Have you or a loved one been injured in a fire or explosion? These types of accidents can be traumatizing. They are sudden and are often catastrophic. They can result in severe injuries and can even be fatal. Unfortunately, these accidents are all too common. Just look back a few years to the Deepwater Horizon disaster that captured the attention of the entire country. According to the United States Fire Administration fires kill more Americans than all natural disasters combined. Approximately 2.4 million burn injuries are reported annually with 75,000 requiring hospitalization.
Causes of Fire and Explosion Accidents
There are various causes for fire and explosion accidents. These include:
- Faulty fire and smoke detectors
- Faulty boilers and furnaces
- Leaking propane or natural gas pipes
- Leaking petroleum pipes
- Presence of flammable materials
- Faulty wiring
- Negligence or improper maintenance of utilities
- Poor design
Apart from the actual fire and explosion, you also need to be concerned about the smoke that results from these incidents. Smoke can cause severe injuries as well as death.
After a Fire
If you have been injured in a fire, your actions after the fire will go a long way in determining whether your claim will be successful or not. The first thing you should do is get medical treatment for your injuries. If the fire occurred on your premises, you may need to search for a temporary place to stay as the investigation and cleanup are carried out.
The next step to take is to contact an attorney in your local area. In Louisiana, please contact the attorneys at Smith Stag, LLC. Your attorney will help you navigate the claims process and improve your chances of getting compensation for your injuries. It is important to avoid speaking with the insurance company or giving any recorded statements – especially without your attorney present. Direct anyone inquiring about your health or the fire to your attorney.
Your attorney will advise you on the next steps to take. However, in many cases, you will need to begin gathering evidence. This may include obtaining photos of the scene of the accident, collecting flammable items from the scene of the accident or even documenting your injuries. You should save any receipts or notes that indicate expenses related to your injuries. This includes transportation, medication or equipment you have used.
Who is Liable?
There are various parties that can be held liable for your injuries depending on the cause of the fire and explosion. These include:
- Your landlord
- Tenants or neighbors engaged in behaviors that could cause fires or explosions
- Building owners or managers
- Business owners
- Local utility or gas companies
For more information about the viability of your claim, please contact the attorneys at Smith Stag.