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Who Is Liable in a House Fire Accident?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Premises Liability


House Fires damage numerous homes and create chaos in the lives many every year. They start in various ways, and while most are accidental, some occur purposely. Either way, a fire accident can cause serious, sometimes tragic injuries.

If you were injured in a house fire, act quickly. If you wait too long, you could lose out on your rights to pursue appropriate compensation. Find out who is liable by calling the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.

Accidental Fires

Most fires that occur in the home are purely accidental. Many happen during cooking, like when someone forgets to turn off the oven or stove, or when cooking greasy foods. Appliances that have overheated or short-circuited can also cause fires. Fireplaces and welding tools can emit sparks that can grow into a full-fledged fire and if smokers are careless with their lit cigarette butts, they can cause fires as well. Additionally, nature can also cause fires through lightning strikes.

Forensic scientists are trained to determine how a fire started by looking at burn patterns on walls and nearby objects. Mot accidental fires are the fault of the homeowner; however, you may still be allowed to file a homeowner’s or tenant insurance claim and receive compensation even if you are determined to be at fault.

If you are a tenant, you could be sued by your landlord for causing the fire, especially if you smoked or did not take proper safety precautions.

House Fires Caused by Arson

Not all fires start accidentally. Some are done on purpose to harm another person’s property or to claim on an insurance policy. According to Illinois law:

A person commits arson when, by means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly
       

  • Damages any real property, or any personal property having a value of $150 or more, of another without his or her consent; or
  •         

  • With intent to defraud an insurer, damages any property or any personal property having a value of $150 or more.

If you are charged with arson, you could face significant penalties. Arson is charged as a felony and is punishable by substantial time in prison. You could also face a civil lawsuit from the victim and be forced to pay restitution.

Fires Caused by Defective Products

In some cases, fires are caused by defects found in tools and appliances. Toxic gas or chemicals leaking from a container can cause a fire. A failed smoke detector can allow a fire to quickly spread, while a defective car part can spark and cause a garage fire.

Products that are defective or dangerous fall under product liability law. If a product caused you to suffer injuries even though it was used correctly, you could sue the manufacturer for their negligence.

Did You Suffer Personal Injury or Property Damage in a House Fire?

A house fire can spread quickly, damaging your home and other beloved possessions. It’s important to know if a third party can be held liable so you can recover compensation for these damages.

Furthermore, house fires can cause serious injuries such as burns, smoke inhalation, and chemical exposure. If you are a house fire victim, you need to act quickly in order to preserve your legal rights.

The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can determine who is liable and help you move forward with recovery. Schedule a free, initial consultation today by calling (312) 236-2900.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900