Smoke inhalation claims
Updated: October 8, 2018
Smoke can contain a number of toxic, harmful and carcinogenic chemicals, which can cause injury if inhaled. Plastics, soft furnishings, wood, fabrics and refuse all give off toxic and carcinogenic fumes.
While burns injuries are a more commonly expected result of serious fires, smoke inhalation is as capable of causing serious injury.
If an fire-related accident at work or in an accident in a public place results in smoke-related injury or illness, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. A claim's likelihood of success, however, is likely to be heavily dependent on the circumstances of the fire.
Do I have a claim for smoke inhalation?
If you were injured following smoke inhalation in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
Symptoms and effects of smoke inhalation
Smoke inhalation can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the materials producing the smoke and the severity of the exposure. Symptoms could include less severe side-effects such as:
- Sore throat
- Mucus build up
More long-term health implications of smoke inhalation could include:
- Oedema - when cells lining the respiratory system, throat and mouth are damaged by heat from smoke, a build-up of fluids in airways can occur, causing pain and difficulty breathing.
- Asphyxia - smoke inhalation can cause airways in the lungs to become blocked, leading to difficulty breathing. This can result in the deprivation of oxygen in the body.
- Pneumonia - inflammation of the lungs caused by chemicals and toxins in smoke.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Cancer - carcinogenic chemicals in smoke can cause cancer of the lungs or in other parts of the body.
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome - this may require the use of an oxygen mask
- Cerebral Hypoxia - when the brain is starved of oxygen. This could cause brain damage
Who can a claim be made against?
In order to for smoke inhalation illness or injury, a third party must be found responsible. This could be:
If smoke inhalation occurred at work as a result of incorrect breathing protection or inadequate ventilation equipment. Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment to staff. A failure to regularly undertake fire safety audits may be evidence of an employer's negligence.
If a landlord's negligence led to a fire which resulted in smoke inhalation injuries, it may be possible to make a claim against the landlord. Installing furnishing that does not meet fire safety requirements, or failing to abide by fire safety regulations, may be evidence in support of a claim.
If another driver is responsible for a road traffic accident and that accident resulted in a fire, the driver may be found responsible for any injury or illness caused by the fire, including burns and smoke inhalation.Back to top
Calculate my smoke inhalation compensation
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
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