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October 26, 2023

Average Payout for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in California

Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

Short answer: The average payout for carbon monoxide poisoning in California varies greatly, but it can range from approximately $100,000 for minor cases to over $1,000,000 for severe cases.

In California, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning have the right to seek compensation for their suffering and losses. The amount of this compensation can vary significantly based on several factors such as the severity of the poisoning, the negligence involved, and the quality of legal representation.

Whether you are a victim seeking justice or simply interested in learning more about this topic, here is an overview of the average payouts for carbon monoxide poisoning cases in California.

Average Carbon Monoxide Settlement Amount in California

Severity of Carbon Monoxide Average California Carbon Monoxide Settlement
Minor Approximately: $100,000
Moderate Approximately: $400,000
Severe Approximately: $1,000,000+

Please note that these are average figures, and the actual settlement amount can vary depending on the specifics of each case. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your situation.

Example Carbon Monoxide Cases

  1. A settlement of $4 million was obtained for a couple in their early 60’s who were exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide for several months. The multimillion-dollar settlement against Southern California Gas Co. resolves criminal charges accusing the utility of failing to immediately report the massive gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility near Porter Ranch.
  2. Personal injury lawyers reached a settlement of $125,000 against a landlord for injuries sustained in a carbon monoxide poisoning case. In this case, the theory of liability was that the landlord negligently caused the leak of carbon monoxide by failing to maintain a hot water heater. Additionally, the carbon monoxide detectors provided by the landlord were not working properly.
  3. A verdict of $28.5 million was awarded in a carbon monoxide poisoning case. A Wyoming federal court jury awarded this amount to a woman who was poisoned by carbon monoxide from an outdated and unmaintained furnace in her apartment. The plaintiff’s attorneys alleged that incident photographs and witness statements were fabricated, altered, or destroyed during the litigation as part of the defendants’ cover-up.

Please note that every case is unique, and the settlement amounts can vary based on the specifics of each situation.

Factors That Influence Carbon Monoxide Settlement Amounts

  • Severity of Injury: The more severe the injury, the higher the potential settlement- this includes long-term effects and permanent damage caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Medical Expenses: The cost of medical treatment, both immediate and ongoing, can significantly influence the settlement amount.
  • Loss of Income: If the victim has been unable to work or has lost their job due to the injury, this lost income will be factored into the settlement.
  • Pain and Suffering: This is a non-economic factor that accounts for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced by the victim.
  • Negligence: If there is clear evidence of negligence or misconduct on the part of the defendant, this can increase the settlement amount.
  • Quality of Legal Representation: The skill and experience of your lawyer can greatly influence the outcome of your case and the amount of your settlement.

Remember, every case is unique, so these factors may vary in importance depending on the specifics of your situation.

carbon monoxide lawsuit

Types of Compensation Available for Injured Victims

  • Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for the cost of medical care such as hospital bills, prescription medications, physical therapy, and future medical treatments.
  • Lost Wages: If the injury caused you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for the income you lost during that time.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: If your ability to earn a living has been permanently affected by your injuries, you may be compensated for this loss.
  • Pain and Suffering: This refers to compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying day-to-day activities or hobbies, you may be entitled to this type of compensation.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or malicious, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.

Common Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following is a list of the most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Faulty Heating Systems: Improperly installed or poorly maintained heating systems can release carbon monoxide, posing a significant risk.
  • Gas Appliances: Gas stoves, water heaters, and clothes dryers can produce carbon monoxide if they are not properly vented.
  • Blocked Chimneys or Flues: These can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate indoors instead of being safely vented outside.
  • Running Cars in Enclosed Spaces: A running vehicle in a closed garage can rapidly increase levels of carbon monoxide, leading to potentially lethal concentrations within minutes.
  • Burning Charcoal Indoors: Charcoal grills can produce significant amounts of carbon monoxide and should never be used indoors.
  • Using Gas-Powered Tools Inside: Tools such as generators, lawn mowers, and power washers that run on gasoline can emit carbon monoxide and should not be used indoors or in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Tobacco Smoke: Cigarette smoke contains high levels of carbon monoxide. Prolonged exposure can lead to poisoning, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors in your home and that all your fuel-burning appliances are properly installed and maintained.

How Do You Prove Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

In California, proving carbon monoxide poisoning can involve several steps:

  1. Blood Test: A blood examination can confirm the presence of carbon monoxide poisoning. When an individual is subjected to substantial concentrations of this gas, their blood will exhibit increased amounts of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). This compound is produced when carbon monoxide associates with the hemoglobin in the blood.
  2. Imaging Scans: Carbon monoxide poisoning can also be confirmed using imaging techniques like MRI, CT, or other similar scans.
  3. Post-Mortem Examination: It is possible to prove carbon monoxide poisoning through a post-mortem examination.
  4. CO Detectors: CO detectors can alert you to CO in your home since you can’t self-diagnose CO exposure or poisoning.
  5. Medical Diagnosis: CO exposure and poisoning are diagnosed by assessing symptoms, doing blood tests, and possibly imaging tests to determine the level of exposure.

Please note that this information is general in nature and specific legal requirements may vary. Always consult with a professional for advice tailored to your situation.

When You DO Have a Claim and When You DO NOT

When You DO Have a Claim

  • Negligence: If someone else’s negligence caused your injury or loss, you may have a claim. This could be a landlord failing to install carbon monoxide detectors, or a manufacturer selling a faulty product.
  • Breach of Contract: If you have a contract with someone and they fail to fulfill their obligations, causing you harm or financial loss, you may have a claim.
  • Product Liability: If you are harmed by a defective product, such as a malfunctioning carbon monoxide detector, you may have a claim against the manufacturer.

When You DO NOT Have a Claim

  • Assumption of Risk: If you willingly participated in an activity knowing there was a risk involved, and then were injured or suffered a loss as a result, you may not have a claim.
  • No Damages: If you cannot prove that you suffered harm or financial loss, then you likely don’t have a claim. For example, if you were exposed to carbon monoxide but did not require medical treatment and did not miss any work, it may be difficult to establish a claim.
  • Statute of Limitations Expired: Most claims must be filed within a certain time period after the injury or loss occurred. If that time period has passed, you likely don’t have a claim.

Please note that this is general information, and the specifics can vary based on the laws in your jurisdiction. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your situation.

Why Hiring a Lawyer Can Be Crucial in Order to Obtain a Settlement

Carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers possess the requisite expertise and knowledge to navigate the intricate legal system, understanding the laws and regulations pertinent to your case. This understanding can be key in securing a favorable settlement. They can accurately assess the value of your claim, considering factors like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If negotiations do not lead to a fair settlement, a lawyer can represent you in court, articulating your case compellingly.

Get Connected with a Lawyer

If you are seeking legal assistance for a carbon monoxide poisoning case, do not hesitate to reach out to LawLinq. They can connect you with some of the top rear-end accident attorneys in the state at no cost. Dealing with a car accident can be stressful, and the last thing you need is the burden of mounting medical bills and expenses. Get the best legal help available through LawLinq today.

About the Author

Jessica Anvar

California Consumer Litigation Attorney Jessica Anvar, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Lemon Law Experts California’s leading lemon law firm. She has multiple years’ worth of experience working with both state and federal lemon laws. Her practice focuses exclusively on consumer protection cases. Ms. Anvar received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University. Jessica is very active in her local legal community and has helped thousands of clients across the state of California. She has an outstanding record as a true advocate for consumers.

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