Signs of Electrical Fire

Signs of Electrical Fire

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Signs of Electrical Fire

In 2019, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released a report that underscored the prevalence of fire dangers in the United States. The report stated local fire departments responded to more than 1.4 million calls concerning fires, with the reported fires causing 3.700 civilian fatalities and more than 16,600 civilian injuries. During the same year, fires produced property damage that exceeded $15 billion. The causes of the devastating fires ranged from super-dry conditions to faulty electrical wiring. Although electricity makes our lives much more comfortable, electrical fires represent one of the most common and potentially deadly types of fires that destroy private property.

As a homeowner, purchasing homeowners insurance is not an option, but is it required by law. However, you should not need the requirement of law to motivate you to purchase a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy. The frequent incidence of fires that cause property damage alone should be enough motivation to make an investment in protecting family assets such as your home, automobiles, and household amenities. You also should understand the signs of an electrical fire.

If your home sustained damage as the result of an electrical fire, you should contact an experienced insurance attorney to help you file the most persuasive insurance claim possible. Too much money is on the line for you to file a homeowners insurance claim, without the legal support of a highly-rated insurance attorney. Your lawyer conducts a detailed investigation that gathers physical evidence and interviews witnesses that describe what transpired before, during, and after the fire. Your insurance attorney also reviews a copy of the official police report, which determines whether arson played a role in the fire, or if any act of negligence led to the starting of a fire that damaged your home.

Since 1988, Morgan and Morgan has helped homeowners throughout the United States recover from the financial losses generated by property damage. We assign an in-house investigator to each attorney who represents a client in need of legal support after a house fire. Our insurance lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge upfront legal fees. You pay your Morgan and Morgan attorney after you receive an insurance payment and/or win a favorable legal judgment for monetary damages.

Schedule a free case evaluation today with a Morgan and Morgan insurance attorney to recover from the financial losses associated with the property damage caused by a fire.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • What Are the 5 Most Common Signs of an Electrical Fire?

    According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (EFSI), more than 51,000 home fires start each year because of an electrical failure. The timeless saying, “Prevention is 100 percent of the cure,” is especially relevant for homeowners who understand the five most common signs of an electrical fire.

    Tripped Circuit Breaker

    When too much electrical current flows through a circuit breaker, the circuit breaker system trips to account for the energy overload. Although an occasionally tripped circuit breaker should not be a cause for alarm, a circuit breaker that trips frequently might indicate there is a serious problem with the home electrical system that warrants a thorough investigation.

    An overloaded circuit breaker typically means too many household items are actively engaged with an electrical outlet. This is especially true for an outlet connected to a single circuit, which is a common issue when using a power strip.

    Follow Your Sense of Smell

    The components that are part of an electrical system include plastic parts and heat-resistant chemicals that can release an odor described by most people as fishy when the electrical system overloads. Another common scent released by a faulty electrical system occurs when the same plastic parts begin to melt due to overheating.

    If you detect a strange smell and discover the source of the smell, contact a licensed electrician to examine the entire electrical system inside your home.

    Flickering Lights

    Although flickering lights often get confused with paranormal behavior, the more reasonable explanation for flickering lights concerns a faulty electrical system. Several factors can cause lights to flicker, such as a loose bulb or an improper fit into a socket. Nonetheless, flickering lights also might represent a sign that your home’s electrical system has become compromised.

    After you have ruled out the usual suspects, the issue might come from old wiring, loose wires, an overloaded circuit, or a fluctuating current.

    Outlet Vibrates or Overheats

    An electrical outlet can provide the most telling clue concerning a sign of electrical fire. Electrical outlets should never feel hot or even warm to the touch. An overheated outlet often indicates the imminent development of an electrical fire. Another easy to spot problem with an electrical outlet concerns hearing a buzzing sound. Older homes typically experience the highest incidences of electrical outlet problems.

    A licensed technician can evaluate every electrical outlet in your home to discover the source of the overheating or strange noises.

    Popping Noises

    Another easy-to-detect sign of an electrical fire is hearing popping or crackling sounds coming out of an outlet. These types of sounds demonstrate that sparks might be flying out of faulty wiring or the circuit breaker. Sparks ignite dry materials to start many home fires, which means if you hear popping or crackling sounds coming from an outlet, you should act with a sense of urgency by calling for emergency electrical service.

  • How Can an Insurance Attorney Help Me?

    Although you might possess a straightforward homeowners insurance policy, many factors can come into play that complicates the claim-filing process. Hiring an insurance lawyer to provide legal support after a house fire is a good idea for several reasons.

    Determines Cause

    One of the first items on the agenda to discuss during a free case evaluation involves determining the cause of the house fire. Determining the cause helps your insurance lawyer to decide whether to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages because another party committed one or more acts of negligence. Your lawyer reviews the information presented in the official police report, which typically includes an assessment that discusses possible causes. In addition to reviewing the official police report, the insurance attorney that you hire from Morgan and Morgan works closely with one of our licensed investigators to collect physical evidence and interview witnesses.

    Calculate a Fair Value for Compensation

    The most common reason why insurance adjusters deny claims and judges dismiss civil lawsuits concerns the submission of an unreasonable value for compensation. Your insurance attorney considers several factors when calculating a fair value for compensation. First, your insurance attorney from Morgan and Morgan adds up the tangible costs associated with the house fire, such as medical bills and the value of property damage. To ensure calculating a reasonable value for property damage, your attorney refers to the expertise of a professionally trained property assessor.

    Another factor to consider is the emotional toll a house fire can take on you and your family. Many victims of a catastrophic event like a house fire develop the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which produces several debilitating systems such as recurring nightmares, unmanageable anxiety, and even the signs associated with depression. Your insurance lawyer calculates a fair value for non-monetary damages by using a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.

    Acts as an Intermediary With the Insurance Adjuster

    One inconvenient truth regarding insurance companies is that they prefer to deal with policyholders who do not hire an attorney to provide legal support during the claim process. If you do not receive legal support from an experienced insurance attorney, the insurance adjuster might deny a valid homeowners insurance claim or approve a claim that is worth much less than you deserve for compensation. In addition to ensuring the insurance adjuster processing your claim treats it fairly, your insurance lawyer also interacts with the insurance adjuster as your representative. This means you can tend to other matters, such as refurbishing your home, or if it is beyond repair, finding a new place to live.

    Another important type of legal support provided by an insurance attorney is to monitor the progress of your claim.

    Negotiate a Settlement

    If the insurance adjuster processing your claim denies it or approves it for a value well below what you deserve in compensation, you do not automatically have to take your claim to the appeal phase of the process. Instead, your insurance lawyer tries to negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster.

    Negotiations start when your lawyer submits an initial offer, which is found inside the claim form. The insurance adjuster can either accept or reject the initial offer. If the insurance adjuster rejects the initial offer, you might receive a counteroffer or a letter stating the insurance company’s intent to go through the claim appeal process. Several rounds of counteroffers might follow the initial offer until both parties reach an agreement or decide to end negotiations.

    Prove Negligence

    If your insurance lawyer determines one or more acts of negligence caused the house fire, your attorney must prove to the court the presence of the four elements that define negligence. The first element is called duty of care, which means your insurance lawyer must show the other party owed you a duty of care to prevent a fire from causing injuries and damaging your home. Second, your lawyer must prove the other party breached the duty of care doctrine by committing at least one act of negligence. Third, you must demonstrate the house fire caused injuries and property damage. Fourth, the injuries and property damages must have resulted in financial losses.

    File a Lawsuit Before the Deadline

    If your insurance attorney decides to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, you must file the lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Every state establishes a deadline for filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Instead of waiting until the last minute to take legal action, you should take swift legal action as soon as possible after the house fire. If you fail to file a civil lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, you can expect the court clerk processing the lawsuit to dismiss it.

    Hiring an experienced insurance attorney ensures you file a civil lawsuit long before the expiration of the statute of limitations.

    Contact Morgan and Morgan for Help

    Although we have reviewed how to detect the signs of electrical fire, you may have already been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. If that is the case, don’t hesitate to act with the help of an experienced lawyer.

    Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about how a Morgan and Morgan insurance attorney can help you.

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