Injured in apartment fire: can I pursue damages against the landlord?
Personal Injury Lawyer Bangor, ME
Apartment fires are unfortunately all too common, and they tend to happen when least expected, as a personal injury lawyer Bangor, ME trusts can attest. After an apartment fire, the tenants may be injured and are often left without a home or their belongings. In worst case scenarios, an occupant might lose their life because they are sleeping or unable to get out of the building. What’s worse is that many injuries and deaths from fires could have been prevented had the landlord taken precautionary measure.
If you have been injured in an apartment fire, or are the family member of someone who lost their life, please contact David Bate Law Office to talk with a Bangor, ME personal injury lawyer.
What to Do After an Apartment Fire
- Call 911 and seek medical attention. Even if you have no burns or other visible injuries, you could suffer from smoke inhalation which can be serious, and even fatal.
- Make a list of everything that was damaged or destroyed. This should be detailed and may be included on the insurance claim or a claim separate from the personal injury claim.
- Get a copy of the fire inspectors report. This will explain how the fire is thought to have started and is very important for the personal injury lawyer to have. It will also help to have the contact details of the fire inspector
- Take pictures of the scene and apartment after the fire, but make sure you don’t enter the building unless the fire inspector has said it is okay to do so. If the structure is not safe, take pictures from the outside. You should also take pictures of any injuries that you have suffered from.
- Keep a journal of everything that happened from the moment up to fire and afterwards. Write down your emotions and feelings, discuss the pain you are having, and anything else that could be relevant.
- Maintain a record of any correspondence with you and your landlord or insurance companies. You should gather documents such as your lease, insurance policies, medical record, related bills and financial losses, and so forth.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer in Bangor, ME to determine whether or not you have a valid claim.
Common Causes of Apartment Fires that Cause Injuries or Death
- Unsafe or defective furniture, bedding, heaters, faucets, etc.
- Failure to install working smoke detectors and sprinklers
- Failure to install proper gas lines or electrical wires
- Failure to odorize natural gas
- Failure to provide instructions or warnings
- Failure to comply with safety codes
- Failure to use a cooking device in the proper manner
- Improper use of flammable materials including matches, candles, and lighters
- Failure to mark emergency exits
- Failure to provide tenants with a working, usable emergency exit
In most fire cases, the fire inspector is able to determine what caused the fire. When this is not possible, a Bangor personal injury lawyer may hire expert investigators to determine the cause. If negligence was a contributor, and you were injured, you may be able to pursue damages with the help of a personal injury lawyer Bangor, ME trusts from David Bate Law Office.