The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 20,000 emergency room visits occur every year because of unwanted exposure to carbon monoxide. Exposure to this gas can debilitate a person and result in brain damage and other neurological injuries.
While there is little evidence that asbestos exposure leads to brain damage or brain tumors, a 2011 article in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health does not discount the possibility of a link.
You could have a case to receive damages if you or someone you love suffered injuries due to exposure to carbon monoxide or asbestos caused by someone else’s negligence. A Los Angeles brain damage lawyer can help you in your legal fight. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a team member about what legal options are available to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Basics of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen without a person ever knowing it. Car exhaust, stoves, lanterns, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces emit carbon monoxide, which can build up in rooms or garages.
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, which means it gives out none of the warning signs that often tip people off to danger ahead. Without any smell or taste, a person would not know when a deadly amount of carbon monoxide enters the body.
Signs and Symptoms
The carbon monoxide quickly overtakes the body’s oxygen intake, which is when heart, lung, and brain damage can occur. The poisonous gas reduces the amount of oxygen coming into the lungs, starving brain cells and potentially causing lasting damage.
The CDC said common symptoms of carbon monoxide poising include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle weakness
- Chest pain
Other symptoms that indicate more severe poisoning include confusion, stumbling or falling, sleepiness, and loss of consciousness. Death can occur if you inhale a lot of carbon monoxide fumes.
Study on Carbon Monoxide Alarms in U.S. Homes
In early 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a massive study to gauge the extent of carbon monoxide alarms in homes across the United States. In conjunction with several other entities, the CPSC hopes to share the results across the groups to inform the writing of building codes and other safety regulations.
The groups also hope to lay a new framework for safety messaging and industry standards as they relate to the dangers posed by carbon monoxide poisoning. The CPSC expects to release the study’s results in late 2020, barring any delays because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
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Liability for Carbon Monoxide
While the study measures the current use of carbon monoxide alarms in homes, commercial buildings owners should have already installed these critical safety devices.
Landlords, building owners, and individual business owners all face legal obligations to provide a safe working environment for their employees and customers. Ensuring a safe working environment would include regular and consistent inspection of air ducts, carbon monoxide detectors, heating furnaces, gas generators, and other possible originators of carbon monoxide fumes.
Other safety precautions should include regular building inspections by third-party companies, random testing of air quality in various parts of the building, monitoring air conditioner air levels and compliance with building codes. Doing these tests regularly and upon a consistent monthly or quarterly schedule should help to keep clean air quality.
In addition, building owners should take precautions when managing or renovating structures that may contain asbestos, a known carcinogen. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides guidance regarding federal requirements, while the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) offers information about state laws and regulations.
If the building owners or landlords do not adhere to a rigorous carbon monoxide prevention schedule or asbestos management regimen, a court could find them negligent toward the people in the building. If the negligence caused carbon monoxide poisoning that resulted in brain damage, you might be eligible for financial compensation for injuries suffered, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages due to being out of work while recuperating
- Pain and suffering
In this case, you may want to contact a Los Angeles brain damage lawyer to help you navigate through a claim against a building owner. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
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Proving Liability and Negligence
Cases involving asbestos exposure or carbon monoxide poisoning that leads to lung conditions, brain damage, or death can prove challenging to win. Proving negligence by a building owner or business in the context of a personal injury lawsuit requires navigating through a complex system. Persons afflicted must provide evidence that their injuries were the result of exposure to asbestos or carbon monoxide.
The building owner or business can put off a claim of negligence for months or even years. The defending parties may try to deflect any claim of negligence or fault by pointing to the machines used in the building, the HVAC company that installed the air ducts and furnaces, or even the real estate company that sold them the property, forcing you to conduct further investigations to determine where liability lies.
Should you pursue this type of case, you might benefit from having an attorney by your side to share part of the workload and gather evidence before submitting the claim.
Filing a carbon monoxide personal injury lawsuit may involve claims against the landlord, the building owners, and their insurance companies. Additionally, the architectural firm, the construction company, and maybe even the electrician who services the building all could be liable for damages.
An example of useful evidence in a negligence case includes discovering whether a building owner failed in its regular inspections of building mechanisms, including furnaces, airways, ducts, pipes, HVAC units, portable heaters, and more. If an inspection fails to find cracks in a pipe, carbon monoxide gas could make its way into the building, and people would be exposed to the gas.
A personal injury lawyer considers all these possibilities when helping you determine liability and develop a case for potential compensation for your injuries.
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Get Help Today in Your Pursuit of Compensation
Personal injury cases can become incredibly complicated. Proving negligence could require the help of a Los Angeles brain damage lawyer. They can assist you by doing the following:
- Sit with you and your loved one to discuss the details of your case.
- Secure details of the building’s construction and maintenance records.
- Acquire copies of contracts from each of the contractors who worked on the building or performed inspections.
- Request corroborating evidence from expert witnesses.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a member of our team. We can look into your options to seek financial compensation in a personal injury case.