Most house fires in Columbus, OH—and the rest of the United States—are completely unexpected and accidental. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration did a study which found that 50.2% of house fires started simply from cooking.
In 2019, there were 1,291,500 fires that caused 16,600 people to be injured and 3,704 to be killed. The effects of something like this, no matter how big or small the fire was, can be damaging. Recovering after a devastating house fire is difficult, but Soroka & Associates can help make it a little easier by helping you file a personal injury lawsuit if you or a loved one have been injured.
What does a lawyer even do after a fire?
After escaping a deadly fire and dealing with what seem to be endless questions and investigations, the whole experience can be traumatizing—and sometimes you do not get the answers you want to hear from insurance companies. It is best to reach out to a knowledgeable law firm who can help you every step of the way and even conduct their own comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of the fire and liability.
After a fire, remember that you have the right to ask for compensation for your injuries or property damage. While the actual amount you can win will vary based on the unique circumstances of your case, you still are legally able to fight for it. If the fire was at your home, your homeowners insurance and renters insurance can also help. However, thorough inspections from the fire department and your insurance company need to take place before anything can be handed over. And if your insurance company does not rule in your favor, you can fight their judgment.
There are also some cases where there may not be insurance to cover the damage, like if you are not the owner of the property for example. If the property owner was negligent and failed to keep their building safe, it can also be worthwhile to talk to an experienced lawyer. In this case, it is possible to fight for compensation for property damage, injuries, and even the loss of a loved one.
Who is liable for house fires in Columbus?
Liability can only be determined once all investigations are complete and the cause of the fire is determined. In an apartment or house fire, the parties typically found at fault are:
- Property owner
- Another tenant
- Manufacturer of a defective or faulty product
- Manufacturer of flammable furniture
- Manufacturer of flammable clothes
- Builder or contractor
- Maintenance company
- Propane or natural gas company
It is also possible that not one but several people are found to be at fault for the fire in your case. If you as the property owner or renter are not found responsible, then be sure to seek medical attention for any injuries and collect any records or documentation proving your pain and suffering. All of this will be important evidence in solidifying your case against the parties responsible. With help from our Columbus personal injury attorneys, you can possibly collect compensation.
What kind of injuries are caused by house fires?
House fires can be very deadly very quickly. However, if you manage to get out rather rapidly, injuries can fortunately be minor. Some examples of injuries that can happen as a result of a house fire are listed below:
- Smoke inhalation
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
If someone else is at fault for a fire and you or a loved one sustained one or more of these injuries as a result, then you could have a solid case for compensation for your pain and suffering.
What does homeowners’ or renters’ insurance cover?
In the event of a fire, you are not always completely on your own from the start. Your homeowners’ insurance policy can help. They can protect you from certain expenses like:
- Dwellings – Coverage may help pay to repair or rebuild the home.
- Other structures – This covers other structures on your property detached from the home, like garages, sheds, fences, or barns.
- Personal property – Called “contents,” this coverage may help repair or replace some of your damaged personal belongings like appliances, furniture, or clothing.
- Additional living expenses – If the fire leaves you displaced, your policy may help pay for a hotel stay while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.
As a renter, you are typically free of any expenses that pertain to the building since you do not own it. Your renters’ insurance can cover other more personal expenses like:
- Additional living expenses
Your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance may not help to the best of their ability if the results of their own investigation find you at fault—and that is where we can step in. If this happens, make sure to give us a call so we can conduct our own investigation and get you the compensation you are entitled to.
If you or a loved one are injured in a house fire, after seeking medical treatment, your next call should be to a skilled attorney for legal guidance. You are likely eligible to seek financial compensation for your losses, and you shouldn’t have to worry about insurance and paperwork while trying to recover from your injuries.
Soroka & Associates, LLC is here to help. We understand the complex nature of house fire claims and are ready to advocate for your rights. To find out what we can do for you, call our Columbus injury attorneys at 614-358-6525, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. When we accept personal injury cases, we handle them on a contingency fee basis. This means that we get paid only if there is a financial recovery.