New York City Attorney for Deaths Caused by Residential House Fires
Fires can start from the smallest spark and quickly engulf entire homes. Fires in New York City are particularly dangerous because buildings are very close together, and fires can quickly spread from one residence to another. If you lost a loved one in a residential house fire, you can sue the person responsible.
Residential house fires are extremely dangerous. Although people often fear getting burned in a house fire, succumbing to smoke inhalation can be just as deadly. Survivable injuries from a house fire can be severe and long-lasting. Treating burns and lung damage can be very expensive, and you should not have to shoulder this burden alone.
You can hold the person responsible for causing your residential house fire accountable through a personal injury lawsuit. In New York City, most people are renters and can hold a landlord liable when their properties catch fire because of dangers on the premises. If your landlord is not responsible, other parties might share the blame.
If you lost a loved one in a house fire in New York City, you deserve compensation for your loss and justice for your loved one. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free review of your case.
Common Causes of Residential House Fires in New York City
Figuring out whom you can sue for your injuries from a residential house fire might depend largely on how the fire started. The cause of a fire is often unknown until the fire department can conduct an investigation. Since fire destroys much of what it touches, we lose precious evidence of the accident. Fire department officials have the skills and experience to look through the charred remains of a home and deduce the fire’s cause. Some common causes of residential house fires include the following:
- Cooking accidents
- Faulty wiring
- Gas line issues
- Faulty appliances
If you were injured in a house fire, you should immediately contact our New York City lawyers for injuries caused by residential housefires. Although the defendant’s identity might not be revealed until later, there are various steps we can take to begin your lawsuit. Your damages should be thoroughly assessed so we have an idea of how much your case is worth. We can also begin talking to witnesses and gathering other evidence.
Who is Liable for Injuries in a Residential House Fire in New York City?
House fires are incredibly destructive and dangerous. When a house fire breaks out anywhere in New York City, people want to know who is responsible. A fire can start very easily and might come from any number of sources. As such, a variety of people can be held liable. Our New York City lawyers for injuries from residential house fires can help you figure out who caused the fire in your case.
New York City is full of renters and landlords. Even though landlords, in most cases, do not live in the properties they own, they are still responsible for keeping them safe for tenants. It is possible that the residential house fire in your case happened because your landlord failed to properly maintain the property. For example, faulty wiring that has not been updated for decades might be the landlord’s responsibility.
It is also possible that another landlord is liable for your house fire. New York City is full of residential houses and apartments lined up next to each other. A fire started in one building can quickly spread to surrounding buildings. If a fire breaks out in a neighboring house, it might spread to yours and cause injuries. The landlord of the building where the fire started might be liable to injured neighbors.
When things go wrong in a house or apartment building, landlords are not always to blame. If other tenants live in the building or house with you, one of them might be responsible for causing the fire. Perhaps an upstairs neighbor accidentally left a cigarette burning when they left. Maybe a child who lives down the hall found some matches to play with. In these cases, you can sue the tenant who started the fire and potentially hold the landlord liable for any dangers that contributed to the spread of the fire or dangers of smoke inhalation.
It is also possible that both a tenant and landlord can be held liable together. Take the candle example from before. Suppose the tenant left the candle unattended, thereby starting the fire. Next, suppose your loved one did not escape the fire because their landlord failed to install working smoke detectors or placed bars on windows leading to fire escapes. In that scenario, both the other tenant and the landlord contributed to your loved one’s death.
Sometimes, fires come from external sources. New York City seems to forever be under construction, and your fire might be the city’s fault or the construction company’s fault. For example, a construction crew outside your house might accidentally hit a gas line and cause an explosion. You can sue whoever is responsible for this kind of accident, but the process might be different if you sue the City of New York. Even product manufacturers could be responsible for housefires started by faulty appliances.
How to Get Compensation for Injuries in a New York City Residential House Fire
Getting compensation requires proving that the defendant is liable for your injuries from the fire. How you prove liability will differ from case to case.
Many fires are caused by accidents or absentminded mistakes, like leaving a candle unattended or allowing a child to play with matches. You will likely have to prove the defendant acted negligently in these cases.
To prove negligence, we must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached that duty. We must also demonstrate that the breach of duty is the direct cause of the fire and your injuries and that your injuries are very real and not hypothetical. While these elements are the same in every negligence case, they may be proven by different evidence depending on how the fire started. It is important to discuss your case with our New York City attorneys for injuries caused by residential fires so we can review your case.
If your case is going to be filed against the government, there are some additional procedures you need to follow. For example, according to GMU Law § 50-E, you must file a notice of your claim with the city no more than 90 days after your fire. Failure to file your notice on time might mean you cannot sue the city. This is a much shorter time frame than the standard statute of limitations in most other personal injury cases. As such, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your house fire.
How Do I Sue for Deaths Caused by a Residential Fire in New York City?
Determining the right party to sue is often entangled with the question of how you should sue. Was the fire in your case due to someone’s carelessness, or was it intentional arson? Perhaps a person was not responsible for the fire at all. Maybe a faulty product like an overheated hairdryer caused the fire. Answering these questions can help our New York City attorneys for deaths caused by residential house fires figure out how to approach your case.
If your landlord is responsible for the fire, we can sue them using the implied warranty of habitability. This warranty, contained within RPP Law § 235-B, states that landlords are legally obligated to keep their rental properties safe for human habitation and reasonable uses by tenants. They must also keep them free of anything hazardous to health and safety. Our New York City lawyers for deaths caused by residential house fires can help you get compensation in cases where this rule is violated.
If the fire started because of a faulty product, like the hairdryer mentioned before, you can sue the product’s manufacturer. This is a products liability case, and it involves proving the defective good was either defectively manufactured or defectively designed. A defective item can cause a fire even when used properly for its ordinary purpose.
If a person intentionally started the fire that cost your loved one their life, we are instead looking at an intentional tort. Intentional torts are acts carried out purposefully rather than by accident. This means you would have to prove that the defendant intended to start the fire and burn your residence.
As with any loss of life, you can pursue a wrongful death claim for the loss of your loved one in a house fire. Wrongful death lawsuits have unique requirements and procedures because the victim at the center of the lawsuit is no longer with us.
Damages and Injuries Related to Residential Fires in New York City
It can be hard for a survivor of a house fire to take stock of their damages because there are simply too many damages to take stock of. Not only has your loved one been taken from you, but everything you own might be gone, and you could be left with nowhere to live. Placing a price tag on this kind of case seems impossible, but our New York City attorneys for deaths caused by residential house fires can help you.
A recent fire in the Bronx saw numerous families lose personal possession and loved ones in a senseless residential fire. In the Bronx fire, at least 19 people, including 9 children, lost their lives. According to reports, the fire began in a second and third-floor duplex unit. Although the fire only spread throughout the unit in which it started and into the nearby hallway, the entire 19-story building was engulfed in smoke. Reports estimate at least 60 people were injured, many with life-threatening conditions.
Even though the fire began in a single unit, nearly every resident in the building was affected. Considering the number of deaths in a case like this, plus the cost of medical care for each injured victim, the cost of damaged property, and the cost to find homes for the displaced victims, the damages are likely to be astronomical.
Call Our New York City Attorneys for Deaths Caused by Residential House Fires
If you lost a loved one in a house fire, you deserve compensation from the people responsible. Our New York City attorneys for deaths caused by residential house fires can help you navigate the complex legal process of your case. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.