Fire and Explosion Accidents
Fires and explosions are sudden events which can result in complete devastation causing catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
There are a multitude of reasons which can give rise to a fire or explosion. Fires can start due to a gas leak, faulty electrical wiring, malfunctioning or absent smoke detectors, faulty furnaces, faulty boilers, clogged chimneys, the presence of flammable fabrics and furniture and faulty or defective products. Sometimes there are gas explosions which are caused by leaking propane, natural gas and/or liquid petroleum.
Aside from flames and/or an explosion itself, smoke alone is a major cause of severe, significant and devastating injury or death. Smoke inhalation and inhalation of toxic fumes and gases from flammable fabrics and/or furniture that is made with toxic substances can cause added injury and significantly increase the likelihood of death.
Even when individuals survive a fire or explosion, they are often disfigured, traumatized, emotionally scared and may be forced to cope with ongoing and chronic terrible pain and other impairment.
The Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. are thoroughly experienced in handling fire and explosion law suits and we realize the devastating and tragic consequences that often accompany a fire or explosion accident. We are also extremely mindful of the unique circumstances and sensitive nature involving the damages and issues involved in these types of cases. If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries or there has been a death due to a fire or explosion accident, do not hesitate to telephone the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. for a free and confidential evaluation concerning all of the rights available to you and your loved ones so that all necessary and proper steps can be taken in order to receive full and fair compensation for all of your harms and losses as a result of any explosion or fire occurrence.
Fire and Burn Statistics
It is estimated that approximately 2.4 million burn injuries occur in the United States every year and approximately 75,000 of these burn injuries require hospitalization. These injuries require significant care and treatment and result in devastating effects, both physically and emotionally to the victim.
There are statistics that show that 3,000 people lose their lives in fire and explosion accidents every year with an additional 15,000 people being injured due to fires and explosions annually. Moreover, the statistics show that residential fires account for approximately eighty-five (85%) percent of fire deaths in the United States.
Who Are the Responsible Parties?
Due to the fact that fires and explosions often occur as a result of several different reasons, there may be one defendant or multiple defendants who have responsibility in any lawsuit seeking damages resulting from a fire or explosion. Every case involves unique facts and circumstances and often there may be more than one culpable party that contributed to a fire or explosion which has occurred.
Cases involving fires and explosions have resulted in claims being made against the following potential defendants:
- Landlords/building owners: There have been instances where residential apartments and buildings did not have proper smoke detectors or fire alarms, or even if there were smoke detectors and fire alarms available, they were not operating or working properly. Additionally, a failure to properly inspect and maintain furnace, boiler and all HVAC equipment can substantially increase the risk of fire or explosion.
- Adjoining tenants/neighbors: Sometimes your next door neighbor or the tenant residing next door engaged in conduct or behavior giving rise to a fire or an explosion. As an example, smoking in bed is a dangerous activity which could give rise to a fire. Additionally, use of a propane tank inside or attempting to barbeque haphazardly on a porch or terrace could also be dangerous.
- Companies, manufacturers and stores selling defective products which are not fit for their intended use: Examples may be faulty electrical sockets, blow dryers, extension cords, stoves, dryers and other appliances which were sold or manufactured defectively.
- Hotel/motel owners and operators: There may be dangerous conditions which exist inside a hotel/motel room or other area on a property which were not taken care of by the owner or manager, giving rise to a risk for fire or explosion. Additionally, a failure to install and/or repair appropriate smoke detectors and smoke alarms and have appropriately marked fire exits can also lead to a substantial increase in serious injuries or death due to fire and/or explosion.
- Owners of restaurants/cafés and eateries: When the owner of a business such as a restaurant or a café does not follow various laws, regulations and proper procedure to prevent fires and/or explosions in the kitchen area, they can be held liable for injuries and damages incurred in a fire or explosion accident.
- Companies and manufacturers of flammable substances/liquids/chemicals which are being transported from one location to another: A failure to take all necessary and proper steps in order to comply with laws, statutes and regulations relating to the transportation of hazardous and flammable chemicals, products and materials could substantially increase the risk of fire and/or explosion along the public way leading to catastrophic injuries and death of innocent victims who travel on the same roadways and highways that are being utilized to transport these dangerous substances.
- Local gas and/or utility companies: Certainly, utility companies which provide energy sources to customers throughout the metropolitan area and the outer lying areas in New York have a responsibility and duty to properly maintain, inspect and repair utilities and equipment associated with providing energy to its customers. Any breakdown or failure on the part of any utility company to properly inspect, maintain, operate and/or repair all of the equipment and lines associated with the different available energy sources can result in devastating and catastrophic injuries to innocent victims.
- Gas stations: A failure to properly maintain all equipment and other apparatus necessary to provide fuel to customers at a service station can result in catastrophic injury or death. Therefore, it is important for any owner or operator of a gas station to follow safe practices and procedures to avoid fires and explosions.
Choosing the Right Attorney
In order to handle a fire and/or explosion case, it is absolutely necessary to undertake a detailed and complete investigation of all facts and circumstances surrounding the origin of any fire or explosion. This will undoubtedly require any lawyer or law firm to expend a substantial sum of money for the purpose of retaining all necessary experts and investigators who are thoroughly experienced in gathering facts and other evidence for the purpose of determining the origin and cause of any fire and explosion accident.
These experts include arson investigators, fire marshals, chemical engineers, electrical engineers, materials experts and other investigative experts who know exactly what to do and how to go about doing it. There is a methodology applied to investigating fire and explosion accidents which cannot be sidestepped. If appropriate and proper steps and procedures are not undertaken from day one, much of the evidence and other important facts may be lost and/or destroyed which could prevent you from being able to prove your case in a court of law. For this reason, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to retain experienced attorneys like the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. so that any fire and explosion case can be prepared and presented entirely correct which will result in you and your loved ones receiving full and fair compensation for all of the harms and losses sustained due to a fire and explosion accident. Remember, we will more than gladly advance all legal costs and expenses to prepare, present and complete any claim and/or lawsuit brought on behalf of any seriously injured victim or the Estate of someone who has died due to any fire or explosion type accident.