Fire Injury Information

Each year, fires cause thousands of deaths, tens of thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars in property losses in the United States. While fires can occur naturally, many fires and burn injuries result from neglecting fire safety obligations. Landlords, product manufacturers, and other parties may be held liable when their actions—or inaction—lead to serious injury or death from fire.

Morgan & Morgan handles many types of fire and burn injury lawsuits. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for victims to help cover their medical bills, lost wages, and psychological damage. Fires don’t just start for no reason. Even if you think the fire was your fault, you might have a legal case for compensation. Discuss your options with a fire attorney during a free case review.

Leading Causes of Fire

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country every 24 seconds. Over a recent 10-year period, the U.S. had more than 1.3 million fires annually, resulting in approximately 3,200 deaths, 16,000 injuries, and $15 billion in property loss. The leading causes of residential fires include:

  • Cooking
  • Heating
  • Smoking
  • Electrical malfunction
  • Equipment failure
  • Appliances
  • Open flame
  • Heat sources
  • Unintentional or careless actions
  • Intentional actions (i.e., arson)

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Where Fires Occur

When you hear a fire truck siren, it’s most likely responding to a structure fire. Nearly 40 percent of fire department responses are to residential and non-residential structure fires. The most common locations for fires are:

  • Family properties, including homes and apartment buildings
  • Non-residential properties such as hotels, nightclubs, and office buildings
  • Commercial and public properties
  • Vehicles
  • Motor homes, campers, and recreational vehicles
  • Workplaces

The leading cause of fire varies based on the location. For example, cooking and heating are the leading causes of residential building fires; in nonresidential buildings, cooking causes fewer fires and unintentional/careless actions cause more fires. Vehicle fires tend to be caused by unintentional actions and equipment or heat source failure.

How The Cause of a Fire Is Determined

It’s not always clear how a fire started because a fire can destroy much of the evidence needed to determine its origin. Police and fire departments are primarily responsible for establishing a fire’s cause. They often employ specialized fire and arson investigators for this task. Forensic experts, engineering specialists, and other experts may also be used. Additionally, the insurance company may perform its own investigation. When a fire is the subject of a lawsuit, attorneys may hire investigators to find the source. NFPA 921 (Guide to Fire Investigations) is considered the gold standard for scientific-based investigation of fire incidents.

How Morgan & Morgan’s Fire Attorneys Can Help

Fires can cause horrific injuries. Second, third, and fourth-degree burns can leave victims with permanent scarring and disfigurement. The smoke from fires is also extremely dangerous and may cause respiratory injuries.

You might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party if they did something—or failed to do something—that led to you getting injured in a fire. It’s not necessary for them to have personally started the fire. Parties that may be accountable for fire and burn injuries include:

Landlords: Municipalities have strict rules on fire safety equipment such as smoke detectors, fire doors, and fire extinguishers. Landlords have a legal duty to follow building codes designed to protect residents from fires.

Contractors: Building regulations are in place to prevent fire and restrict its spread. Builders and tradespeople must follow these regulations. Lack of proper firewall protection, shoddy wiring, and other defects can make contractors liable for fire injuries and losses.

Manufacturers: A landlord can install the right fire safety products, but if those products fail, blame shifts to the product manufacturer. Products could be the source of a fire as well. Many types of products could cause a fire, including space heaters, clothes dryers, kitchen appliances, electrical fireplaces, and extension cords.

Talk for Free to Our Burn Injury Attorneys

Morgan & Morgan represents burn injury victims who were injured in residential fires, workplace fires, motor vehicle accidents, explosions, electrical accidents, and anywhere else a flammable or hot object causes injury. Remember: somebody doesn’t have to start a fire to be considered negligent. They may have simply violated a safety code that could have prevented an injury. Even if you started the fire, liability for your injuries may ultimately lie with another party, like a landlord that didn’t install fire extinguishers.

To discuss a burn injury lawsuit, free of charge, please contact us.

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