Fire Injury Attorneys
Fire Injury Lawyer
Fire injuries and fatalities are unfortunately quite common. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were an estimated 1,400,500 fires in the United States in 2020, resulting in 3,755 civilian fire deaths and 15,200 civilian fire injuries. These fires caused an estimated $14.3 billion in property damage.
While fire injuries and fatalities can occur in any type of building, they are more common in residential buildings, such as houses and apartments. The leading causes of fires in residential buildings are cooking, heating, and electrical equipment.
Fire Injury Lawyer
A fire injury lawyer can help with a fire injury by representing you in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional conduct, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to understand your legal rights and options and guide you through the process of pursuing a claim or lawsuit. They can help you to gather and present evidence to support your claim, negotiate with the other party’s insurance company or lawyer, and represent you in court if necessary.
It is important to note that personal injury claims can be complex and may involve a variety of legal issues. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the fire to ensure that your rights are protected and to increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Most Common Fire Injuries
There are several types of burn injuries that a person can suffer, including:
- Thermal burns: Thermal burns are the most common type of burn injury and are caused by exposure to heat, such as from a fire, hot liquid, or steam. Thermal burns can range in severity from mild to severe, depending on the temperature and duration of exposure to the heat source.
- Chemical burns: Chemical burns occur when the skin or other body tissue is exposed to a chemical substance, such as a strong acid or base. Chemical burns can be very serious and may require immediate medical attention.
- Electrical burns: Electrical burns occur when a person comes into contact with an electrical current. Electrical burns can be particularly dangerous because they can cause internal injuries as well as external burns.
- Sunburn: Sunburn is a type of burn injury caused by overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunburn can range in severity from mild to severe and can lead to more serious skin conditions, such as skin cancer, if left untreated.
- Friction burns: Friction burns occur when skin rubs against a rough or abrasive surface, such as the ground or a rough piece of equipment. Friction burns can be painful and may require medical attention, especially if they are deep or cover a large area.
Fire Injuries and an Insurer’s Expert Strategy
Injuries in fires are heavily scrutinized by insurance companies, and you have to be very aware of the level of strategy that they employ in their efforts to avoid paying out for personal injuries and property loss resulting from fires. Once you gain some level of insight into the level of planning and strategizing that insurance companies undertake to avoid responsibility for making payments to people that have paid for policies, you will quickly understand why it is crucial that you retain an experience injury and insurance attorney to help protect your rights.
The quote below is from the Claims Journal, which is an insurance industry publication. This article was produced following an insurance industry seminar in which a presentation was given on expert witnesses in fire-related cases:
“Fire Experts in Today’s Courts: A Dramatization Legal Update”, was presented last month during NASP’s annual conference held in Reno, Nevada. The panelists included subrogation attorneys Ken Levine, Michael Munger and Raymond Mack, all with de Luca Levine and David Klitsch, the owner of Technical Fire Analysis.
The experts cautioned against receiving a written report too early in a claim in that it could hinder subrogation efforts later.
The session touched upon Daubert factors that apply to fire expert testimony. Daubert refers to the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. The Daubert decision defines when expert witness testimony will be permitted. The federal expert witness standard states that expert witnesses are only allowed to testify based on sufficient facts and reliability of testing methods in coming to their conclusion. The factors include:
- Whether the expert theory or technique can be tested;
- Whether the theory or technique can be measured;
- Whether the theory or technique is generally accepted among peers;
- Whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication.
The panel experts said that the plaintiff in a case has the burden to prove an expert is qualified. Once expert testimony is submitted, the court may make its decision solely on submitted briefs, sometimes just on testimony and sometimes on both.
I emphasized this statement: “The experts cautioned against receiving a written report too early in a claim in that it could hinder subrogation efforts later.” So, if an insurer’s witnesses are being candid about their observations, why would providing a written statement “too early” be a concern?