According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 369,500 residential fires in 2013. Of those, 12,200 people were injured and 2,755 were killed. Compared to 1997, which reported 723,500 residential fires, 21,640 injuries, and 5,865 deaths, it is clear that things have changed dramatically. For example, more people now use smoke detectors. Although the statistics have improved, injuries from house fires continue.
House fires start for a number of reasons, including faulty appliances, burning candles, fireworks, electrical problems, holiday lights, flammable/combustible gasses and chemicals, lightning strikes, unattended cigarettes, and even arson. Regardless of the cause, if you are a burn victim, you definitely want to talk to a reputable attorney.
Insurance companies are notorious for wanting to settle quickly for a monetary value well below what you deserve. Obviously, making a lowball settlement offer is in their best interest, not yours. By having an attorney on your side, you can rest assure that your medical bills, as well as any other claim, will be handled efficiently.
The majority of house fires are due to a person’s gross negligence or carelessness. This includes leaving a candle burning, a cigarette unattended, or combustible materials close to an open flame, among other things. If you were burned because of another person’s actions, there is a good chance that you can also sue for punitive damages.
You want to work with an attorney who has years of experience and expertise in personal injury specifically pertaining to house fires. The attorney will understand your rights and know how to conduct a thorough investigation. Through exploration, your case can be properly evaluated. That way, the full amount of damages that you should be awarded can be determined.
Most importantly, before you speak to a representative of the insurance company, talk to an attorney. The reason is that some insurance companies will push hard to get a recorded statement from you about what happened, only for the information to be used to minimize the claim and/or discredit you. A qualified attorney will speak to the insurance company on your behalf, knowing exactly what information to provide.
Often, injuries sustained from house fires are complex. For one thing, painful medical treatments are common, including skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and physical therapy. There is also the possibility of a long-term hospital stay and therapy for dealing with the injury from a mental health standpoint. Making matters worse, a complicated insurance process must be navigated. Without having an attorney, mistakes are innocently made that ultimately have a negative impact on the outcome of the case.
Many burn patients struggle with long-term complications, such as nerve damage, scarring and/or disfigurement, lung damage associated with smoke inhalation, damage to bones and internal organs, and even amputation. Regardless of the extent of your injuries or if you suffered from burns because of something that you did or someone else’s carelessness/negligence, it is imperative that you hire a well-respected personal injury attorney.