Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Due to Negligence in Mercer and Middlesex County NJ
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The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that 400 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the “invisible killer” because it is a colorless, odorless gas that is often not detected until it is too late. While carbon monoxide can be lethal, it can also cause permanent, life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, you may be entitled to compensation.
What is carbon monoxide poisoning and how does it happen?
Carbon monoxide is present or produced when certain materials are burned. Wood, charcoal, gasoline, propane, and fuel are common producers of carbon monoxide. If there is no ventilation in a given area, the poison build-ups to toxic levels that are ultimately lethal. Anyone can be poisoned by carbon monoxide if it builds up in their bloodstream. Instead of healthy red blood cells carrying oxygen throughout your body, the carbon monoxide builds up, takes over the healthy oxygen, and replaces the cells with its lethal poison. Healthy red blood cells normally carry oxygen to different parts of the body. With carbon monoxide poisoning, the oxygen molecules are replaced with carbon monoxide and the body does not get the oxygen it needs. Every person needs oxygen to live and without it, the body begins to shut down and die.
There are certain populations that are more at risk for poisoning than others. Both unborn babies and children are more at risk of harm caused by carbon dioxide. Unborn babies receive blood supply and oxygen from their mothers. When carbon dioxide is introduced into the body, the unborn baby accepts the poison more readily than an adult. Similarly, children ingest more carbon dioxide because they breathe more rapidly than adults. In addition, older adults and those with heart disease are more at risk of harm by poisoning than the average person.
What commonly causes the presence of carbon monoxide?
Every home, apartment, hotel, boat, camper, and any living space should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors are an inexpensive way to ensure your safety and the safety of your family, pets, and guests. An alarm will sound if high levels of carbon monoxide are detected. If the alarm sounds, you should leave the home immediately and call 911. Aside from installing smoke detectors, there are ways that property owners can lower the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:
Never start a car or motor vehicle in a closed space: Remove your car from the garage and then start the vehicle. Attached garages in apartment complexes, condos, or townhomes and hotels can present a serious safety risk to all occupants;
Safely use gas appliances: Sometimes, people do not have access to heat in their homes or apartments and turn on gas ovens as a source of heat. This will cause carbon monoxide poisoning and can endanger you and those living around you. Similarly, do not use portable devices that require gas or fuel indoors, like camping stoves, lanterns, or generators. These items are for outdoors only.
Always properly vent any appliances that utilize fuel. For example, space heaters, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, generators, and wood-burning stoves all require proper ventilation.
What are the consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning?
If precautions are not taken by property owners, carbon monoxide could cause substantial injuries. As noted above, when carbon monoxide is introduced into the body, it takes over all of the healthy red blood cells and prevents oxygen from getting to the brain, organ, and tissue. The deprivation of oxygen causes:
- Permanent brain damage
- Damage to your heart, possibly leading to life-threatening cardiac complications
- Fetal death or miscarriage
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney in Trenton and East Brunswick NJ Today
In many cases, carbon poisoning could have been prevented had the property owners taken proper precautions. If you or someone you know has been injured or died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, you may have a claim. Contact our firm today to discuss your case.
The pain caused by the poisoning of your loved one may never go away completely; however, if the liable party is brought to justice, no one else will be hurt. Contact CR for assistance with your personal injury or wrongful death claim.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Cohen & Riechelson today by calling (609) 528-2596 or checking our contact form to schedule your consultation today.