If you’ve recently experienced a fire in your rental unit that resulted in burn injuries, you’re likely wondering whether your landlord can be held responsible. While landlords are not automatically liable for any and all injuries experienced by those living in their properties, it is possible that your landlord may be responsible for your burn injuries; however, the nature of the fire must first meet a few important specifications.
When Can You Pursue Legal Action?
To maintain a property as a rental or income property, the landlord is obligated to provide tenants with reasonable protection from injury as a result of malfunction or accident. However, to prove your landlord is liable for your injuries, you must first show that deviation from this duty of care directly resulted in your injury.
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Specifically, you must prove:
- The landlord was required to provide proper fire safety. Landlords must adhere to laws designed to protect tenants from fire injuries – specifically, to prevent fire itself, provide fire extinguishing devices, and allow proper escape from the premises in the event of a fire. This includes tasks such as:
- Install and maintain smoke detectors and fire alarms
- Provide and maintain fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems
- Provide escape routes, including regular inspections and a clear path
- Ensure all electrical wiring and heating units are safe and up to code
- Follow all local and state fire codes
- You received damages. The simple fact that there was a fire in your rental unit does not automatically mean legal action is necessary; to pursue litigation, you also must prove that you have damages as a result of the fire. While burns are obviously damage to your skin tissue, the sort of legal damages sought during legal action are usually financial. In the case of burns, you may seek compensation for your medical expenses, therapy or rehabilitation expenses, lost wages or diminished future wages as the result of your injury, and even pain and suffering.
- The landlord was negligent and failed to meet the duty of care. If a landlord fails to adhere to fire prevention responsibilities and conditions result in a fire that causes you damages, the landlord may assume responsibility for damages sustained in the fire. In particular, if the landlord did not fix a fire hazard in a timely manner, inadequately addressed a fire hazard, failed to provide inspections, or outright violated a safety law, he or she may be required to compensate you for your burn injuries.
If you or a loved one recently suffered burn injuries as the result of a fire in a rental unit, your landlord may need to assume liability.
Reach out online or call 419-843-6643 to discuss your situation and schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.