Smoke Inhalation

As fires in Bastrop and Blanco counties recently reminded large populations of San Antonio residents, smoke inhalation is a serious medical concern. But it is equally true that new construction sites, summertime picnics and BBQs, and backyard campfires can create potentially hazardous and flammable conditions. The San Antonio smoke inhalation attorney at Carabin & Shaw is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of people who have suffered from the harmful effects of smoke inhalation, regardless of the smoke's source or cause.

A U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research study found that up to 15% of burn victims have breathed in enough smoke to cause respiratory problems. The same study also determined that the mortality rate for people with inhalation damage and burns is six times higher (29.5%) than that for people with burn damage alone. These are the sorts of statistics our lawyers have on hand to help advocate for the severity of your smoke-related injuries.

In some cases, people have been harmed by exposure to toxic inhalants without being close enough to the source of the smoke to suffer any burns. This is especially true in cases involving San Antonio construction sites. In these instances, your attorney will investigate what other types of claims you might legally be eligible to file, such as negligence. The severity of the damage, as it will ultimately be determined, can also depend on the chemicals inhaled and the duration of your exposure to them. Not all smoke-related injuries are instantaneous. Prolonged exposure to harmful chemicals in trace amounts of smoke can be just as damaging as one huge, unexpected gulp of blackened air.

The amount of smoke you inhale is also a large factor our lawyers use in determining how to properly assess damages, but that does not mean more smoke equals more compensation. A recent study also found evidence that, even for those who suffered limited smoke exposure, long-term lung impairment was still a serious concern. This is due in part to the fact that a person deprived of oxygen, even momentarily, can suffer brain damage. Most people who have suffered from inhalation of toxic substances focus largely on the toxic substances they have taken in, but it can be equally important to discuss what natural elements were being deprived while the toxic smoke was being inhaled.

Damage to the lungs and brain can result from breathing in just smoke, but some chemicals in the smoke can cause more damage, which can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, cyanide poisoning, and other chemical inhalation injuries. As any home fire accident attorney in San Antonio can tell you, there is an extensive list of symptoms caused by these and similar inhalation accidents, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Respiratory failure
  • Hypoxia (low oxygen)
  • Inspissated secretions (thickened or dry mucus)
  • Reactive bronchorrhea (excessive mucus secretions)
  • Plugging (inspissated mucus or shedding of mucus membrane)
  • Brochospasm (contraction of muscles in the bronchi)

As severe as some of these symptoms sounds, the damage caused by hidden chemicals is often far worse. Do not attempt to self-represent your smoke-related case. No matter how clear-cut it seems, obtaining legal counsel, if only for a consultation, is always a good idea.

FREE CONSULTATION

Contact Carabin & Shaw today at 1-800-862-1260. Our team has the experience you need to help you and your loved ones put your lives back together after a fire. The attorneys at Carabin & Shaw help explosion and fire victims and their loved ones hold companies accountable for respiratory failure and brain damage caused by smoke inhalation injuries. Our main office is at 630 Broadway St., San Antonio, Texas, 78215. Call our team of lawyers today for your free consultation at 1-800-862-1260.

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