Being in an apartment when a fire breaks out can be an incredibly scary and traumatic experience. If you or a loved one finds yourself in this situation and you’ve experienced property damage or injuries, you might be able to recover compensation from the responsible party. This might be the owner of the apartment complex, the person who improperly installed the fire alarms and sprinklers, or anyone else that might be responsible for the fire. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you determine who is at fault and what amount of compensation you’re entitled to. You’re probably wondering, “What to do if I get injured in an apartment fire?” That’s where Morgan & Morgan comes in.
We have been handling personal injury cases for decades, including claims involving apartment fires. We understand how serious the injuries and damage can be from fires, and we will do whatever we can to make sure you get justice and the compensation you deserve. We have recovered more than $15 billion dollars for our clients throughout our career. We have attorneys across the United States, so that no matter where you’re located, we can help. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Apartment Fires
Being involved in an apartment fire is undoubtedly a scary experience. It’s important to understand what the common causes are so you can try to avoid these fires as much as possible. If someone else causes the fire, there’s not much you can do to prevent it, but it’s still a good idea to know what precautions to take in your own apartment unit. Some of the most common causes of apartment fires include the following:
- Lack of or broken smoke detectors
- Not having fire extinguishers on hand
- Faulty wiring
- Space heaters
- Lack of fire alarms
- Blocked fire exits
- Building code violations
There are many different issues that can cause an apartment fire, and some of the above problems also make apartment fires even more deadly. If a fire breaks out and you have a fire extinguisher, you might be able to keep it under control. If you don’t have one, it’s possible that the fire will spread fast and you won’t be able to do anything about it, and the damages and/or the injuries will be significantly worse.
Landlord Responsibility for Preventing Fires
Other important information regarding apartment fires includes knowing what your landlord is responsible for. What must they do to prevent fires, and what must they do after a fire occurs? Typically, landlords must take reasonable measures to prevent a fire from occurring in a building that they are responsible for. This includes making sure that all units have working fire alarms and fire extinguishers. This also includes making sure there are accessible fire escapes and that all wiring in the building is up to code. If a fire started and you were injured because your landlord failed to take any of these measures, you may be entitled to significant compensation and should speak with a personal injury lawyer experienced in fire cases as soon as possible.
What to Do if I Get Injured in an Apartment Fire
If you are injured in an apartment fire, it’s important to take certain steps so you can make sure you have the best chance of healing, and in being able to recover the compensation you deserve should it come to that. The following steps should be taken, if possible:
- Save Important Documents. If you’re able to, you should try to save as many important documents as possible. It can be really difficult and time consuming to replace documents such as passports, birth certificates, tax documents, insurance information, etc. Of course, make sure it’s safe to gather these documents, as your safety is the number one priority.
- Take Photos. If you experienced an apartment fire, whenever you are safe enough to do so or are allowed to re-enter your apartment, you should take photos of as much of the premises as possible. Take pictures of property that was destroyed and any other damage the fire caused. It’s helpful if you have photos of what the apartment looked like before the fire as well as the condition of your personal property before and after the fire. If you’re able to collect before and after photos, this can be very helpful.
- Seek Medical Attention. Even if you don’t feel injured, you should always seek medical attention if you were involved in a fire. There could be internal damage to your lungs from smoke inhalation that you’re unaware of. A medical professional can make sure you’re okay and help you with your next steps if there is any treatment needed.
- Obtain a Copy of Any Reports. If law enforcement is called to the scene, or a fire inspector takes a look at the building and the damage, you should make sure you get a copy of any reports they write up. This can be helpful to show to your attorney and it will help you in the future should you decide to file a civil claim against your landlord or whoever was responsible for the fire.