Miami House Fires Accidents Lawyer: Sean M. Cleary
How Do We Help After a House Fire in Miami?
We investigate the circumstances of the incident, establish liability and hold the negligent landlords or manufacturers of faulty products responsible for your injuries.
Sean M. Cleary
Top Rated house fires Attorney in Miami
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 casualties and smoking was the leading cause of home fire fatalities. Many other home fires and 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 percent) or an alarm was present and should have operated but did not do so (17 percent).
Common Causes of Miami House Fires
If you, or a loved one, have sustained injuries after a house fire accident, Sean M. Cleary, Miami personal injury attorney, is here to help. 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. A fire destroying your home is a terrifying thought, 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 may result in personal injuries and financial hardship. As a matter of fact, fire claims are present in the top five most common and costly insurance claims. Fire damage can involve 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 causes of structure fires include:
Other fire damage claims, such as kitchen and cooking equipment fires, fires caused by tossed cigarettes or trash burning, candles, indoor decorations
Gas and explosion fires caused by gas line leaks, or gas lines that were poorly installed, maintained or repaired
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
Furnace or water heater fire damage claims resulting from poor installation, maintenance, or faulty repair
Chemical fire damages 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 the fire damage and losses.
The question of who is legally responsible for a house fire can be a complex one. More often than not, the causes of house fires are accidental, but that doesn’t mean they weren't preventable or that someone shouldn’t be held liable.
Possible defendants in a house fire legal action can include:
The owner of the rented house or apartment. If you are a homeowner, homeowner’s insurance typically offers protection for a house fire. However, if you are a renter and have no insurance, the property owner or the landlord could be liable in the event of a rental property fire. 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 reasons landlord negligence leads to apartment fires include: overcrowding, building code violations, lack of smoke detectors, no fire extinguishers, blocked fire exits, pest infestations, 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 housebuilder contractor.
The electrician who didn't repair the fire hazard. If a house fire was started 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.
A gas company if a gas explosion caused the house fire. 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.
If you were injured by fire and there are negligence or product liability issues, you can seek compensatory damages. In negligence cases, to recover damages, you must prove that the defendant had a legal duty, breached that duty, and that breach was the proximate cause of 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 which caused you harm.
If you are unsure about who is responsible for your house fire accident, contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary today and we will help with the investigation of your case and recover any losses you and your family suffered as a result of another's negligence.
Statistics from the NFPA for the last year of available data indicate that in the U.S. 2,720 fire deaths occurred in the home. 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 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 have been injured in a house fire, you need to act immediately to preserve your legal rights. At our Florida personal injury law firm, we are all too familiar with the effects of fire and 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 Miami house fire can be devastating. Breathing injuries are the primary causes of house fire deaths. These injuries have three different components:
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.
Types of Losses for Which You Can Recover Compensation After a Miami House Fire
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 will be required to pay for your damages.
We have the resources to investigate your house fire accident and build a persuasive case for the other party’s liability, fighting to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses. Compensatory damages are awarded to help you recover fire-related losses. 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 that was a result of the fire
If you tragically lost a family member in a fire, then you can file a wrongful death claim for damages against the parties responsible for the fire.
To accurately represent people injured in house fires, we usually collaborate with hands-on experts and professionals, such as:
Burn unit professionals
Life cares planners
We closely work with them in determining the overall effects of a house fire accident. This includes 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 receiving a just compensation amount. If you or someone you love was 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 Accident Case?
Recognizing the sad reality that more than 70 percent of all fire deaths occur due to house fires, Sean M. Cleary is dedicated to protecting the rights of residential fire victims injured as a result of someone's negligence or a defective product.
We can assist you by dealing with the insurance adjusters or negotiating with the liable party so you can get the care you need and focus on your recovery.
If you, or a loved one, were injured in an apartment fire, it is important to remember that the insurance company is not your friend. The insurance companies may collect information about the fire and your injuries, but it's their job to minimize the value of the claim as much as possible. Call us for a free initial case evaluation and caring, experienced, and determined legal representation.
What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need in the Case of a House Fire? »
A personal injury attorney can help you deal with the person or company responsible. The manufacturing company, insurance company or any defendant will already have a lawyer to minimize liability and damages, and you need an experienced attorney to collect and present evidence for your side.
Following a House Fire Incident, When Should I Hire a Lawyer? »
After a house fire, a lawyer can get you the maximum compensation from the person or company whose negligence caused the accident. Lawyers don’t always need to go to court; they can negotiate settlements. Lawyers can also help settle disputes about the value and the validity of the insurance claim.
How Can the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help the Victims of Devastating House Fires? »
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you file the right claim to maximize the correct compensation according to the extent of the damages, the severity of the burns, the medical procedures, ulterior career limitations, disfigurement or permanent scarring.