product of engine combustion. If too much CO gas enters your bloodstream, you can lose consciousness and die without realizing what is happening. If you think that you may have CO poising you should contact 911 or get to your doctor immediately, especially if a child is exposed. A child will experience symptoms more quickly and more drastically than an adult.
But both children and adults can sustain permanent injuries caused by lack of oxygen flow to the brain and vital organs. Survivors may face a lifetime of complications including,
- Impaired speech
- Limited or sudden movements
- Cognitive impairment
- Behavioral issues
- Brain damage
What Causes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and How do I Prevent It?
Carbon monoxide is a silent and odorless killer. In cold climates like Minnesota, carbon monoxide exposure increases in winter, as does the risk of illness or death. Fortunately, homeowners, hotel operators, landlords and businesses can prevent poisoning from exhaust fumes produced by:
- Furnaces, boilers and space heaters
- Gas fireplaces and wood-burning stoves
- Car mufflers
- Charcoal grills, cooking ranges and ovens
- Car engines
- Portable generators
- Hot water heaters
- Boat and houseboat engines
Ensure that there is plenty of ventilation when you use appliances or vehicles that burn gas, wood, propane or other combustible fuels. Install a CO detector near garages and places where you store these appliances and regularly check the batteries. Don’t sit in an idling car in an enclosed space and make certain that exhaust pipes are free of snow or anything else that can block the CO gas from exiting the space. Never sleep close to a gas or kerosene space heater.
Unfortunately, hotels with inadequate ventilation and exhaust systems expose their guests to dangerous CO levels while they sleep. Vehicles with defective exhaust systems that circulate CO back into the vehicle or semi-trailer cab poison car and truck drivers while they drive. In other cases, negligent landlords failed to maintain appliances or install properly working CO detectors. Product manufacturers, such as furnace manufacturer, hot water heater manufacturers or automobile companies are responsible if they’ve sold a defective product that results in injuries.
What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and How Is it Treated?
Your doctor will perform a blood test that will determine the amount of CO in your blood. You may already feel nauseous, dizzy, or weak; have vision problems or a headache; be confused and short of breath; or be drifting into unconsciousness. The hospital will start the following types of treatment immediately:
- Breathing pure oxygen via a nasal tube to increase oxygen levels in your blood and remove CO from your blood.
- Breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, to rapidly increase oxygen levels in severe cases or pregnant women exposed to CO poisoning.
Depending upon how much time has passed between exposure and treatment, symptoms may not improve completely or at all. You could be left with permanent neurological damage and side effects. Immediately reach out to a lawyer who can advise you if you on your rights to compensation and reimbursement for expenses.
Contact an Experienced Carbon Monoxide Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has become ill from CO poisoning from any source, please call The Law Offices of Daniel J. Brazil, P.A., to understand how we can help you. You can reach us at 612-874-6109 or by email.