Fire damage in your home or workplace can lead to financial hardship, property damage, physical injuries, and emotional damages. Fire damage ranks among the top five costly insurance claims, and it is even more expensive when a lawsuit is involved. According to the National Fire Protection, fire departments respond to fire emergencies every 24seconds which is very costly.
Types of fire damage lawsuits
There are various types of fire damage lawsuits determined by the cause of the fire. That is why fire cause analysis is fundamental before filing a fire damage lawsuit. The most common fire damage claims include:
- Gas and explosion fire damage caused by leaking gas due to poor installation, repair, and gas line leaks.
- Electrical fire damage caused by faulty electrical installation, wiring, or maintenance.
- Furnace and water heater fire damage due to poor installation or faulty repairs and maintenance.
- Defective product fire damage caused by faulty electrical products like cell phones, appliances, and other power tools.
- Chemical fire damages caused by the use of hazardous chemicals in improper lab settings.
- Fire damage resulting from failure to provide proper working fire safety equipment like smoke detectors, fire alarms, extinguishers, sprinklers, etc.
- Other fire damage claims include kitchen fires, forest wildfires, and fires caused by tossed cigarettes, trash burning, etc.
As you can see, fire damage claims range from negligence to arson. Since there are multiple ways in which a fire can start, several parties are often held accountable for the fire damage.
Parties that might be held liable for a fire accident
Determining the party responsible for fire damage is the most challenging part, which is why a lawyer is necessary. For instance, if lightning caused a fire, there might not be any party to hold accountable. Some fires are just accidents. However, some are intentional, and anyone involved in the incident can be liable.
Negligence, arson, defective products, and other intentional acts are legal issues involved in fire damage lawsuits. Parties you may hold liable for fire damages include:
The manufacturer of the defective product
In defective product lawsuits, the product manufacturer that caused the fire is held accountable if the product malfunctioned and caused a fire on a consumer’s property or personal injury. The seller of any defective material used in a property building may also be liable for fire damage.
Negligent parties, e.g., the contractor of the property.
In a fire damage lawsuit caused by negligence, the court might hold several defendants liable. For instance, in the case of fire damage caused by faulty wiring, defendants may include the contractor, the electrician who installed the wiring, and the property owner.
The owner of a rental unit.
The property owner can be liable for fire damage because of failing to install fire safety equipment in the building or for installing defective equipment.
Intentional acts like arson may cause fire damage. A homeowner can hold the arsonist accountable for fire damage and personal injury. Also, a homeowner that starts a fire in their home to cash in on an insurance policy can be liable for arson and insurance fraud.
The final words
You should consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if you have a case of fire damage.