Were You Injured In A House Fire Accident?
By July, The U.S. Fire Administration has reported that there have already been 44 home fire fatalities across Florida in 2020. While 2018 showed 4.8 deaths per 1,000 fires in Florida, there were 42.9 injured victims per 1,000 fires. If you or a family member were injured in a house fire and believe that someone else is responsible for causing the fire, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to determine if you have a case.
Common Injuries from House Fires
- Thermal burns;
- Chemical burns;
- Electrical burns;
- Lung and throat damage from smoke inhalation;
- Broken bones from trying to escape the fire; and
According to Stanford Children’s Health, only 30 percent of fire-related deaths are caused by actual flames or burns. More often, people die from smoke inhalation and the toxic fumes that occur during a fire. When burns do occur in a fire, they are often third-degree burns, which are the most severe category of burns. Third-degree burns destroy nerves, the epidermis, the dermis, and can even affect muscles and bone underneath. Surgeries and skin grafts may be required to treat burns caused in a house fire.
Who Might Be Liable For Your Injuries or a House Fire-Related Death?
If someone in your home simply lights a candle and knocks it over, which then hits the carpet and begins a house fire, you do not have a personal injury case. There is nobody who can be held liable, or at-fault, for your injuries. However, there are cases when a house fire results from any one party’s negligence. In these scenarios, it is important to follow through with a personal injury claim and seek compensation. The following people could potentially be found liable for a house fire:
- The manufacturer of a defective stove, drier, or other household appliance;
- The manufacturer of a defective fire alarm;
- The manufacturer of furniture that is flammable;
- The owner of the house if you are a tenant or guest;
- An electrical company that recently completed service work on the property;
- The building of the property;
- A propane company, if there was a propane tank explosion that caused the fire; or
- A gas company, if the fire results from a gas explosion.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Assist You After a Fire
If you do not know what caused the fire in your building, it is possible someone else is responsible for it. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you collect evidence to determine what caused the fire to ignite and where the origin of the flames was. To do this, we will help interview any witnesses and look at the debris and appliances post-fire. We will examine documents such as insurance papers, lease agreements, contractor’s work, and more.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Fire
After a fire the first step you should take is to seek medical attention for your injuries. It is also important to notify the property owner and ask that they refrain from demolishing the burned building until after an investigator can examine the damage. As much as possible, get photographic evidence of your injuries and the damage to the house or any nearby property as well. As soon as possible, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the rest of the process. We recommend you keep all receipts for medical bills, hotel stays, property replacement, and any other unexpected expenses that are associated with the fire and your subsequent injuries.
Will I have to go to Court?
Each personal injury case is different, but if there is substantial evidence to prove who was liable for the fire, there is a good chance the case will settle before it ever reaches a courtroom. A well-compiled personal injury claim with extensive documentation of the damages, such as receipts, photographs, time away from work, and medical bills will help justify your request for compensation.
Contact a Naples Personal Injury If You Are the Victim of A House Fire
House fires not only cause injury, but involve the loss of your residence. It can be overwhelming to find new shelter, take in all of the personal property that may have been lost, and recover from burns or other injuries at the same time. An experienced Naples personal injury attorney from The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. can help by taking care of the legal work required to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation. Contact our offices today at 239-649-8050 to schedule a free consultation.