Smoke inhalation injuries occur when a person breathes in too many toxic fumes and chemicals from a fire. These can result in very serious conditions; in fact, smoke inhalation is the leading cause of deaths from fires (even before burns). Smoke inhalation can result in injury through several different bodily mechanisms, including:
- Upper airway injuries
- Irritation of the airways
- Chemical injury to airways (usually due to soot)
- Carbon monoxide toxicity and toxicity from other gases (like cyanide)
The severity of smoke inhalation injuries depends on a number of factors, including: the type of fire involved; length of exposure to the fumes and smoke; whether or not the person was in an enclosed space; and other factors. Smoke inhalation injuries can occur in a short period of time.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Smoke Inhalation Injury?
Smoke inhalation injuries can often lead to legal liability and lawsuits. Negligence is a common claim in smoke inhalation injuries. For instance, if a person negligently starts a fire, they may become liable for smoke inhalation injuries resulting from the fire.
Product manufacturers can also be held liable for smoke inhalation injuries that are connected with a product defect. Common product defects in this regard include automobile-related fires, cooking or grilling implements, volatile chemical substances, and other such products.
Smoke inhalation injuries are also frequently connected with work injuries and occupational injuries.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Smoke Inhalation Claims?
Depending on the claim and the facts surrounding each case, a smoke inhalation claim may lead to specific types of legal remedies. In most cases, this will involve some form of monetary damages award. These will cover expenses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and in some cases, property damage. In cases involving defective products, remedies may include product recalls and class action lawsuits.
Lastly, smoke inhalation injuries can sometimes be connected to intentional conduct, such as when a person commits arson and injures a person in the process. In such cases, criminal consequences may result, which can lead to jail time, criminal fines, and other consequences for the defendant.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Assistance with a Smoke Inhalation Injury Case?
Smoke inhalation injury lawsuits can involve serious injuries and may require legal assistance to fully resolve. You may wish to hire a personal injury attorney in your area if you need any help or guidance with a smoke inhalation injury claim. Your attorney can provide you with legal research to for your claim, and can advise you on your options and rights. Also, if you need to appear in court, your lawyer can represent you during those times as well.