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How To Claim Compensation For A Brain Injury Due To Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? Can I Claim?

By Stephen Burke. Last updated 19th October 2021. Throughout this online guide, we are going to look at the claims process in detail. More specifically, we’re going to address how a personal injury solicitor could offer to handle a claim if you or a relative suffers a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Many refer to carbon monoxide as a silent killer. This is partly because it’s a colourless, tasteless, and odorless gas. Furthermore, it’s extremely dangerous, causing many people to suffer injuries or even die each year. Even minimal exposure to carbon monoxide in the home, workplace or car could cause a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The NHS estimates that 60 people die a year from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. Carbon monoxide poisoning effects on the brain can be extremely serious. Such brain injuries are (generally) the most serious type of injury to the nervous system. Exposure to CO poisoning & brain damage can lead to anoxic brain injuries.

In the most serious cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, the victim’s condition can deteriorate very quickly as they suffer seizures, slip into a coma, and potentially even die. Diagnosis can be confirmed with an MRI scan which will show changes to the white matter of the brain as well as the basal ganglia. Even in cases where the carbon monoxide poisoning at work or in the home is not fatal, the brain damage could lead to long-term neurological conditions.

These may include problems with memory and disruption to the brain’s language centre, as well as interrupted thought processes and changes in behaviour or mood. If the basal ganglia are damaged, you may also experience symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease.

To find out more about making a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning claim, as well as to find out how much your claim could be worth, talk to our team today by calling 0800 073 8804.

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Brain Injuries Caused By Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In this guide to claims for a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning, we will look at what carbon monoxide poisoning is, what the symptoms of poisoning, how it can be treated and the long-term effect it may have on you, as well as provide answers to whether you can sue your employer for carbon monoxide poisoning or submit a claim for carbon monoxide poisoning at home.

Carbon monoxide poisoning leading to brain injuries can typically happen in places such as:

  • Homes with gas appliances that have not been properly maintained.
  • Appliances using gas in the workplace.
  • Garages and any space where a car is kept (with the engine used) in a confined space without adequate ventilation.

Brain damage is one of the most frequent types of injury resulting from exposure to carbon monoxide. Lasting and permanent brain damage can happen even if the person does not lose consciousness straight away or even at all. Brain damage can lead to numerous consequences, which we will look at in more detail through this article.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning And What Are The Symptoms?

brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning

brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning

A brain injury due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can happen because carbon monoxide is a very dangerous gas. CO tightly binds to haemoglobin contained in your red blood cells. This means that they can not carry as much oxygen around your body and to your brain.

Now, CO bonds with strength are two hundred times greater than that for oxygen. This means it can take up all the space on haemoglobin which would usually be used by oxygen. Carbon Monoxide also interferes with the way oxygen is delivered.

This means that the amount of oxygen being carried around your body and how much oxygen your blood can potentially carry is constricted. The heart and brain are the organs most exposed to damage by lack of oxygen. People who are most susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning are pregnant women and the baby they are carrying.

What Are The Symptoms Seen In Cases Involving A Brain Injury Due To Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Claim?

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be broken into three grades, mild, moderate, and severe.

Mild Symptoms

The symptoms of mild exposure to/ injury from carbon monoxide are often mistaken for food poisoning or the flu. They can lead to the condition being misdiagnosed or missed if they do not know that they’ve been exposed to CO.

  • Headaches,
  • Vomiting and nausea,
  • Feeling down.

Moderate Symptoms

With higher exposure to CO poisoning, the initial symptoms will become stronger and may be accompanied by additional symptoms such as:

  • Problems thinking clearly or concentrating,
  • Dizziness and general weakness,
  • Drowsiness and confusion,
  • Being short of breath or suffering chest pain.

Severe Symptoms

Severe symptoms (such as those indicating a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning) might include the following:

  • Seizure,
  • Coma,
  • Damage to the white matter of the brain and/ or the basal ganglia.

Chronic Exposure

Chronic exposure to low amounts of carbon monoxide can be caused by damaged gas equipment or appliances or working in places with inadequate ventilation. The symptoms will often be similar to those who have had a mild level of exposure.

Most people who experience mild symptoms or exposure levels will recover when removed from the source fully. However, there can be persistent effects for some people.

How serious could brain injuries be after suffering carbon monoxide suffering?

The injuries that the victims suffer may be very serious indeed. For most bone fractures, muscle tears or even burns, the pain will eventually begin to heal. But even a minor brain injury could cause significant disruption to the victim’s daily life. And a severe brain injury may even be life-threatening. Keep reading this guide for more details.

What could be the reasons for carbon monoxide poisoning occurring at home?

Various home appliances could cause someone to suffer carbon monoxide poisoning. A boiler is one such appliance, as is a gas fire. Then, we also have central heating systems within the house, not to mention any water heaters. And, of course, there could always be carbon monoxide poisoning stemming from a cooker or an open fire. But it’s just as important to consider why carbon monoxide poisoning happens rather than merely the original appliance source.

Indeed, a faulty appliance is a primary example of a reason for poisoning happening. Also, the appliance might be working fine, but the installation of the machine could cause the appliance. And it’s always possible that there are missing parts that reduce performance to the extent of causing this reaction. In any event, if you identify the exact cause, you can then figure out who holds responsibility for the poisoning. After establishing this, you can then begin to look at who you should file your claim against. We explain this in further detail as the guide progresses.

You’re welcome to contact us now if you want to discuss whether you’re entitled to gas leak in house compensation which may have caused you to suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning.

How Long Do Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms Last?

When discussing the effect of carbon monoxide on the human body, you may have questions on how long symptoms caused by this type of poisoning may last. The length of time which symptoms of carbon monoxide can be felt for depends heavily on how much you were exposed to and how long the exposure lasted.

Recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning can be a slow and frustrating process. It is quite easy for there to be long term effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if a case can be graded as moderate or severe.

For instance, if the poisoning led you to lose consciousness, then you could experience relapses which last for several weeks. For instance, memory loss because of carbon monoxide poisoning can be a recurring issue. Other issues like headaches, fatigue and irrational behaviour may also be experienced during relapses.

In severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, certain diagnosed symptoms may unfortunately become a permanent health issue. This can occur if the poisoning is strong enough to cause permanent damage to the brain and/or other organs.

Carbon Monoxide Effects On The Brain

The effects of a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning can include neuropsychiatric syndromes, which impact multiple parts of the brain leading to functional changes and many different symptoms, not just cognitive changes. If you have suffered the effects of any of these, it may be possible to claim compensation.

People suffering from brain damage caused by carbon monoxide will have long-term difficulties and problems with thinking, emotional control and overall behaviour, and using their body. The four areas where the largest impact occurs are:

  1. How you think and your ability to remember things.
  2. Your mood.
  3. Your behaviour.
  4. Neurological functions.

Most people who have brain damage caused by exposure to CO will suffer symptoms across these four areas. Unique among other brain injuries, those with injuries caused by carbon monoxide may suffer brain damage that is much wider than those who experience a traumatic brain injury.

Statistics On Brain Damage Caused By Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Statistics and other findings on carbon monoxide poisonings in the UK during 2014 were published by CORGI Homeplan, following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. The findings included the following:

  • An average of four people visited A&E each day with CO poisoning symptoms.
  • 1,798 people attended A&E departments with suspected CO poisoning throughout 2014. 87% of the hospital visitors required treatment. More than one in five required hospitalisation for their injuries.
  • It was also found that as many as 250,000 UK homes may expose people to levels of CO which are too high.
  • Rare cases of brain damage from carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to Parkinsonism, presenting Parkinson’s-like symptoms.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning legal cases have involved children and even babies suffering accidental exposure.

Brain Injury Caused By Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Work

Carbon monoxide poisoning at work should not happen. Every employer needs to ensure that all employees are kept from harm in the workplace. This extends to ensuring they aren’t exposed to carbon monoxide or any harmful substances. As such, if you’ve experienced carbon monoxide poisoning while at work, which led to a brain injury, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

There are many things which can become a potential danger to people while in work. That is evidenced by certain statistics provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In the HSE’s 2021 report on workplace fatal injuries, it was found that 142 workers were killed in work accidents during 2020/21. Over half of the fatalities occurred in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and construction sectors. These sectors (and others) often feature work environments where gases containing carbon monoxide may be present.

CO is a natural byproduct of many processes and is commonly used in fuels. Exposure to CO in the workplace, which leads to a brain injury, could be caused by heating systems, furnaces, canteen equipment, and vehicles switched on in confined spaces or spaces with poor ventilation.

To minimise risks in the workplace, your employer should carry out regular risk assessments, ensure adequate ventilation in the space, regularly service or check any equipment or machinery that could cause carbon monoxide leaks. If applicable, they should also install, monitor, and service carbon monoxide testers.

Brain Injury Caused By Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Home

Have you suffered brain damage due to carbon monoxide poisoning at home as a tenant? If so, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim against your landlord. Landlords owe their tenants a legal duty of care. Under this duty, they are meant to ensure that the property is maintained to a standard fit for habitation. They should also take reasonable steps to ensure that their tenants are not injured or made sick due to poor maintenance. An important part of this duty of care which is owed is to have gas equipment (such as heating systems or a cooker) certified. Certificates confirming the safety of this equipment should also be provided to the tenant. These checks should be carried out every year. Having these checks and certification is a legal requirement, and should your landlord breach this, they could be open to a civil lawsuit.

Landlords should also install carbon monoxide detectors and alarms to alert you if levels become unsafe due to a leak. This should be in all rooms with any equipment that could leak CO. These same legal obligations apply whether you’re living in a home rented from the council, a housing association, or a private landlord.

How To Claim Compensation For Brain Damage Caused By Carbon Monoxide

The best way to start any personal injury claim is to speak with a personal injury lawyer. However, before you do so, there are some steps that you can take to make the claims process a little easier.

When your accident happens, try to take photos of the accident scene. If your exposure is due to faulty equipment in the home or workplace, take a photograph so you have evidence if the liable person denies responsibility. Get the details of any witnesses who can provide a statement at a later date. If you had any out of pocket expenses as a result of your accident, keep receipts.

You may be able to reclaim these costs when making your claim. Finally, you should start your claim as soon as possible. You have three years in which to make your compensation from the date you suffer exposure or the date at which you learn about suffering a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

What Can I Include In A Claim For A Brain Injury Caused By Carbon Monoxide

When making a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning claim, people generally focus on getting compensation for their direct injuries. However, when making a compensation claim with a personal injury solicitor, there are other things for which you can claim compensation. These can include things such as different expenses as a result of your brain injury.

The amount of compensation you will receive will vary from case to case. It will largely depend on the short-term and long-term health effects you’ve suffered due to carbon monoxide poisoning. These are covered under general damages. They compensate you for any physical injuries, as well as emotional pain and suffering. The other forms of compensation you can claim for as part of your total claim could include the following;

Special damages compensate you for the effects of your brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is less easy to quantify and less direct. This could include any loss of income (such as benefits or earnings) and any other long term costs. Your carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit settlement can also recover other financial costs, such as the costs of adapting your home or car. If you had to move to a new home, you could recover these costs, as can specialist home care or private schooling.

Continuing from this, you can also recover costs related to medicines and medical treatments carried out in either the NHS or private sectors. This could cover rehabilitation or other treatment. Your treatment for a brain injury caused by carbon monoxide poisoning may also have meant that you had to travel to different medical, educational, or rehabilitation facilities. These costs can often add up quickly, and you could be able to recover some or all of these costs as part of your carbon monoxide poisoning settlement.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Settlements For Brain Damage

When looking at carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit settlements, the first thing to note is that every settlement will be unique to that person. Plus, it’s unique to their injuries (and the extent of them), as well as the effect upon them. As such, the carbon monoxide poisoning compensation payouts in the table below are for illustrative purposes. Remember, the amount of compensation you receive could be different from what we may calculate.

Injury type and severitySeverityNotesSettlement
Brain DamageVery Severe Brain DamageThe victim may have some ability to follow basic instructions, though little if any meaningful response to environment. Within this, there are several sub brackets. £264,650 to £379,100
Brain DamageModeratley SevereSerious disability and substantial dependance on others over the long-term, rest of their life. There are several sub categories within this. £205,580 to £264,650
Brain DamageModerateModerate to serious intellectual damage with personality changes and effects on senses such as your sight.£140,870 to £205,580
Brain DamageLess SevereLess serious than the above category and the claimant will be able to work somewhat.£14,380 to £40,410
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevereWithin this bracket, it will take into account cases will involve permanent effects which prevent the injured person from working at all or at least from functioning at anything approaching the pre-trauma level.£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModeratley SevereThe effects are still likely to cause significant disability for the foreseeable future. £21,730 to £56,180

There are lots of different things which can go towards making up your damages for carbon monoxide poisoning. And this table is merely an example of what you could get. Figures in the table above come from the 2018 version of the Judicial College guidelines, which help govern compensation settlements. Making a successful claim for a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning depends on how serious your brain injury is.

No Win No Fee Claims For Carbon Monoxide Damage

While a brain injury could have devastating effects on your overall health and quality of life, one of the biggest concerns people have after any injury, such as CO poisoning & brain damage, can be financial implications.

One of the best ways in which we can help to address this pressure is by offering our clients a no win, no fee service. This is a special type of contract which we can offer. Plus, this helps if you find it difficult to meet your legal expenses. And this means that you don’t need to make any payments upfront, nor whilst we’re conducting your claim. Through No Win No Fee agreements, you only pay your solicitor if you receive a carbon monoxide poisoning settlement. In this case, your solicitor then deducts their fee from this. So, no matter what happens, you won’t worry about legal fees.

These contracts are No Win No Fee agreements or Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA’s). They ensure that you can confidently pursue a claim for brain injury no matter your financial status due to carbon monoxide poisoning compensation. And this provides the legal help that you need. Your legal costs are also under firm control. And there’s a legal cap on the percentage charge of your final settlement. Please get in touch with us today to learn how to claim compensation.

Why Work With Legal Expert?

Here at Legal Expert, we understand that wherever you are based in the UK, there will be many options and services offering to help you with your personal injury claim for a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning. So, why should you use Legal Expert and the personal injury solicitors we can provide?

At Legal Expert, our number one priority is always to make sure that you get the best legal team behind you for your claim, as well as the best advice available about what steps and actions you should take, no matter your financial status. Our service always puts the customer at number one, and you are our priority through the claims process.

You can contact us on the channels below. When you do so, we will ask you questions about the cause of your accident to help us establish that someone else was responsible for this, as well as asking about the extent of your injuries. This all helps us to determine whether you will be able to make a personal injury claim.

We also understand that no two cases of a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning are identical, and as such, will treat your brain injury claim individually. We work had to make sure that you will get the maximum possible amount of compensation possible. Along with our No Win No Fee service, we hope to bring you peace of mind.

Contact Us Today To Start Your Claim For Free

If you suffer a brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning, you could claim compensation. The best way to see if you’re eligible to make a compensation claim is to contact us. Whether you are making a claim for yourself or on behalf of someone else, start today.

No matter the cause of your brain injury compensation claim, reach out to our team today. We’re here to assist. Our team has the experience and knowledge to pursue a brain injury due to a carbon monoxide poisoning claim. You can contact our team by calling us on 0800 073 8804. You can also send us an email to office@legalexpert.co.uk. Or you can use the contact form on this page to request a callback.

Learn More About Carbon Monoxide Effects On The Brain

The links and resources below will help you learn more about brain injuries due to carbon monoxide poisoning. And we also explain how to make similar types of compensation claims with our useful guides.

Carbon Monoxide Compensation Claims
Are you suffering due to other types of injury via exposure to carbon monoxide? If so, find out how to claim compensation for other carbon monoxide poisoning injuries.

Asbestos Compensation Claims
If you suffer asbestos exposure whilst working, you could claim compensation for your injuries. Please find out more in our guide.

Brain Damage And Brain Injury Compensation Claims
Brain damage or brain injuries, and associated head injuries, can have a serious, long-term and complex effect upon you. Learn more about these injuries and how to claim compensation after them.

Headway The Brain Injury Association
This guide to brain injuries caused by carbon monoxide poisoning contains additional information. Contact the charity for additional support with brain injuries.

No Win No Fee Guide
Take a look to learn more about No Win No Fee agreements and how we could assist you.

Fatal or Wrongful Death Claim
Please take a look at our guide to learn more about fatal/wrongful death claims.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning FAQs

How long does it take to get carbon monoxide poisoning?

It takes roughly 2 hours of carbon monoxide being in the air to cause serious damage. Long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can often lead to neurological complications, such as difficulty concentrating or thinking.

Can you survive carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide exposure is extremely dangerous, and it can often cause death. For those who survive exposure, the recovery process will be slow. More often than not, the recovery process depends on the length of time of exposure.

How do you get rid of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Breathing in pure oxygen is one of the best ways to treat CO poisoning. This treatment increases the oxygen levels in the blood and helps remove CO from the blood. You should always visit a medical professional and seek advice if you suffer exposure to carbon monoxide.

Can carbon monoxide give you brain damage?

This depends on how much exposure you have to carbon monoxide and for how long. But it’s very much possible to suffer brain damage.

Can carbon monoxide cause brain swelling?

Similarly, in serious cases, victims of carbon monoxide could definitely suffer brain swelling as one consequence.

How long does carbon monoxide poisoning stay in your system?

Carbon monoxide tends to stay in a person’s body for around four hours.

How do I know if my gas fire is leaking carbon monoxide?

Things to look out for are black soot marks on the covers, strong condensation on windows, yellow or brain stains around boilers and any smoke rising in rooms.

Will opening windows reduce carbon monoxide?

Yes, the more windows you can open, the less carbon monoxide will be in the house.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning claims. As always, our team are here to help should you have any questions or queries.

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