A Fire Can Not Only Destroy Your Apartment or Rental Home – It Can Destroy Your Life
You’re at work or school and you get a frantic text or phone call telling you that your apartment building or rental home is on fire. Worse yet, a loved one is burned or killed as a result of a fire in your apartment or rental home. If that happens to you, please know that you are not alone. The attorneys at Riley | Ersoff LLP are experienced catastrophic injury, wrongful death and personal injury attorneys. We are especially attuned to the pain, heartache, and financial burdens caused by fire events.
Fires in apartment buildings and rental homes are very common. Many landlords fail to repair and maintain their rental properties.
When these failures involve electrical systems, electrical outlets, stoves, heaters, excessive amounts of trash and debris, negligent handymen, unlicensed contractors or others, a fire may be all but inevitable. Fires are not accidents. Someone, some corporation, some landlord is responsible. Those who harmed others through their negligence, carelessness, or abuse must be held accountable. That is and will always be our mission statement.
Can Riley | Ersoff LLP Help Me if Someone I Love Has Been Injured or Killed as the Result of a Fire?
Wrongful death and burns from fires can result in unbearable emotional harm, life-long physical injuries, and financial burdens that can be almost too much to bear. Of course, any time a fire causes death or personal injuries, you need to hire a proactive and talented fires lawyer. Riley | Ersoff LLP is that firm.
We have years of experience litigating high-stakes catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and personal injury claims. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of those injured by careless, negligent, or abusive landlords, individuals, and corporations. Call us, we can help.
Fire Accidents and Personal Injury Claims
Fire accidents can often give rise to personal injury claims due to the potential for severe physical harm and emotional trauma. In cases where individuals sustain injuries as a direct result of a fire accident, they may be entitled to seek compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related damages. Personal injury claims in fire accidents can encompass a range of injuries, including burns, smoke inhalation, respiratory issues, neurological damage, and psychological distress. It is crucial to gather evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions, to establish the cause of the fire, liability of the responsible parties, and the extent of the injuries suffered. By pursuing a personal injury claim, victims of fire accidents can strive to hold those accountable for their injuries and obtain the compensation they need to aid in their recovery and rebuild their lives.
Common Types of Explosions that Lead to Apartment and Rental Unit Fires
A fire or explosion accident can be devastating and sometimes deadly. Numerous factors can lead to a house explosion, from gas leaks to human error, but the most common causes include the following:
- Gas leaks. Natural gas ignition starts approximately 4,200 residential fires a year. Damaged gas lines, faulty appliances, and incorrectly installed gas systems can all cause a gas leak and buildup that can lead to a damaging explosion.
- Combustible products. Some household products—such as pressurized insect repellents, cooking spray, and air fresheners—and materials—such as propane and gasoline—are flammable and possibly combustible if enough fumes build up or a heat source causes their pressurized containers to explode.
- Water heater. Though rare, the energy released when a 30-gallon home hot-water tank explodes is enough to send the average car nearly 125 feet up into the air. Over-pressurization or poor or no maintenance are just a few things that can cause this type of catastrophic blast.
- Furnace or boiler. Like a water heater, mechanical failure, over-pressurization, and overheating can cause a boiler to explode.
- Electrical malfunctions. Electrical faults and short circuits can cause a spark, which can ignite flammable materials and cause an explosion.
- Glass containers. Glass bottles containing carbonated liquids, glass left on burners, and glass that isn’t microwave-safe all have the potential to cause a dangerous explosion.
- Gas grills. Dented, damaged, or overheated propane tanks attached to a grill can result in a destructive explosion.
- Cooking flour. Flour and other household dust can be highly flammable and should be kept away from any open flame.
Taking the necessary precautions to prevent these common causes of explosions is essential. Regularly maintaining gas and electrical systems, properly storing flammable materials, and following best safety practices can prevent a residential explosion from occurring.
Can I Sue My Landlord Even if No One is Injured in a Fire?
You may still have a claim for the loss of your personal property and constructive eviction as a result of a fire – even if no one is injured.
A fire that destroys your apartment or rental home – even without bodily injuries – is a serious, life-changing event. Watching everything you love and care about in your home destroyed by fire is incredibly impactful. Fires aren’t just about the loss of couches and televisions, they are about the loss of memories, dreams, and ideas both big and small.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2020, there were 372,000 residential fires. These fires resulted in 11,825 injuries. They also caused 2,615 deaths, representing a 10% increase in fatalities over ten years. While these fires caused $8,604,400,000 in damages, placing a dollar value on more intangible, losses is not easy. It requires an articulate, focused, and aggressive law firm that understands the true value of its clients’ harms and losses. Thankfully, we do that every day of the week. That’s exactly how we have recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
But What if I Have Renter’s Insurance?
Under long-standing California law, you cannot be penalized for having renter’s insurance. Even if you recover under your renter’s insurance policy, you can still sue your landlord or other careless landlords for our damages.
The fact that you’ve submitted a claim or have been paid under your renter’s insurance policy is completely irrelevant. Under the collateral source rule, you can effectively recover your damages twice – once under your renter’s policy and again against your landlord or other defendants.
Contact a Fire Accident Attorney
Structure fire cases can be complex, so you need an experienced lawyer that is willing to help you from start to finish. Riley | Ersoff LLP is that law firm.