Fire Injury

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 1.1 million burn injuries that occur in the United States every year. In fact, in the year 2002, someone was injured in a fire every 23 minutes. 

If your client has experienced a fire in their home, their place of employment or a rental, they will want to be compensated for their losses. People who are injured in fires suffer physical injuries. But there are also psychological issues to consider, as well as lost wages and even funeral expenses.

Recent Verdict

  • CAT - Tampa, FL - 2021
  • Conrad v. Woodward
  • Ryan Will

Cases We Handle

  • Home Appliance Fire Injury
  • Apartment Building Fire Injury 
  • Workplace Fire Injury

No two fire injury lawsuits are the same. With that said, there are several common awards a personal injury attorney will fight for in court. These include:

  • Compensation for damages to personal property. 
  • Lost wages experiences as a direct result of injuries.
  • Compensation for psychological suffering and scarring. 
  • Funeral expenses for family members who died as a result of a fire. 
  • Medical expenses incurred as a result of fire injury. 
  • Research costs associated with proving a wrongful injury case. 
  • Punitive damages against the defendant (the person or entity responsible for the fire).

Types of Burns and Fire Injuries

Whether your client has been in close proximity to a fire or has physically been within a burning building, they can sustain injuries. There are several types of burns and fire injuries that can severely impact your client’s health and well-being. 

Flash burns are caused by intense, sudden heat. Victims may experience a first or second-degree burn due to an explosion of natural gas, gasoline, or another flammable substance. Damage to eyes is most common, but victims can suffer flash burns to skin as well. 

Obviously, burns from flames are another injury a victim can sustain in a fire. Perhaps your client  was in a building while it was on fire, or maybe your client was a bystander as a neighboring building burned. Injury from the flame can be cause for a lawsuit if your client’s  injuries were someone else’s fault. 

Smoke inhalation and other smoke-related injuries are frequently overlooked. Over 3,000 people in the United States die each year from smoke inhalation. Those who survive can suffer long-term health consequences. 

Most Common Causes of Fire Injuries

Fire injuries do not happen only at home. They can happen in just about any setting, including:

Motor Vehicle Accidents: According to the U.S Fire Administration, motor vehicle accidents constitute 16 percent of all fires responded to by local fire departments. A crash can make gasoline unstable, which then can burst into flames and cause severe fire injuries.

Hotel/Apartment Fires: When hundreds of residents are brought together under one roof, the chances for a fire to start are increased exponentially. The NFPA reports that firefighters respond to an average of 3,700 fires per year that start in hotels/apartments.

Workplace Fires: Workplace fires can start in an office or at a construction site. The fire injury claim process differs for workplace fires, as workers’ compensation insurance should cover the costs associated with diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating any injuries.

Defective Products: Defective products can overheat and cause burns. If not detected in time, an overheated appliance can burst into flames. The burns resulting from defective products can be especially serious if the defective products received power from combustible fuel sources. Fire injuries resulting from defective products usually fall under product liability statutes.

Gas Explosions: Gas explosions can occur at home, as well as in the workplace. The explosions leave behind a trail of damage that includes severe burn injuries. Negligence is frequently the cause of gas explosions, whether a neighbor or an employer committed negligence.

House Fires: Your client may not be responsible for a house fire if it was caused by faulty products like a space heater or a wildfire. A fire injury lawyer can help discern whether a lawsuit can be filed.

Boat Fires: Fires on board boats are caused primarily by electrical or fuel issues, overheated cooling systems and chemicals. Small fires that could have easily been extinguished may burn out of control due to faulty sprinklers and gas fire extinguishers. When the boat operator’s negligence is the cause of burn injuries, damages for harm can be recovered. 

How to Deal with a Fire Injury Legally

Once your client has been released from the hospital, the legal work begins. On behalf of your client, you should engage an attorney who is experienced in fire injuries, as lawsuits associated with this type of trauma can be difficult to navigate in court alone. 

An initial consultation with a personal injury attorney can help your client gain insight into whether they have a case. In their initial meeting, your client should be prepared to provide details about their experience, providing applicable hospital records and other information to the consultation.

Personal injury lawsuits can take months or years once brought to court. One of the reasons for this lengthy process is the defendant. The person or entity who caused the fire will likely deny any wrongdoing. Gathering and presentation of evidence are another reason. Negotiations for a settlement can also cause delays in your client’s case. 

The average fire injury lawsuit in the United States lasts between one and three years. This time period can be extended if your client attempts to seek compensation on their own. Hiring an experienced attorney can greatly reduce the length of time your case will spend in court. 

It is important to note that if your client lost a loved one to a fatal fire injury, they may be able to seek compensation. Also, victims who have experienced a house, apartment, or workplace fire may suffer traumatic psychological effects. Furthermore, it’s possible that your client’s personal belongings were damaged in the fire, which may also render them eligible for compensation. To best determine whether your client would benefit from a lawsuit, contact Morgan & Morgan about the specifics of the case.

Attorney review by:
  • Benjamin Wilson

Ben Wilson is an attorney in the Morgan & Morgan office located in Jackson, Mississippi. He and his team represent individuals and families around the country that are injured or killed as a result of fires, explosions, and defective products or equipment. He has extensive knowledge and experience in litigation against property management companies, hotels, landlords, gas and electric companies, and manufacturers of fire safety equipment, smoke detectors/alarms, and fire suppression devices.