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 you’ve been injured in a fire as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Are you wondering how to deal with a fire injury? In this guide, we’ll explore what you should do if you’ve been injured in a fire and how to get the compensation necessary to move on with your life.
Types of Burns and Fire Injuries
Whether you’ve been in close proximity to a fire or have physically been within a burning building, you can sustain injuries. There are several types of burns and fire injuries that can severely impact your health and well-being.
- Flash burns are caused by intense, sudden heat. You may experience a first or second-degree burn due to an explosion of natural gas, gasoline, or another flammable substance. Damage to your eyes is most common, but you can suffer flash burns to your skin as well.
- Obviously, burns from flames are another injury you can sustain in a fire. Perhaps you were in a building while it was on fire, or maybe you were a bystander as a neighboring building burned. Injury from the flame can be cause for a lawsuit if your 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.
Regardless of the cause of your suffering, you need to know how to deal with a fire injury, step by step. Let’s talk about the first steps you should take if you’ve been a victim of a fire.
Give Your Health Priority
If you’re in contact with any fire, you need to take care of yourself first. Once the immediate threat to your safety and well-being has passed, seek medical attention. If necessary, call an ambulance to transport you to the hospital. It’s best not to drive yourself, so if you don’t need an ambulance, have a trusted friend or family member drive you.
Do not wait. The sooner you seek medical attention, the more accurate your medical records will be. Should you need to appear in court for your injuries, you will need accurate medical records. Request that you be given all records upon your release from the hospital.
Photos of your injuries can be helpful, too. If you have visible burns or other injuries, document these with clear photographs. Have a family member help if necessary.
The most important part of dealing with fire injuries is to give your own health priority. After all, no matter what happens in court, you want to ensure the best health possible.
How to Deal with a Fire Injury Legally
Once you’re released from the hospital, the legal work begins. You should hire 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 you gain insight into whether you have a case. In your initial meeting, you should be prepared to provide details about your experience. Bring applicable hospital records and other information to your consultation.
As a fire injury victim, you may have experienced one of several types of fires.
- House fires – you may not be responsible for a house fire if it was caused by faulty products like a space heater or a wildfire. Your fire injury lawyer can help you discern whether a lawsuit can be filed.
- Apartment and rental fires – these fires are most likely caused by a neighbor in a different unit. However, faulty electrical wiring, overcrowding, an absence of fire extinguishers or certain pest problems can mean you’re eligible for compensation.
- Workplace fires – no matter where you work, there are about a thousand things that can go wrong at work, causing a fire. Electrical wiring, kitchen equipment, construction equipment and chemical fires are just a few of the origins of workplace fires.
If you’ve been involved in any of these types of fires, hire a fire and burn injury attorney as soon as possible. He or she can help you gather the evidence you need to support your case in court. Remember: you don’t have to fight this alone. An experienced lawyer will advocate for you throughout the entire process.
What Should You Expect in a Fire Injury Lawsuit?
People who are injured in fires suffer physical injuries, sure. But there are also psychological issues to consider, as well as lost wages and even funeral expenses.
If you’ve experienced a fire in your home, your place of employment or a rental, we understand—you want to be compensated for your losses. What can you expect in a fire injury lawsuit? What compensation will your attorney seek on your behalf?
Every experience is unique, and no two fire injury lawsuits are the same. With that said, however, there are several common awards a personal injury attorney will fight for in court. These include:
- Compensation for damages to your personal property.
- Lost wages experiences as a direct result of your 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 your fire injury.
- Research costs associated with proving your wrongful injury case.
- Punitive damages against the defendant (the person or entity responsible for the fire).
As we mentioned, every fire injury lawsuit is different. It’s normal not to know how to deal with a fire injury. That’s why it’s important to hire a legal team you trust; your attorney will fight for you to see that you’re awarded every penny you deserve.