A fire can start for several reasons, a gas leak, a broiler explosion or even a chimney that has not been cleaned or is in disrepair, can be reasons, along with others. When you experience loss due to a fire or an explosion it really does not matter how it happens, the important thing is to seek immediate medical care and legal assistance. This is because insurance may cover some of the costs related to the fire or explosion injuries and the property loses. However the insurance companies do not always live up to the claims in their insurance polices when something does happen. It can also be the fact that the fire or explosion that occurred was not covered in the insurance policy. This makes it impossible to get the compensation that you are entitled to without the assistance of an experienced fire and explosion attorney.
The Statistics For Fires And Explosions
The statistics show that there are over 15,000 people injured each year from fires and explosions and there are more than 3,000 people that lose their lives in these incidences. The statistics show that 81 percent of fire deaths are due to residential fires and this is also the leading cause of fire injuries.
The numbers show that as many as 23 percent of fire injuries happen when people are trying to get out of a house that has caught on fire. This is because in a structure fire it can be as little as 60 seconds when you are able to evacuate safely. There are an estimated 39 percent of injuries that occur while people are trying to put out residential fires or control them. This is not advisable; it is safer to leave the residence during the first sixty seconds to avoid injury and possible death.
What Should You Do After A Fire Or Explosion?
When there has been a fire or explosion this is an emotional time, it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed. There are questions, such as how could this have happened, what could have been done to prevent it and what to do now. There are some steps to take that should be done after being involved in a fire or explosion.
- The first thing to do after a fire is to seek medical attention for you and anyone else that was at the residence or property during the fire or explosion. This should be done even in the event there does not seem to be any injuries, there are some injuries that are obvious like burns. Then there other others that may not be as obvious, such as smoke inhalation, especially since there are chemicals or gas in these fires or explosions. It takes a medical professional to know if there has been smoke inhalation that can result in lung damage and this is not always present immediately after a fire. In some cases, it can take a day or more to feel the effects of smoke inhalation and chest x-rays may not show the damage right after a fire. This known as secondary results from a fire and a complete medical examination should be scheduled if there is a sign of respiratory, chest or lung problems that occur days after the fire or explosion.
- Contacting your insurance company next step after there has been a fire or explosion on your property.
- Take care of yourself and the family you will at least need a temporary place to stay after the fire or explosion your insurance company may pay for a temporary place to stay. You can also contact the local Red Cross or Salvation Army for assistance that is either free or low-cost for items such as food, clothing and medications.
- Contact the fire department without delay to see if the fire on your property has either been investigated or is going to be investigated. This is important to do while the evidence from the fire or explosion is still untouched.
- Before you begin the process of cleaning up or doing any restoration to the property or residence after a fire or explosion you need to contact the insurance company and this needs to be done quickly. This is because some policies include a clause about prompt notification of claims. The insurance company often provides a list of restoration specialists or explosion or repair experts.
- After a fire or explosion did not enter the structure until you have spoken to the fire officials and have been told that it is safe to enter. This is because it can be structurally weak, there can be lingering smoke, chemical contamination or gas leaks that can cause injury or death.
- After fire or explosion on your property notify the police department and request they make extra patrols in your neighborhood to protect your residence from trespassers and vandalism. Since the residence will be empty and tell restoration is done, often suggested to board it up.
- Notify utility companies that there has been a fire or explosion; they will turn the utilities off to prevent further explosions or fires. This can occur due to faulty gas lines were leaks after there has been a fire or explosion in a residence.
Steps To Take Going Back To The Residence For Clean Up
- Cleaning up after a fire or explosion do not throw out damaged items of possible, if they must be thrown away take pictures and inventory each item. You’ll need to prove to the insurance company that the items were damaged or destroyed during the fire or explosion occurred on your property in order to be compensated by the insurance company.
- Save all of the receipts that are related to the fire or explosion and keep detailed journal of your expenses. These receipts will be needed for the insurance company, and if you do not have insurance that can be used to help claim deductions on taxes at the end of the year.
- If you are able to rebuild the residence, hire a licensed and reputable contractor that is an expert in fire or explosion damage.
- Another important step is to contact a reputable fire and explosion attorney, as soon as it is possible after this type of tragedy has occurred. This type of experience attorney will understand how to handle a fire and explosion case and this can help increase the amount of recovery. Experienced fire and explosion attorney gather evidence by hiring investigators and other experts to examine the evidence for the fire or explosion has occurred, even when it is from a gas fire, broiler explosion or other reasons. The attorney will then be able to piece together all of the evidence of fire or explosion. This will allow them to determine if there are other sources of compensation besides the insurance company.
- If you were at someone else’s residence or property when there was a fire or explosion you need to contact an experienced attorney. You should not speak to the insurance company about the fire and explosion attorney present, because the insurance company will use anything you say against you. By hiring an experienced fire and explosion attorney, they will communicate with the insurance company and any other parties in securing the best possible covering for your claim.
Who Can Be Held Responsible After A Fire Or Explosion?
There are cases where homes catch fire or have explosions due to something you or your children do. In these type of cases the insurance company is the only the only place to seek compensation. There are other types of fires and explosions injuries and loss that occurs where others might be obligated to pay compensation for the injuries, loss and damages.
These other parties that might be held responsible after a fire or explosion can include:
- Land Lords: There are some cases where there are not fire detectors or fire alarms, or they are not in proper working order when the fire broke out. Statistics show that approximately 78 percent of the deaths and 60 percent of the fire related injuries occur due to faulty or non-working fire alarms. This may be the landlord’s fault. In some explosions, it is lack of maintenance that is responsible, such as broiler explosions.
- There are some fires and explosions caused by other tenants or their guests that have a fire start in their unit. The statistics show that smoking causes 6 percent of residential fires, this means, even if you do not smoke a neighbor or their guest who does might do fire damage to your residence.
- Neighbors living adjacent may cause damage to your property or causing the residence to ignite. This can be done by negligently leaving an unattended barbecue grill or other acts.
- Fires or explosions can start due to contractor error, this can be electrical wiring that is not installed properly, or appliances not installed properly. They may be using combustible materials like paint thinner, gasoline and other items in a way that can cause them to explode or start a fire; it is also possible that a blowtorch is used improperly.
- Defective products can also cause fires and explosions, such as faulty electrical sockets, gas dryers or stoves and other items that cause fires or explosions. The manufacturer and the retailer might be able to be held responsible for injuries, damages and property loss.
- Fires or explosions in a place of business such as a restaurant, if a fire breaks out or there is an explosion and it is necessary to exit quickly if the exits are not clearly marked or there are limits for the amount of occupants have not been stuck to there can be stampeding by panic stricken customers. When a business owner does not follow the law concerning fires or explosion to prevent smoke inhalation, injuries and stampeding at exits, they can be held liable for the injuries and damages you incurred.
What Is Compensation For A Fire Or Explosion?
While each case is different the person that suffers a fire or explosion in many cases is entitled to compensation for their injuries, damages and losses.
- Medical Costs: medical costs can include emergency transport from the scene of the fire or explosion, emergency room, hospital stay, diagnostic tests, surgery, physical therapy, and medical supplies.
- Property Damages: This can include furniture, personal belongings, clothing, structural damage to the residence, and restoration costs after there ahs been a fire or explosion.
- Lost Wages: This includes impairment for future earning ability: A fire or explosion can cause lost wages and it can also impact the ability or earn wages in the same profession in the future. This means it is important that the amount of earned wages from the past be looked at carefully and what the future earned wages could be expected.
- Changes in Lifestyle: This can include changes that need to be made for permanent injuries, in a fire or explosion there can be permanent disfigurement, physical disabilities that will require equipment such as a wheelchair, or brain injuries causing cognitive impairment. These disabilities may mean needing medical treatment and equipment, along with help for daily activities, that can be for months, or for the rest of you or your loved one’s life.
- Pain and Suffering: When you have been through a fire or explosion there is emotional trauma, and is multiplied for people that suffer permanent injuries. This is a devastating experience, when losing many personal belongings and even more emotion if there is the loss of a family member.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages do not apply to every fire or explosion, but if it occurred in a business setting and there was gross negligence on the part of the business owner, such as blocked exits it they, can apply. An experienced fire and explosion personal injury attorney can assist in determining if punitive damages apply in your claim.
How To Choose A Fire And Explosion Attorney
There are many personal injury attorneys, such as our San Bruno natural gas explosion attorneys, but the attorney that is needed after suffering a fire or explosion is the attorney that has skill and experience in fires and explosions. This is because there might be more than one party that can be held responsible, and this experienced attorney can take all the evidence and facts from the claim and hold the right parties responsible. This fire and explosion personal injury attorney has resources to investigate the fire or explosion and other factors in the case to build a case that will ensure the maximum compensation.
- There might be other compensations in some fire and explosion cases, this takes the experienced fire and explosion attorney that has a complete understanding of the laws that apply to this type of case. Insurance often is the main source of compensation, but the experienced fire and explosion attorney can establish if there are other sources of compensation in your fire or explosion claim.
- There are requirements that include time limits for notifying insurance companies and other responsible parties after a fire or explosion. Even though each case is different and property owners and businesses deal with different insurance companies there are time limits in which they must be notified of a claim. In most cases it is outlined in the policy and it could be as long as 12 months from the dated of the fire or explosion, however in many cases it is a shorter time period. When the person that has been injured or there are damages in a fire or explosion and the insurance companies has not been notified in a timely manner the laws in California may provide protection. The experienced fire and explosion personal injury attorney is able to help in assisting to protect your rights and discuss your options.
- Funding a fire or explosion case, this is important to make certain to use an experienced fire and explosion personal injury attorney. They will be prepared to handle this type of case, with experts and investigators, medical experts, life care planners and rehabilitation experts. This will ensure a favorable outcome in your case with the maximum compensation.
Contact Our Law Offices to Learn More
Ehline Law Firm PC has the experience and the experts that it takes to handle fire and explosion cases, along with multi-party cases. When you or a loved one has suffered the devastation of a fire or explosion, we can be contacted through our website or at 1-888-400-9721 for a consultation with an experienced attorney.