Carbon Monoxide poisoning personal injury solicitors near you.
Every year, in England and Wales, there are approximately 60 accidental deaths from acute carbon monoxide poisoning, with another 200 people, in rented accommodation, suffering non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning, requiring hospital admission. Data suggests there are likely to be even more cases of tenants, in rented accommodation, suffering non-fatal poisonings who attend their local Accident and Emergency department, to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, but who do not require admission to hospital. The number of tenants in rented accommodation, exposed to carbon monoxide, but who remain unaware of the cause and do not present at their GPs surgery or local hospital is unknown, but thought to be in the thousands.
Many of the carbon monoxide illness claims that MG Legal’s solicitors that specialise in No Win No Fee injury claims take on, arise out of faulty, leaking electrical products that tenants are supplied with, in rented accommodation. Common appliances responsible for Carbon Monoxide poisoning are, leaky boilers, open fires, blocked flues, and leaky, un-serviced water heaters that have been left untouched, and uncared for. The unfortunate truth is that thousands of tenants are affected by carbon monoxide poisoning every year, and on many occasions, as a result of a negligence landlord, letting agent or even a negligent gas engineer.
In rented accommodation, just like our own homes, incorrectly installed, poorly maintained, or poorly ventilated household appliances, such as cookers, heaters and central heating boilers, are the most common causes of accidental exposure to carbon monoxide. Other possible causes of carbon monoxide poisoning include things that you may not often think about as being particularly harmful, such as fumes from paint (such as when a landlord has just decorated the flat or house they have rented to you) or even cleaning fluids (sometimes after the rented accommodation has had a deep clean, using lots of chemicals). Often tenants suffer carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of things such as:
running a car engine, petrol-powered generator or barbecue inside a garage;
blocked flues and chimneys – this can stop carbon monoxide escaping, and is especially dangerous at night in cold weather when we are sleeping;
faulty or blocked car exhausts – a leak or blockage in the exhaust pipe, such as after heavy snowfall, could lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide;
paint fumes – some cleaning fluids and paint removers contain methylene chloride (dichloromethane); this substance is broken down by the body into carbon monoxide
What are the indications that my home may be suffering from a carbon monoxide leak?
The most commone clues of a carbon monoxide leak include:
1. black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires.
2. sooty or yellow/brown stains on or around boilers, stoves or fires.
3. smoke building up in rooms because of a faulty flue.
4. yellow instead of blue flames coming from gas appliances.
5. pilot lights frequently blowing out.
What is a Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Claim?
A carbon monoxide poisoning personal injury claim is, quite simply, a claim against any party who has been negligent in exposing you to carbon monoxide, and as a result, you have suffered some form of illness, or injury, no matter how mild. Most often, this will be a residential landlord who has not had a boiler serviced properly; but it can also be the case where hotels or holiday homes are not properly ventilated, or heating systems are not properly maintained. In some cases, you may work in an office block, or other workplace, where the heating system has not been serviced or maintained properly, and as a result, carbon monoxide leaks into the work environment. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also occur if you are asked to work with certain types of paint in an unventilated environment. In instances like this, your employer would be liable.
If you live in rented accommodation, and have come into contact with carbon monoxide, and suffered adverse symptoms, which the law will define as an “injury” you are entitled to claim compensation against the negligent party. MG Legal’s specialist carbon monoxide personal injury solicitors are on hand to help you make that claim aginst your landlord, and to obtain maximum compensation, all on a No Win No Fee basis.
What illness is caused by Carbon Monoxide poisoning?
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not always obvious, particularly during low-level exposure, from a leaking appliance in rented accommodation.
The most common symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning is often a headache, that is constant, and similar to a migraine, or stress headache. However, If carbon monoxide levels are high enough, you may become unconscious or die. Exposure to moderate and high levels of CO over long periods of time has also been linked with increased risk of heart disease. Other symptoms include:
feeling and being sick
tiredness and confusion
shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
What cannot be understated, is the effects that carbon monoxide has on the human body. After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body) to form carboxyhaemoglobin. When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body's cells and tissue to fail and die. Over a period of time, with mild exposure, the homeowner may suffer illness, feel confused, with subtle effects on the brain. Daily exposure, leading to symptoms including headache and malaise are often reported with periods of recovery to normality occurring when exposure stops. The homeowner will feel somewhat better during the working day, only to suffer with a recurrence of symptoms during the evening, or recovery during a holiday, away from the leaking appliance, with deterioration of the homeowners physical condition, appearing within hours of returning home, or indeed, to wherever the appliance that is leaking carbon monoxide. The symptoms of exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can be similar to those of food poisoning and flu.
If you are living in rented accommodation for weeks or months, then long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can also lead to neurological symptoms, such as:
difficulty thinking or concentrating
frequent emotional changes – for example, becoming easily irritated, depressed, or making impulsive or irrational decisions
Breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide gas can cause more severe symptoms. These may include:
impaired mental state and personality changes (intoxication)
the feeling that you or the environment around you is spinning (vertigo)
loss of physical co-ordination caused by underlying damage to the brain and nervous system (ataxia)
breathlessness and a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute (tachycardia)
chest pain caused by angina or a heart attack
an uncontrollable burst of electrical activity in the brain that causes muscle spasms (seizures)
loss of consciousness – in cases where there are very high levels of carbon monoxide, death may occur within minutes
Symptoms vary depending on the level of exposure, as a rough guide, this is what might happen at certain levels of carbon monoxide:
5ppm (parts per million in the air): Usually the maximum level in the average home
35ppm: Headaches and dizziness after around six hours.
100ppm: Slight headache after two to three hours
200ppm: Slight headache within two hours, loss of some cognitive function
400ppm: Frontal headache within a little as one hour
800ppm: Dizziness and nausea, potentially convulsing within the hour, likely unconscious within two hours
1600ppm: Serious symptoms within 20 minutes, death within a couple of hours
3200ppm: Severe symptoms within several minutes followed by death within half an hour
6400ppm: Severe symptoms within 120 seconds, convulsions and death insde twenty minutes
12,800ppm: Immediate unconsciousness and death within a few minutes.
As a rough guide, standing by your properly functioning, lit, gas stove at home might expose you to a maximum of 15ppm of carbon monoxide, which is perfectly safe as you rarely stand by a lit gas stove for more than a few minutes at any one time.
Are some people more likely to suffer illness because of carbon monoxide?
Whilst carbon monoxide is a danger to everyone, including our pets, some groups are more at risk than others. The people that our solicitors specialising in personal injury claims have found to be more at risk, include: pregnant women, people with respiratory issues such as asthma or those with chronic heart disease. Due to their size, babies and small children are also very vulnerable due to their small size. Long term exposure to carbon monoxide can also damage an unborn baby.
As stated above, our pets may also suffer illness as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. In all probability, it is true that, like small children, due to their size, your pet becoming ill may be the first indication there is a problem; as the smaller the pet or person, the quicker they will be affected.
How do I make a claim If I have been made ill by carbon monoxide poisoning?
If you have suffered illness or injury as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, and are thinking of pursuing a claim for compensation, then contact MG Legal. Firstly, we need you to tell us everything about who and what you think is responsible for your exposure. If you still have access to the property, device or workplace that is responsible, it is often worthwhile testing the area with a home carbon monoxide detector, something that it is recommended every home has in any event.
After this, your specialist carbon monoxide personal injury solicitor will take full details of the case and look to instruct suitable experts to assess the claim. Expert evidence from gas engineers, respiratory, toxicology and neurology specialists can all be combined to bring a compelling case against the fault party.
Once liability is established, the same medical experts can provide an opinion on how you will recover and any longer term effects, which can then be used to value your claim.
Finally, any out of pocket expenses will be assessed, whether from medical expenses, lost earnings, alternative accommodation costs or other unforeseen expenses, this will be combined with your injuries to formulate what is known as a global settlement – a sum of money that replenished any financial losses as well as a suitable award for the injuries and symptoms you have had to ensure as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Can I claim against my landlord for carbon monoxide poisoning?
Any gas appliances and flues in the property must be safety checked annually. The checks must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe-registered engineer https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/.
Your landlord must give you a record of the safety check within 28 days of it being done and new tenants should receive this at the beginning of their tenancy.
MG Legal’s No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors have settled claims for compensation against all different types of people, including landlords and owners of hotels, B&B’s and hostels.
In Sykes v Harry  a tenant of rented accommodation suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, due to a faulty gas fire. Subject to section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11 the landlord of the rented property was liable to maintain the fire. Section 11(6) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 confers a right of entry on the landlord for the purpose of discharging the statutory repairing obligations.
In the case of Sykes, despite the landlord knowing that the fire had not been serviced, and admitting to fully understanding the importance of the need to service such an appliance, the landlord had failed in his duties to the tenant, and his lack of action, had caused the tenant to suffer personal injury. As a result, the court held him liable for the personal injury sustained to the tenant, as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning The question of actual knowledge of the defect did not arise. Given that the landlord had a right of entry for the purpose of carrying out his repairing obligations, the sole question for consideration by the court was whether or not the landlord had taken reasonable care to see that the premises rented to the tenant, were reasonably safe. The court found that the landlord had not taken reasonable care, to protect his tenant, by ensuring that the rented premises were reasonably safe, and the landlord was held liable for causing the tenant’s injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
So, the answer to the question, 'can I claim against my landlord for carbon monoxide poisoning?' is a resounding, yes, you can.
I suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in rented accommodation. Can I make a claim for personal injury compensation?
When you have lived in rented accommodation and have been made ill by carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a gas leak because your landlord did not fulfil the smoke alarm requirements, then you may make a carbon monoxide landlord claim because of the landlord’s negligence.
Since 1 October 2015 landlords in England have been required to:
ensure smoke alarms are installed in all of their rented residential accommodation, and
ensure carbon monoxide alarms are fitted in every room with a solid fuel heating appliance. This includes any open fireplace that is available for use i.e not blocked off.
The regulations apply both to houses and flats and also to housing in multiple occupation (HMOs); and are included in HMO licences. Failure to comply can lead to a civil penalty being imposed of up to £5,000.
These provisions only apply in England at the moment. However similar requirements are set to be introduced in Wales once the Renting Homes Wales Act is brought into force.
Landlords are legally required to provide a gas safety certificate which is current. In order to keep this certificate up-to-date, it must be renewed annually. Without the certificate, the landlord is breaking the law and so if you are wondering can you sue for carbon monoxide poisoning then the answer is yes, and your landlord may also be prosecuted through the criminal court.
If you are living in rented accommodation getting a carbon monoxide detector for a gas boiler is the landlord’s responsibility according to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. In addition, any room which is for living in and has a utensil that burns solid fuel should also have a carbon monoxide detector. Your landlord has a responsibility to check these carbon monoxide detectors on the first day of your tenancy. If your landlord has failed to do this, then you may claim compensation.
The same rules apply if your housing is looked after by the local authority or housing association. If somebody has been negligent and somebody has experienced carbon monoxide poisoning in your rental accommodation because of it, then you may be eligible for a carbon monoxide poisoning settlement.
If you are a tenant in rented accommodation, with a private landlord, or a local council, or if you are a university student, and your health has been put in danger because your landlord has neglected their duty of care to you, then please do not hesitate to contact our team of No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors at MG Legal. Our personal injury solicitors accept all claims for carbon monoxide poisoning illness, on a No Win No Fee basis.
Can I claim against my employer if I am made ill by carbon monoxide poisoning?
If you have suffered carbon monoxide due to being exposed to carbon monoxide in the workplace, then a claim for negligence can be brought against your employer.
What precautions should my employer take to ensure employees do not suffer carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace?
Your employer has a responsibility to ensure you are kept safe at work- this responsibility includes, making sure you are supplied with suitable equipment, and have a safe environment in which to work. This is a legal responsibility.
MG Legal’s No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors have won carbon monoxide poisoning compensation from employers who have failed in their duty to:
get all fuel burning devices checked annually by an expert;
ensure that all chimneys and flues are swept at least once a year;
fit carbon monoxide detectors throughout the workplace;
Ensure that when carbon monoxide detectors are located throughout the workplace, that they are serviced regularly, and are approved to the latest British or European Standard (BS Kitemark or EN50291).
If your health has been put in danger because your employer has breached the duty of care owed to you, as an employee, and you have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace, and you are thinking of pursuing a claim for injury in the workplace, then please do not hesitate to contact our team of local personal injury solicitors. Our personal injury solicitors accept all claims for carbon monoxide poisoning illness in the workplace, on a No Win No Fee basis.
Can I make a claim for carbon monoxide poisoning, on a No Win No Fee basis?
Yes, you can. If you have suffered illness or injury, in the workplace, rented accommodation, a hotel, or a property belonging to another person, and your illness or injury is as a result of the negligence of another person, then MG Legal’s specialist No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors make it easy for you by accepting all claims for personal injury, and medical negligence compensation, subject to a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that we will help you to win your case without you having to pay any money upfront. If you are successful in your claim, then the fee will simply be collected from your settlement money. The fact that you are not required to pay any money upfront takes away some of the stress of claiming carbon monoxide poisoning compensation at what is sure to be a difficult time in your life. If your claim for carbon monoxide poisoning compensation is not successful, then , as your claim will be accepted on a No Win No basis, then you will have nothing to pay.
How much is my claim for carbon monoxide poisoning worth?
The amount of compensation you will receive all depends how ill the carbon monoxide made you, and how the illness affected your life. From experience, our solicitors specialising in No Win No Fee carbon monoxide poisoning claims, can advise that the value of any particular claim, can vary dramatically from person to person, depending on the nature, and extent of the same. By way of guidance, our personal injury solicitors have made the following guide:
Injuries resulting in death, where there is full awareness:
Severe burns and lung damage followed by full awareness for a short period, and then fluctuating levels of consciousness, for between four and five weeks, coupled with intrusive treatment, or physical injuries, followed by death, within a couple of weeks, up to 3 months. The compensation, for injury alone, not including damages for the care of dependants, such as children, would be between £11,770 and £22,350.
Very Severe Brain Damage
In cases at the top of this bracket, where the person injured by carbon monoxide poisoning has sustained severe injuries that leave them with some ability to follow basic commands, but little, if any ability to offer meaningful response to their environment, and suffering from double incontinence, with their personal injury making it necessary that they need full-time nursing care. The compensation, for the injury alone, not including future loss of earnings, cost of care, medical expenses, would be in the region of £264,650 to 379,100.
Less Severe Brain Damage
Where the person suffering injury from carbon monoxide poisoning has brain damage to a lesser degree, and is able to take part in a normal social life, and return to work, albeit the injured person may not have al of their normal functions restored, and are suffering from poor concentration, or memory loss, the award, for the injury alone, would, according to the 15th Edition of the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, be valued in the region of £14,380 to £40,410.
Any carbon monoxide poisoning injury claim is a claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, thus meaning that every single person, may suffer differently even though they have sustained the same injury. Subject to this, the amount of personal injury compensation each injured person receives would reflect their own circumstances, and be different.
If you have been injured, and have ongoing losses, for example, if you are injured and unable to carry on working MG Legal can request an interim payment enabling you to recover, without facing the stress of not being able to pay your monthly bills.
The best way to answer the question of, how much personal injury compensation will I receive, is to contact MG Legal’s personal injury compensation solicitors and we will ensure that the best medical treatment is sought for you, and a medical report is compiled, detailing all of your injuries, and how your life has been affected as a result of your injury sustained as a result of defective equipment.
How do I start an injury claim due to carbon monoxide poisoning?
Simply get in touch with MG Legal by phone, email or web-contact form and we will make sure you speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor straight away. We don’t operate via agents or a call centres and so, when you contact us, you speak directly to people who will be involved in your case. We have tailor-made claim forms for every type of case to keep paperwork to a minimum and to ensure that from the start, we have the information we need from you. We will have a clear, concise Client Care Letter sent out to you, setting out the claim and how we will run it so that you know exactly what to expect. We work hard for each client and because we work on a Conditional Fee (no win no fee) agreement, we ensure that every case that can be, is successful and our success rate of over 99% speaks for itself. Contact MG Legal, specialist carbon monoxide poisoning personal injury solicitors today and we will get the ball rolling straight away.