If you or someone you love suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to someone else’s negligence, you could have the legal right to bring a claim. Understandably, prospective clients want to know what a potential carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit settlement would be worth. Every claim is different, so settlement amounts differ. Learn more about what your individual claim is worth by speaking with an experienced Los Angeles carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer at Riley | Ersoff LLP.
What Is the Average Carbon Monoxide Settlement Amount?
There is no average settlement amount for a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit. No two claims are alike, and therefore, no two settlement amounts are the same. Factors that influence your settlement amount include the length of time that you were exposed to carbon monoxide, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood, the short and long term extent of your injuries, and the amount of your medical bills. As with any brain injury, the number concern is the extent of your injuries and how the carbon monoxide has impacted your cognitive abilities and behavior.
Approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room for carbon monoxide poisoning every year. Approximately 430 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, many emergency room physicians fail to properly diagnose patients with carbon monoxide poisoning. Unless the patient, the fire department, or the EMT/ambulance company who brought the patient to the hospital knowing that carbon monoxide was the cause of their injuries, emergency rooms often fail to diagnose the patient with carbon monoxide poisoning. For example, someone can faint at home and the doctors and nurses at the emergency room may diagnose the patient with the flu, exhaustion, dehydration simply because carbon monoxide poisoning is so non-specific. The only want to confirm that someone has carbon monoxide poisoning is to check their carboxyhemoglobin level.
Examples of Carbon Monoxide Settlements Across the United States
While there’s no guarantee that your case will resolve for a similar amount, here’s a look at several examples of carbon monoxide lawsuit settlements.
In 2010, a jury awarded nearly $34 million to 20 restaurant workers who sustained injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning at the Pier 5 Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The hotel took responsibility for the leak that made its way into the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse there. The damages for each plaintiff ranged between $11,000 and $1 million in future medical expenses, zero to $1.147 million for future lost wages, and between $285,000 to $3.75 million for their pain and suffering.
In a North Carolina case, parents of an 11-year-old received $12 million in a settlement for a carbon monoxide wrongful death lawsuit against the Best Western Hotel chain and the local management. They also sued the State of North Carolina for failure to inspect the room since another couple passed away from carbon monoxide two months before their son. That claim resolved for $100,000.
In a case in Los Angeles, the carbon monoxide attorneys at Riley | Ersoff LLP LLP obtained a settlement of $4 million for a couple in their early 60’s who were exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide for several months. After our in-depth investigation, it turned out that a spa heater that was two floors below the clients’ apartment was emitting high levels of carbon monoxide that was making its way into the clients’ apartment.
In another carbon monoxide case handled by the carbon monoxide attorneys at Riley | Ersoff LLP LLP, the firm recovered $2 million for a family that was exposed to low level carbon monoxide generated by a defective wall heater.
Who Is Liable for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Liable parties in a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit will vary. In many cases, you may have a claim against a property owner, hotel, landlord, business owner, management company, installation company, manufacturer, repair company, and more. Examples of potential defendants in a carbon monoxide case include:
- Landlord for failing to inspect the heating systems and appliances in your home;
- A hotel for failing to install carbon monoxide detectors in their hotel rooms;
- Manufacturer of a defective product that emits carbon monoxide; or
- Business owner after customers suffer exposure.
Working with an experienced carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer from the start is crucial. It would be best if you had someone on your side who understands how these cases work and can identify all potentially liable parties. If you try to handle your claim independently, you could miss pursuing a claim against all responsible parties.
Can I Sue for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
If you can prove that your carbon monoxide poisoning happened due to another party’s negligence, then you could sue to recover compensation for your damages. Most, if not all, carbon monoxide poisonings are preventable. To better understand whether you have the grounds for a carbon monoxide lawsuit, here are some examples of claims that might be due to another party’s negligence:
- Hotels failure to install carbon monoxide detectors in hotel rooms’
- Old, defective wall heaters in rental properties that are not properly maintained;
- Landlords who fail to install carbon monoxide alarms;
- Defective products that release dangerous levels of carbon monoxide;
- Faulty installation, maintenance, or repair of pool and spa heaters; and
- Premises liability cases involving restaurants, hotels, malls, resorts and office buildings.
Proving negligence in a carbon monoxide case can be challenging. These are complicated cases to litigate due to the complex laws, multiple defendants, and the need for expert witnesses. Getting a Los Angeles carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer involved early on is crucial. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner we can conduct our own independent investigation. The evidence we uncover can increase your chances of successfully reaching a settlement or a favorable jury award.
What Does a Carbon Monoxide Settlement Cover?
Carbon monoxide settlements will cover a variety of damages, depending on the facts of your case. Medical expenses, both present and future, are potential damages for which you can receive compensation. Did you lose time from work? Are you unable to return to your regular job? You could receive compensation for your lost earnings to date and your future loss of earning capacity. How has the carbon monoxide impacted your cognitive abilities and behavior? Other possible payments include reimbursement for property damage and your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
If you lost a family member to carbon monoxide poisoning, you could potentially file a wrongful death and loss of consortium lawsuit. A settlement could compensate for your family’s losses, such as loss of consortium, loss of financial support, funeral expenses, and more.
Should I Hire a Carbon Monoxide Attorney?
While you are under no legal obligation to hire a lawyer to represent you, it’s in your best interest to at least meet with one or more attorneys to discuss your case. These are complicated legal matters. Without the proper representation, you might be missing out on the total compensation you’re entitled to receive.
When you meet with the knowledgeable legal team at Riley | Ersoff LLP, we will advise you on the best legal course of action. If we don’t believe you have a winnable case, we will be direct and let you know where the weaknesses in your case are. We care about all our clients and would never suggest someone pursue a claim we didn’t think had merit.
If you believe you suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to another party’s negligence, let the skilled team at Riley | Ersoff LLP assist you. We have a successful history of litigating carbon monoxide cases and can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. We are available to handle carbon monoxide cases around the country.
Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about proceeding with a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit in Los Angeles.