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We can help you prove that negligence caused your injuries.
We investigate the circumstances of the incident.
We work with top experts to establish and prove liability.
We hold the negligent landlords or manufacturers responsible.
We can help you secure maximum compensation for your injury.
Sean M. Cleary
Top Rated House Fires Attorney in Miami
Common Causes of Miami House Fire Injuries
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics, over a five-year period, cooking equipment was the biggest cause of home fires and related injuries and casualties and smoking was the leading cause of home fire fatalities. Many other home fire injuries result from faulty electrical distribution and heating equipment, smoking materials (i.e., tobacco products), and intentional fire setting. Most fire-related fatalities were not caused by burn injuries, but by inhaling smoke or toxic gasses. Also, almost three of five home fire fatalities were caused by fires in which either smoke alarms were missing (35%) or an alarm was present and should have operated but did not do so (17%).
If you, or a loved one, have sustained serious injuries after a house fire accident, Sean M. Cleary, Miami personal injury attorney, is here to help. If you've suffered fire-related property damage to your home, you can recover compensation under your insurance policy to repair or replace your property. However, the attorneys who can assist you in navigating the insurance claim process are property damage attorneys, not personal injury attorneys. As a personal injury law firm, our team is dedicated exclusively to helping people who have sustained serious injuries.
NFPA informs that a home fire occurs every 87 seconds and statistics released by the Florida State Fire Marshal's Office reveal that, in the last year of available data, Florida saw 200 civilian fatalities and 1,312 injuries. 19 of the fire-related deaths took place in Miami-Dade County, where there were registered 1,764 structure fires. Getting injured in a home fire is a traumatic experience, and especially scary when you live in a multi-family residential building. Fires generally start when tenants are doing common chores and, in some cases, their cause may be unseen.
A fire at your home that results in personal injuries gives you the right to hold the negligent parties accountable and file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. But there are many different types of claims you could bring after your life has been upended by a house fire as some of the most common house fire injuries include:
Injuries caused by kitchen and cooking equipment fires or fires caused by tossed cigarettes or trash burning, candles, indoor decorations
Injuries caused by gas and explosion fires started by gas line leaks, or gas lines that were poorly installed, maintained or repaired
Injuries caused by electrical fires resulting from faulty electrical equipment, wiring, or maintenance. Faulty wiring is the number one cause of electrical fires although electrical wires fires are some of the most preventable ones. Faulty wiring occurs for several reasons, including age, rodents, roaches, shoddy installation and overloading of the electrical system
Injuries caused by furnace or water heater fire resulting from poor installation, maintenance, or faulty repair
Injuries caused by chemical fire resulting from the use of chemicals or improper chemical storage
Because there are so many different ways a fire can begin, there are often multiple responsible parties that may be held liable for your injuries.
The question of who is legally responsible for your house fire injury can be a complex one. More often than not, the causes of house fire injuries are accidental, but that doesn’t mean they weren't preventable or that someone shouldn’t be held liable for your suffering.
Possible defendants in a fire injury claim can include:
The owner of the rented house or apartment. Owners and apartment managers must comply with applicable requirements of fire safety codes and are responsible for installing adequate fire protection equipment. When this duty is not met and regulations are overlooked or outright ignored, tenants or building guests who are injured in a structure fire can hold them liable for any resulting injuries. Common failures and landlord negligence that lead to apartment fire injuries include: overcrowding, building code violations, lack of smoke detectors, no fire extinguishers, blocked fire exits, pest infestations, and lack of fire alarms.
The manufacturer of flammable furniture, of a defective appliance or a faulty fire alarm. If a faulty product caused the fire, you may seek compensation for your personal injuries in a claim against the manufacturer of the defective product and the person or store who sold it to you.
The house builder contractor whose negligence is responsible for your house fire injury.
The electrician who didn't repair the fire hazard that led to your injuries. If a house fire was caused by a person hired by the homeowner or landlord to perform maintenance or work on the property, you may have a claim against that person or their employer for your injuries.
A gas company if a gas explosion caused the house fire and your injuries. Sometimes, a gas line ruptures due to faulty repair work or becomes corroded over time and isn’t properly replaced and the consequence can be a deadly explosion that causes catastrophic injuries.
If you were injured in a house fire and you can prove that a negligent act or product liability issues lead to your injuries, you can seek compensatory damages for the harm you have suffered.
In negligence cases, to recover compensatory damages, you must prove that the defendant had a legal duty, breached that duty, and that breach was the proximate cause of your injuries. Negligence occurs when someone behaves in a careless manner or without regard to the consequences. This negligence can come as a failure to act or an action that leads to harm to another person.
In product liability cases, you must show that the defendant manufactured, distributed, sold, or installed the product that caused you harm. If you are unsure about who is responsible for your house fire injuries, contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary today and we will help with the investigation of your case and recover any personal injury losses you and your family suffered as a result of another's negligence.
Recent statistics from the NFPA show that in the U.S., over the course of just one year, 2,720 people lost their lives in home fires. That means that nationwide, a civilian died in a home fire every 3 hours and 13 minutes. While the deaths represent enormous and potentially avoidable tragedies, the number of 11,200 nonfatal injuries also merit attention. Nationwide, there was a civilian fire injury in home fires every 41 minutes. In many cases, these were permanent, life-changing injuries.
A fire can spread through your house very quickly, causing serious injuries such as burns, smoke inhalation injuries, and chemical exposure injuries. If you've been injured in a Miami house fire, you need to act immediately to preserve your legal rights to compensation for your injury.
At our Florida personal injury law firm, we're all too familiar with the devastating effects of fire, superheated gases, and smoke on the human body. We summarize these effects below:
Burn Injuries. There are four degrees, or categories, of burn injuries, signifying the depth to which the tissue is damaged:
First-degree burns. Generally, this burn will heal over a few days.
Second-degree burns. This category of burn may require several weeks to a month and is subject to bacterial infection and cellulitis.
Third-degree burns. For this category of burn, the chance of infection is very high and natural healing is impossible.
Fourth-degree burns. The risk of infection and gangrene is very high for these life-threatening injuries and they may require amputation or extensive plastic surgery.
Respiratory Injuries. The combination of smoke inhalation and suffocation during a house fire can be devastating. Breathing injuries are the primary causes of house fire deaths. These injuries have three different causes:
Oxygen-depleted air. Prolonged exposure to oxygen-depleted air causes confusion, drowsiness, and death.
Inhaled hot gases. Inhaling superheated combustion products can lead to permanent and disabling lung problems by scorch and scar nasal passages and lung tissue.
Smoke. Smoke can damage the respiratory system permanently, congest or obstruct breathing, and cause seizures and coma. Fifteen minutes of smoke with zero oxygen would kill you and five to ten minutes would cause permanent brain damage in humans.
What Legal Compensation Is Available for Miami House Fire Injuries?
After a fire, the local fire department and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms will usually perform comprehensive investigations and prepare a detailed report. These reports contain important information that will influence whether or not the property owner or other negligent parties will be required to pay for your compensatory damages.
We have the resources to investigate your house fire accident and build a compelling case for the other party’s liability, fighting to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Compensatory damages are awarded to help you recover from fire-related injuries. Awards for compensatory damages typically include some or all of the following:
Past, present, and future medical expenses
Past and future lost income
Past and future damages for pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
Disability or disfigurement
If you tragically lost a family member in a house fire, first and foremost, we extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family. Second, it's important to know that you can file a wrongful death claim for damages against the parties responsible for the fire and the death of your loved one.
To represent people injured in house fires, or to help surviving family members, we collaborate with hands-on experts and professionals, such as:
Burn unit professionals
Life cares planners
We closely work with these experts in determining the overall damages of a house fire injury. These include present and future analysis or prognosis from the following perspectives:
After we have a complete overview of how the fire affected your life, we proceed with negotiations aimed at recovering a just monetary compensation amount for your injury case. If you, or someone you love, were injured in a house fire, contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary to make sure that critical evidence is preserved before the site of the fire is restored and essential evidence is destroyed forever.
How Can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help You in a House Fire Injury Case?
Recognizing the sad reality that more than 27% of all fires occur in homes, Sean M. Cleary is dedicated to protecting the rights of residential fire victims injured as a result of someone else's negligence or a defective product.