Fires claimed nine lives per day in 2016 in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. One and two family homes, apartments, town houses, row houses, and manufactured homes, Apartment or house fires together caused 81% of the civilian fire deaths and 73% of the civilian fire injuries in 2016. These fires can caused by a number of factors, including:
- Electrical distribution or lighting equipment
- Candle fires
- Smoking materials
Fires can happen anywhere, to anyone. However that doesn’t mean they are all your fault. Any of these fires could be caused by a defective product, a negligent builder or landlord, or by another person entirely. When you’ve been hurt in a fire or if you’ve lost a loved one to a house or apartment fire, you deserve to know why. You deserve to be made whole again.
Apartment fires can be especially deadly, since multiple people are sharing the building. In 2016, 325 people were killed in 95,000 apartment fires and 3,375 people were injured. The number of people injured in house fires in 2016 decreased from 11,075 to 10,750 compared to 2015 while the number of fatalities increased from 2,650 to 2,735. There were a total of 352,000 house fires in 2016 in the United States.
These statistics show that we all need to take fire prevention very seriously. And when someone else causes a fire, or if the fire was caused by a landlord’s negligence, you deserve to know why they failed to keep you safe.
You may have legal rights if you’ve been injured in a house fire or apartment fire
If the fire was caused by a defective product, wiring that’s not up to code, or a landlord’s negligence. Also, if your landlord or property manager failed to keep the fire alarms working, the building up to code, or to follow fire prevention laws, you may be able to file a lawsuit to be compensated for your losses. The first step is to investigate the cause of the fire. While the fire department will have their own team of experts on the case, you have the legal right to hire your own experts and conduct an independent investigation.
These investigations usually require the help of a lawyer to cover the costs of hiring the experts and going to court. At our firm, we typically get a hearing with a judge to file a Temporary Restraining Order as soon as possible. This order forces the company, insurance company, and government investigators to do two things:
- Give you access to the scene of the fire and all of the evidence.
- Prevent any evidence from being tampered with, destroyed, damaged, or thrown away. Evidence tends to disappear quickly after a fire.
We also help our clients find the best experts to examine the scene of the fire and all the evidence to determine why the fire started and who is responsible for what happened to you.
What can you claim in a fire lawsuit?
When you file a lawsuit against a company, a landlord, or a property manager for the injuries you suffered in the fire they caused, you may be able to be compensated for your injuries, any pain and suffering, any lost wages, any medical bills, and for your lost or damaged property. If you lost a loved one in a fire, you may be able to be compensated for their pain and suffering, their future lost wages, and more. If they were treated at an Emergency Room before they died from their injuries, you may be able to be compensated for those bills.
You have a limited amount of time to file your case, depending where you live. Each state has a different deadline. In Texas, you usually have two years to file your case. However, in our experience, the sooner you consult a lawyer about your case, the better your chances of winning your case will be. Evidence disappears and witnesses forget details as time passes. When you consult a lawyer as soon as possible about your case, you will be able to make an informed decision about your case.
We have helped people who have lost loved ones in fires, been burned in fires, and suffered smoke inhalation from fires caused by defective products, faulty wiring, or unsafe building practices. If you have been injured in a fire and want to find out more about your legal rights, talk to our attorneys today. Call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form on the website.