Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a carbon monoxide poisoning we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a carbon monoxide poisoning and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
carbon monoxide poisoning compensation:
Claiming carbon monoxide poisoning compensation
If you have been diagnosed with an illness or health condition caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, and you were exposed to the gas by someone else's negligence, you may be able to claim compensation.
What causes carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas which is produced from the incomplete burning of fuels such as wood, coal, oil and gas. Carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless. It is extremely dangerous when inhaled, and can cause illness and even death.
Carbon monoxide is frequently found in industrial areas, mines and garages, and can also be found in homes or offices, if a defective heater is in use for example.
How do I know if I have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning?
People often don't know carbon monoxide is present until they begin to suffer from the side effects of inhaling it.
When carbon monoxide is inhaled into the lungs, it enters the bloodstream and depletes the amount of oxygen present in the blood. When cells in the body are deprived of oxygen they begin to die.
If you think you have been exposed to CO (or are currently being exposed) you should immediately report your concerns and seek medical attention. A GP or hospital visit will confirm whether you are likely to be suffering from CO poisoning. If exposure is confirmed, you should take immediate steps to remove yourself from the hazard until it can be made safe.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
The severity of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can be affected by how long the sufferer was exposed to the gas, and how concentrated the gas was. Exposure in a small, well-insulated flat can cause more serious symptoms to emerge sooner, compared to intermittent exposure in a larger workplace.
Common CO poisoning symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
Carbon monoxide poisoning can also be fatal.
If you have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning at work or at home, and a third party is found to be responsible, you may be able to claim compensation for the injury caused.
Who can I claim against?
Who you make a compensation claim against will depend on where you suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning.
I was exposed to CO at home
If you suffered carbon monoxide poisoning at home you may be able to make a claim against:
- The manufacturer of the appliance emitting carbon monoxide, if the appliance is found to be faulty.
- The person or company who installed the appliance, if it is found to have been installed incorrectly.
- The person or company who performed a safety inspection of your home or appliances, if they failed to recognise that the appliance was faulty.
- If you have a carbon monoxide detector that did not work effectively, you might also be able to make a claim against the company that manufactured or installed it.
- If you rent your home from the council, a housing association or a private landlord, you may be able to make a claim against them for negligence, for failing to ensure the safety of the property.
Can I claim CO poisoning compensation for a faulty boiler?
Faulty boilers and faulty boiler installations are the most common cause of CO exposure in the home, but defective gas ovens and heating systems can also lead to harmful CO exposure.
Older boilers can also release CO, and should be regularly inspected. You may be able to claim compensation from a professional Gas Safe engineer if they signed off a defective boiler as safe when it wasn't.
I was exposed to carbon monoxide at work
It is your employer's duty to keep you safe at work. Among many other duties, you employer is responsible for ensuring that you are not exposed to dangerous levels of harmful chemicals and gases like carbon monoxide.
If you have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning at work, this may be due to your employer's negligence, and you may be able to make a compensation claim.
Your solicitor will identify who is responsible for your exposure, and will confirm whether you can claim compensation.
I was exposed to carbon monoxide in a public place
In addition to safeguarding their own workforce, organisations owe a duty of care to the general public to protect them from harm.
Although CO exposure in public places is rare, you may still be able to claim compensation if the exposure happened as the result of another person or company's negligence.
The amount of money you could claim for your carbon monoxide poisoning will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your carbon monoxide poisoning has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a carbon monoxide poisoning? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Carbon monoxide poisoning compensation amounts
The following carbon monoxide poisoning payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Brain injury||Minor||Minimal injury with full or near-complete recovery||£1,760 to £10,180|
|Brain injury||Less severe||Good recovery with a return to work and normal social life||£12,210 to £34,330|
|Brain injury||Moderate||Resulting in a lower degree of dependence||£34,330 to £174,620|
|Brain injury||Serious||Resulting in serious disability and substantial dependence on others||£174,620 to £224,800|
|Brain injury||Severe||Very severe with the need for full-time nursing care||£224,800 to £322,060|
|Chest injury||Moderate||Some permanent tissue damage but no significant long-term lung problem||£10,040 to £14,320|
|Chest injury||Moderate||Injury from inhaling toxic fumes or smoke||£4,240 to £14,320|
What is the average injury compensation for a carbon monoxide poisoning claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a carbon monoxide poisoning will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your carbon monoxide poisoning compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the carbon monoxide poisoning injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.
Can I get an interim payment?
Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.
Calculate my carbon monoxide poisoning compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a carbon monoxide poisoning injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your carbon monoxide poisoning claim could be worth now:
How long does a carbon monoxide poisoning claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning can vary considerably.
For example, if your employer or responsible party accepts liability, a claim can settle in a couple of months. If liability is denied, however, the process might take considerably longer. Usually, a hazardous substance injury claim takes between 6 and 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your carbon monoxide poisoning claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I get advice on treatment options?
As part of the carbon monoxide poisoning claims process, your solicitor can arrange a thorough and independent needs assessment. The assessment may offer advice on treatment, access to treatments and therapies not always available on the NHS and co-ordination with rehabilitation providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists etc
No win, no fee - the facts
Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.
No win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a carbon monoxide poisoning claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my carbon monoxide poisoning claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my carbon monoxide poisoning claim?
If your carbon monoxide poisoning claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Carbon monoxide poisoning FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a carbon monoxide poisoning claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the carbon monoxide poisoning to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your carbon monoxide poisoning claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a carbon monoxide poisoning after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim carbon monoxide poisoning compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a carbon monoxide poisoning claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.