Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when a person is exposed to too much carbon monoxide in the air. There are a number of unsavory side effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. While some of the early effects may not be noticeable, the later effects and effects of acute carbon monoxide poisoning are incredibly dangerous and, in some cases, fatal. Because carbon monoxide overexposure is dangerous, most homes and apartment buildings have carbon monoxide detectors to try and alert people to a building of the gas.
Because carbon monoxide is so dangerous, the law allows you to sue your landlord if you get carbon monoxide poisoning and they are to blame. You are able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them just like you can any other would-be defendant whose negligence caused you actual injuries.
For help with your case, call our Maryland personal injury lawyers from Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 and get a free case review.
What Are Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is a chemical compound that consists of one carbon molecule and one oxygen molecule. It is colorless, odorless, flammable, lighter than air, and toxic to humans and many other living things. One of the most common things that releases carbon monoxide into the air is a burning fire, especially from coal or wood.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is when too much carbon monoxide gets into a person’s body. This can have a whole bunch of nasty side effects and can lead to lingering health complications if not treated and dealt with. In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.
Suing Your Landlord for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Maryland
Because carbon monoxide poisoning is so dangerous, the law allows you to sue your landlord for allowing a buildup of carbon monoxide in your building that results in carbon monoxide poisoning if your landlord is responsible for the danger or lack of warning. Carbon monoxide can accumulate in your building for many reasons, but it is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure proper ventilation and warning systems are in place, and to avoid causing carbon monoxide to accumulate.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Under Md. Code, Pub. Safety Art., § 12-1104, there must be carbon monoxide detectors present in all dwelling areas of a building. For one of the most common building types landlords are involved in – apartments – this will include most of the building. If a landlord does not have working carbon monoxide detectors, they are endangering their tenants and could be liable for any injuries they cause in court.
One of the most common causes of carbon monoxide buildup is the burning of high-carbon materials. While generally, landlords will not be burning things on their property, residents may have a different idea about what they are going to do. If residents are creating an excessive amount of smoke through grilling, gas stove cooking, burning leaves in a trash can, or through any of the many myriad ways that one can burn things, there is a chance that excessive carbon monoxide can be in the building. Moreover, these individuals might disable their carbon monoxide detectors to avoid the annoying loud noise and continue to go about their business.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that their tenants follow the rules of their building. Generally, this involves making sure that they do not tamper with equipment like carbon monoxide detectors. If a landlord has failed to prevent their tenants from pumping carbon monoxide into the building, the landlord could be liable.
Possible Side Effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous. There are quite a few undesirable side effects from excessive inhalation of carbon monoxide. People have known about the harmful effects of carbon monoxide for a very long time, going back even into prehistory. Carbon monoxide poisoning is more likely to happen in confined spaces than in open air.
Some side effects and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are subtle and can easily be attributed to simply being a little tired or under the weather that day. As carbon monoxide poisoning gets worse, the symptoms and side effects will get worse as well. Our Baltimore personal injury lawyers have collated some of the most common signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning below.
One of the first signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning is a feeling of lightheadedness. This can be a feeling of sort of floating, but it can also take the form of dizziness or general drowsiness.
The progression of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms generally includes headaches or migraines. As exposure to carbon monoxide continues and increases, these headaches will get worse, and the individual may experience lapses in judgment or decision making.
The next set of symptoms frequently includes nausea. Within 45 minutes of this level of exposure, there is also a chance that the individual will begin to suffer convulsions or lose awareness of their surroundings.
Increased Heart Rate
Greater exposure to carbon monoxide can increase someone’s heart rate. At this level of exposure or for this long of a length of time, death is possible in as little as 30 minutes.
At the very highest levels of carbon monoxide exposure, loss of consciousness and death are possible in as little as two minutes. However, this level of exposure is highly unlikely absent circumstances like leaving the car running in a closed garage or remaining in an enclosed room in a burning building. Such quick onset of acute poisoning is unlikely in an apartment or rented home setting.
Speak to Our Maryland Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawyers About Your Case Today
Rice, Murtha & Psoras has Bel Air, MD personal injury lawyers ready to help you with your case when you call us at (410) 694-7291.