According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), fire accidents killed more people in 2019 than all-natural disasters combined. The psychological and physical scars that victims of fires and other burn injuries are left with can be extremely overwhelming and life-changing. Victims and their families may be faced with exorbitant medical bills and care, lost wages, and life-long pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one have suffered a burn injury due to a fire accident as a consequence of another party’s negligence or reckless decisions—such as a building or apartment landlord that fails to follow proper fire safety laws or an employer who does not adhere to workplace safety regulations—you may be able to seek compensation for damages related to your burn injury by contacting an experienced Florida burn injury lawyer.
The financial burden that can accompany a burn injury can be extensive and you and your family should not have to suffer when the harm was caused by another party.
It is important that you contact an experienced fire accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
Where a burn injury occurs, and how it occurs, are important considerations in determining one’s ability to take legal action against the party at fault.
Whether or not you have a case depends on a variety of factors, primarily being the cause and the origin of the fire. Did the fire arise from an improperly maintained or defective oven/stove or were legally required smoke detectors not installed by your landlord?
An experienced lawyer at the law firm of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can help you to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions to get you the compensation for your injuries that you deserve. We have built a reputation of helping victims of negligence and neglect, and our fire injury lawyers will work hard to determine how we can help you in your personal injury case.
[Read more: Preventing Florida Burn Injuries with Fire Safety]
Where Fire Accidents Occur
An accident due to fire can happen almost anywhere. It can be caused by a multitude of different factors such as faulty wiring, space heaters, cooking, an explosion, or an automobile crash.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that every 24 seconds, a fire department in the United States responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. In 2019, local fire departments responded to 1,291,500 fires. These fires caused roughly 3,700 civilian deaths, 16,600 civilian injuries, and $14.8 billion in property damage.
Fires can be caused anywhere that a flammable or hot object exists. Here of some examples;
- Apartment building fires
- Leisure activity fires (barbecues, hotels, restaurants, retail establishments, entertainment venues, etc.)
- Electrical Cord fires
- Locked fire exits
- Workplace fires
- Truck and motor vehicle accidents and explosions
- Defective products
- Scalding water and pipes
- Landlord negligence
- Negligent fire prevention
- Defective or insufficient fire extinguishers
- Defective fire alarms
- Faulty fire alarms
- Non-working sprinkler systems
- Appliance malfunctions
Apartment Building/House Fires
One of the most common ways in which people are injured by burns in an apartment or a house fire. A home fire occurs every 93 seconds and a fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 65 seconds. 75 percent of ALL fire accident deaths and 73 percent of ALL fire accident injuries were caused by home fires.
According to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, home fires often begin in the kitchen as cooking, frying in particular is the leading cause of home fires.
Heating equipment, smoking, and candles are also leading causes of fires in U.S. homes. This can include fixed and portable space heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces. According to the NFPA, smoking is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Two-thirds of these fatalities arise from fires that originate in furniture, such as mattresses and bedding.
Lighting equipment and electrical wiring can also contribute to a home or apartment fire.
Common causes of apartment fires include:
- Electrical Equipment
- Cooking and cooking equipment
- Portable heaters
- Faulty wiring
- Faulty appliances
For those who rent their homes, it is a major benefit over homeownership in that your landlord is responsible for maintaining the safety of the building. It may be possible for your landlord to be held liable for a burn injury due to a fire accident if negligent behavior on their part has been demonstrated.
Negligence occurs when someone acts carelessly or without regard for the consequences of their actions.
The components of landlord negligence include:
- Duty – the duty a landlord/property manager has to keep residences safe and habitable for tenants.
- Breach of Duty – it has to be proven that the landlord/property manager somehow breached their duty.
- Causation – is the failure to act on a problem or issue that makes the property unlivable.
- Damages – tenants can recoup damages if they can prove that the landlord’s failure to remedy a situation has led to harm.
Common ways that landlord negligence leads to apartment fires include:
- Building code violations
- Faulty wiring
- Electrical issues
- Pest infestations
- Lack of fire alarms
- Blocked fire exits
- Defective or lack of smoke detectors
- Lack of or non-working fire extinguishers
Negligent behavior also refers to the failure of the landlord to follow state, local, and federal laws and regulations that are put in place to protect residents from harm.
Landlords are required to adopt certain safety precautions, including:
- Installation of fireproof doors
- Safe and sturdy fire escapes that are kept clear
- Making sure that the property’s electrical wiring is safely installed and in proper condition
- Ensuring that smoke alarms are correctly installed throughout the property and located properly.
- Keeping escape routes clear; and
- Keeping fire extinguishers that are regularly services on the property.
Florida Fire Injury Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
The second most common sites of fire accidents and burn injuries are the workplace.
The typical office environment may not appear to pose as significant a risk for fire accidents and burn injuries as other workplaces that involve chemicals, radiation exposure, heat, etc. However, even in an office space, fire accidents still occur, and as with apartment buildings, if properly functioning safety precautions are not in place to mitigate the consequences, the fault may rest on the employer.
Common examples of employer negligence that can lead to workplace fire accidents and burn injuries include:
- Failure to implement adequate and required fire safety precautions
- Lack of an appropriate number of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarms, etc., according to state or local law
- Insufficient safety measures
If an employee suffers a burn injury in the workplace, they may be able to fire a workers’ compensation claim for lose wages. The compensation awarded in a workers’ compensation claim will be a lot less than the amount that could be awarded in a lawsuit. In exchange for workers’ compensation benefits, the employee forfeits their right to sue their employer for negligence.
Filing a burn injury lawsuit, however, allows workers to sue for a range of damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of life’s enjoyment.
Workers who suffer a fire accident injury due to a defective product in the workplace, or as a result of a subcontractor’s negligence, may be able to file a third-party claim for additional compensation.
If you have suffered a fire accident injury in the workplace, it is imperative that you speak to a fire accident attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights and options as insurance companies will try to limit payouts or deny benefits.
For a free legal consultation with a fire injury lawyer serving Florida, call 833-552-7274
Accidents at Private Property and Commercial Property
Accidents occurring as a result of a fire accident at business establishments is much less common, but do occur. These properties may include:
- Fitness Centers
In these instances, the property owner may be held liable and sued for compensation if you were injured as a result of negligent behavior of the establishment.
Contact a Burn Injury Attorney
Fires are among the most devastating and emotionally overwhelming events that are all too common occurrences. They often lead to serious burns or other catastrophic destruction of property, personal injuries, and death.
Victims need help – both immediate and long-term, including the help of an experienced fire accident lawyer.
After seeking medical attention, contacting an experienced fire accident attorney to discuss your options should be your next step.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, advocate for our clients’ full financial recovery for those who have sustained burn injuries as the result of a variety of causes—be it the negligence of an employer, a landlord, or another type of property owner.
If you have sustained significant property damage, suffered a serious personal injury or a loved one has died as the result of a fire accident, please contact our firm immediately to schedule a free consultation.
It is imperative that you contact us as soon as possible as the statute of limitations in some states limit the amount of time a burn injury victim has to file a claim.