Burns are some of the most devastating and painful injuries to recover from. The physical and emotional scars left behind can completely upend your life. These accidents can also cause irreversible and widespread damage to personal property, adding insult to injury.
Shulman & Hill’s fire and explosions lawyers fight for the victims of these horrible accidents to make sure they get proper compensation for their losses. If you have suffered damage from a fire or explosion in Staten Island, contact our team as soon as possible for a free legal consultation.
Who is Liable for Staten Island Residential Fire Injuries?
Cooking, heating, and electrical equipment are the leading contributors to residential fires in the United States, and Staten Island is no exception. Although some house fires are caused by user error, many can be linked to another party’s negligence. Depending on the result of a fire investigation by the New York City Fire Department, victims may be able to hold a negligent landlord, property owner, or similar party responsible for fire damage in their homes.
If you live in an apartment building and have sustained a fire injury or fire damage, your rental company or landlord could potentially be liable. Some common violations that could lead to a fire accident in apartments include:
- Neglecting to maintain and inspect smoke detectors, sprinklers, and other preventative fire equipment in the building
- Not having the required number of smoke alarms
- Lack of fire extinguishers
- Noncompliance with building codes relating to fire safety
- Failure to complete regular inspections and repair faulty electrical wires, gas lines, appliances, etc.
- Blocked fire escapes
- Failure to provide heat, causing the resident to use their stove or space heater to warm their apartment
If your fire was not caused by one of those factors, or you own your home, other possible defendants could include:
- The company that constructed the building
- The utility company if a gas explosion occurred
- If a propane tank was involved in causing the fire, the propane company could be responsible
- If there was an electrical fire, the electrician could be liable
What is Negligence?
Someone who is injured in a fire that was caused by another party will have to prove negligence occurred in order to file a lawsuit. There are four key elements involved in successfully proving negligence in New York State:
- Duty. First, you will need to show that the other party owed you some level of care or duty. In New York’s law, the standard is that the defendant needs to have exercised the type of duty that a reasonably prudent individual would give in a similar situation. An example would be a landlord’s duty to make sure residents have safe appliances in their apartments.
- Breach of Duty. The next element is proving that the third party failed to carry out their duty. This might be a landlord knowingly leaving a broken stove in an apartment or failing to make repairs.
- Cause of injury. Next, you will need to show that you were injured by the landlord’s neglect or by the actions of a similar party.
- Damages. Finally, you will have to show that it is fair for the defendant to be financially responsible for your damages. If you have suffered financial loss due to your injury, whoever caused the injury should compensate you for your losses.
Workplace Fires and Explosions in Staten Island
Construction workers handle flammable chemicals regularly. When safety procedures are not followed while handling these chemicals, or proper safety equipment is not provided, serious injuries and burns can occur. These chemicals, along with electrical issues, defective pipes, and more can also lead to devastating explosions on the job. Some of the common results of these types of accidents can include burns, broken bones from debris or falling from a collapsed structure, hearing and vision loss, traumatic brain injury, and fatalities.
If you are hurt on the job from an explosion or fire, you will most likely be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits to recoup your losses. A workers’ compensation claim, if approved, may award you weekly payments to cover lost wages from your injury.
Why You Need a Staten Island Fire and Explosions Lawyer
Fire and explosion claims can require a complicated legal process. You will most likely need to wait for a fire marshal from the fire department to complete an investigation at the scene of the accident. They will attempt to determine the fire’s origin and why it happened.
After that, you will want an experienced Staten Island fires and explosions lawyer to use that report to link your injury to the fire. They will need to gather and present all of the evidence that shows that a third party was responsible for causing the fire and that your injury was a direct result. This can be a tricky thing to prove even when your case is seemingly straightforward. Our attorneys at Shulman & Hill are adept at going the distance for their clients and not stopping until you get a fair result from your case.
If your fire or explosion injury happened at work, you will need to fill out a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. Filing these claims can be difficult without prior experience, and any discrepancy or missed elements could hold up the process significantly.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
At Shulman & Hill, we take every case seriously. When you work with us, you can trust that you are in good hands. Since we opened our doors in 2013, we have helped clients recover millions of dollars in compensation. Our lawyers are specially trained to help you through every step of your legal journey so that you can focus on what is most important: your recovery.
Fires and explosions are serious and can potentially cause life-altering injuries. If you have been involved in a fire or explosion accident, you may be entitled to compensation. After seeking necessary medical treatment, contact the attorneys at Shulman & Hill to discuss the details of your case.