Fires are frightening, but many underestimate their destructive capability until they experience them firsthand. Aside from significant property damages, fires can cause severe injuries that include immense physical, mental, and emotional trauma. Treating these injuries also often leaves victims with expensive medical bills and missed wages.
Whether it’s a landlord who neglects to fix a faulty electrical system, a nightclub outfitted with highly-flammable decor, or a defective fire alarm, many scenarios could leave you the victim of a fire accident despite your carefulness.
You have the right to compensation if you have suffered burn injuries due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence. Under personal injury law, you can hold the at-fault party responsible for your medical bills, missed wages, and pain and suffering.
In this article, you’ll find information on types of fire accidents, common causes of burn injuries, and why you should consider hiring a fire accident lawyer when filing a claim.
Types of Fire and Burn Injury Accidents
- Fire and burn injury accidents can occur in a wide range of settings, including:
- Residential fires (houses, apartment buildings, condominiums, etc.)
- Recreational fires (nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, shopping centers, etc.)
- Motor vehicle and truck accidents (car fires after a collision, tanker explosions, etc.)
- Workplace accidents
In an accident, you may also suffer various types of burn injuries, such as:
- Thermal burns: Burns caused by high temperatures (an open flame, scalding liquid, hot metal, etc.)
- Electrical burns: Burns caused by contact with an electrical current
- Chemical burns: Burns caused by contact with strong solvents, acids, detergents, or alkalis
- Friction burns: Burns caused by a hard object rubbing against your skin, most common in bike and motorcycle accidents (road rash)
- Cold burns: Burns caused by contact with extremely cold objects/conditions for a prolonged time period
- Radiation burns: Burns caused by contact with radiation (sunburn)
Burns are also classed into different categories based on their severity and how many layers of skin they affect. A first-degree burn only affects the outermost layer of your skin, while a fourth-degree burn affects all layers of your skin, along with your muscles, tendons, and bones.
Causes of Burn or Fire Injuries
When it comes to fires caused by someone else’s negligence, there are two main causes:
Safety Code Violations
Today’s safety codes are founded on knowledge of previous fires — they’re meant to prevent the same outcomes and lessen the impact of a fire accident. But unfortunately, some entities choose to ignore these regulations for the sake of money and convenience.
For example, a landlord may decide that installing safety alarms and fire extinguishers is too expensive. A bar owner might lock the fire exit door to prevent patrons from sneaking in or out of the premises. An employer might keep using old or insufficient protective gear for their employees working in hazardous conditions to avoid the costs of buying new gear.
Regardless of where these violations occur, they have one thing in common — they increase the risk of an accident and the possibility of injury when an accident occurs.
Defective Fire Safety Products
Most smoke detectors tend to be slow at detecting slow-starting smoldering fires. These smoke detectors are the cheapest and the most common, but they’re insufficient for preventing fire accidents.
Fire extinguishers are another product businesses have on-site to stop a fire from spreading. However, some do not perform yearly checks to verify that they’re still in working order. Generally, fire extinguishers should be replaced every six to 12 years.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer
Even when you have proof of your injuries, you must be able to prove that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care and subsequently breached that duty by behaving negligently. Furthermore, their negligence must have directly led to your injuries.
You’ll need a solid suite of evidence and working knowledge of the law to point out their transgressions, prove that they owe you compensation, and calculate how much they rightfully owe you. Even when you successfully prove that they’re responsible for your injuries, there’s a high chance that the at-fault party and their insurance company will attempt to minimize their responsibility.
As the victim of a fire accident, you shouldn’t allow them to deprive you of justice. Having a skilled fire accident lawyer by your side can greatly increase your chances of a successful claim. Lawyers are familiar with navigating the legal process and can offer you reliable advice on the best way to move forward.
A fire accident lawyer can help you collect evidence, build a solid case, and negotiate with insurance companies. If the case goes to trial, a fire accident lawyer can also represent you in court and ensure your side is properly explained and defended.
If you want to seek compensation for your injuries, contact us today — we’re dedicated to helping accident victims across California find the justice they deserve with skilled and compassionate legal representation.