When you suffer an injury in a fire, it is important to get legal help from a New York fire accident lawyer who understands the laws and regulations surrounding these cases. The Weinstein Law Group, PLLC has decades of combined experience helping people get the compensation they deserve after they are injured in accidents.
We understand what you are going through and we are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Burned by a fire? Our firm can help.
Our firm has represented injured people for over 30 years. We represent clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and more. The Weinstein Law Group makes sure you get the money you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, and pain and suffering.
Our clients know that we are working toward a safer New York City. After a malfunctioning space heater destroyed the lives of nine families in the Bronx and changed the lives of dozens of others, our attorneys stepped up to represent those families.
Our firm realized that to keep the city safe, these negligent landlords need to be held responsible. Now, our New York fire accident lawyers are willing to listen to your story and help you get compensation.
Contact our law firm for a free initial consultation and learn how we can help you.
The statute of limitations for fire accidents
The statute of limitation in New York City varies based on the damages that you are claiming.
In the city, you have two to five years to file a legal claim based on arson. This is a criminal case. However, for the personal injury claim associated with a fire, you have three years from the date of the incident.
Similarly, if the fire that you suffered was due to product liability or caused property damage, you must file your claim within three years of the date of the fire. If someone perished in the fire, then you must file a wrongful death fire claim within two years of the date of their death.
Types of fire and explosion accident cases we handle
If the furnace in your building is defective or poorly maintained, it can explode. Furnaces cause many injuries every year because people are often burned in their homes after an explosion.
faulty propane tanks
Faulty propane tanks in homes and businesses can overheat if the equipment fails or the tanks are not cared for properly. This is especially dangerous in a densely populated area like New York City.
This is one of the most common types of fires in New York City because there are so many gas lines and tanks around the city. These accidents happen for many reasons, including poorly maintained tanks and defective equipment. They can cause severe injuries because they are often explosive.
Construction vehicle fire
Construction vehicles catch fire often, especially in a large city like New York. These accidents can cause serious injuries to those nearby as well as extensive property damage.
Welding accidents can cause severe injuries because there is usually a flame involved. They can also lead to damage of property around the accident scene.
Industrial fires are very common in the greater New York City area because of the number of factories and plants. If this type of fire should happen near you, leave the area fast. Industrial fires can shoot dangerous chemicals into the surrounding areas, so evacuation is likely necessary.
Power outages happen from time to time in New York, but when they do, the wiring of a building may become over-stressed and start a fire. This can happen in buildings with faulty wiring, old equipment, or substandard construction. It can also cause injuries to those nearby as well as extensive damage to the structure of the building.
If faulty wiring causes a fire, it can lead to serious injuries. These accidents may be caused by a lack of maintenance and inspection.
Defective electronics being used in your area can cause electrical sparks that ignite something nearby. This happens often around the holidays with trees and lights.
Smoke detector issues
When smoke detectors are not working properly, occupants may not be aware of a fire until it’s too late. By the time smoke fills the area, it is difficult for people to escape or put out the fire.
Blocked emergency exits
Blocked emergency exits or faulty electrical doors can lead to many dangerous accidents. These may include fires, smoke inhalation injuries, and even structural collapse because of overcrowding.
Insufficient fire extinguishers
Not having enough fire extinguishers for a multi-family house or apartment can spell disaster for it’s occupants. It prevents people from extinguishing fires before they spread. These may include electrical fires, cooking fires, and even chemical fires. The range of extinguishers present should have the appropriate class rating for each type of fire.
Apartment building fires
Apartment building fires can affect many households at once. Often, these accidents result in serious injury, death, and extensive property damage. Many times, apartment buildings in New York have backlogged or poor maintenance, which is why it’s important to catalog all maintenance requests to the landlords. A pattern of negligence can be seen through ignored requests.
If you have been injured because of an accidental fire in your building, your landlord’s negligence may be to blame. Once you’ve been treated for your injuries, a New York fire accident lawyer is the most important person you can call.
Flammable liquids or clothing
If there are flammable liquids or clothing near you, it can cause fires that spread very quickly. Appropriate caution should be exercised at all times, but too often these materials cause irreparable damage.
New York has a large number of chemical plants. If the chemicals catch fire, it can cause serious injuries to those in surrounding areas as well as extensive property damage.
Causes of fire accidents
Defective products commonly cause fires. These are items that have been manufactured incorrectly or were not tested enough before they hit store shelves, such as toys and other objects for children. Other defective products can include electrical products that malfunction and cause fires or sparks that spread quickly.
Lack of inspection
If you are living somewhere that has not been inspected for fire hazards, it can cause devastating accidents. For example, if there is a defective gas heater in your area that someone has tampered with, the result could be deadly.
Electrical sparks can come from many different sources and ignite something flammable in the environment. For example, if there is a welder working in your area that does not have proper ventilation or safety equipment, it could result in a fire that spreads quickly.
Suspended dust is another cause of fire accidents in the area.
Dust can ignite when it mixes with an oxidizing agent or even when it rubs up against something red-hot. For example, if there has been a lot of construction taking place near you recently, suspended dust can accumulate and lead to a serious fire accident.
Flammable products that are stored in the area can also cause fires when they ignite. These items may include:
- Propane tanks
- Paints and solvents
- Other flammable liquids used for construction
Poor wiring can also cause fires because it has not been properly installed or maintained.
This can lead to exposed wires that are close together, which is another accident waiting to happen if you are not careful.
Many times, fires are caused by vehicle crashes. For example, if you are standing behind a bus or another large vehicle while it is still running and the exhaust system comes in contact with something flammable, it could result in an explosion.
Other causes of vehicle fires include faulty fuel lines that rupture when they are struck or even when a car is rear-ended by a truck or another large vehicle.
Negligence is a leading cause of fire accidents. If your neighbor’s carelessness has put you in danger, then it may be time to get help from a New York City law firm with experience.
If there has been a gas leak in the area, there could be an explosion at any point. Accidents like this cause significant damage to property, but they can also lead to burns and even death.
Improper candle use
Another common cause of fire accidents is the use of candles. For example, someone may leave their lit candles unattended and it could lead to something flammable catching on fire. Improperly used candles can also cause injury because of the close proximity of the flame to combustible materials like curtains or bedding.
Overloaded circuits are another common cause of fire accidents. For example, a circuit can get overloaded when you plug in too many appliances to an outlet that has been used often. When the circuit is overloaded, there may not be enough power to run all of these appliances and it could lead to a short or even an electrical fire.
Cigarettes are a common cause of fire accidents because they can easily ignite combustible objects. If you smoke and there is no ashtray nearby, it would be wise to put the cigarette out in a glass or metal container filled with water so that ashes do not get on furniture or other flammable materials.
Fires caused by negligent property owners in New York City
In New York City, negligent property owners can be held responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their fire accidents.
For example, an irresponsible landlord may overload a circuit in a building with too many appliances. A careless property owner can also fail to conduct regular inspections of electrical wiring or even repair potential hazards that have been found throughout the years.
Even if there are no visible issues, an irresponsible homeowner may not conduct regular inspections to maintain safe conditions for tenants or guests on their property.
Fires caused by defective products
If you are injured by a defective product, then you may have the right to file a claim for damages.
It is generally said that all products must meet the “reasonably respectable” use of the user.
For example, if everyone uses a certain product in one way and there is one person who does not follow those instructions and they are injured, then the product must be reasonably safe for those who are observant of instructions.
An example of defective products can be things like faulty wiring or electrical appliances that overheat and start a fire.
Fires caused by arson
The definition of arson in New York is a person who “knowingly damages a building” or any property by means of fire or explosion.
If you know that someone has intentionally set your home ablaze, then you may be able to hold them responsible for the damage and injuries that have been caused.
Common injuries from fires
Lung damage results when burns destroy parts of your respiratory system or reduce your ability to breathe deeply. Your lungs can be damaged in serious fires when inhaling fumes, smoke, and other toxic substances. You may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing after the fire.
Smoke inhalation injuries are caused by breathing in toxins from smoke during a fire. Inhalation of smoke occurs before, during, and after a fire. Smoke inhalation symptoms may be immediate or delayed after a fire.
Smoke inhalation injuries may include:
- Respiratory damage,
- Chemical irritation of the airways or lungs,
- Post-inflammatory causes.
Deaths from fires are often attributed to smoke inhalation rather than burns. Inhaling too much of certain chemicals in the air can cause symptoms that lead to death. These symptoms can include coughing, headaches, vomiting, fluid in your lungs, and difficulty breathing.
Suffocation injuries result when you are trapped in a fire and unable to breathe. It is possible for you to suffer this injury without suffering any burns.
Signs of suffocation include coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, fatigue after exertion, pain or numbness near the face or neck, and unconsciousness.
Burns are also a common injury from fires and can range in severity from mild to severe. Burns can result from:
- Direct contact with flames
- Hot items
- Fire-related chemicals
Symptoms of a burn include red skin that may appear dry or moist, blisters on the skin, pain, swelling of the area around the burn, and a change in the color of the skin.
Symptoms of a severe or full-thickness burn can include white and charred skin, blistering and peeling after one to three days, weeping (drainage) from open wounds, numbness, and lack of pain sensation.
Scarring and disfigurement
Scarring that appears after mild to severe burns can cause changes in lifestyle. A baseball player who burned his whole pitching arm will likely never experience full range and mobility in the arm again, and that loss of enjoyment of life should be recognized by your New York fire accident lawyer.
Many scars are permanent, but they can be minimized with the appropriate treatment. You may require skin grafting to minimize scarring after full-thickness burns. Scar tissue often is less elastic than undamaged skin and can lead to disfigurement if too much skin is lost or if the scar tissue isn’t well-placed.
Loss of vision
Some fire injuries can lead to eye damage and vision loss. These injuries can result from coming near a fire, heat or explosions related to a fire, or particulate matter such as soot, and chemicals produced during a fire.
Vision loss can be temporary or permanent depending on the injury. Symptoms of vision loss include watery and itchy eyes, feeling as if there is a foreign object in your eye, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.
The emotional toll after surviving a fire can be a heavy one, especially if others were lost in the blaze. After surviving a fire, many people and their family members suffer from emotional distress in the following months and years. This can include everything from PTSD to new triggering anxieties.
One of the most common mental hardships after a fire is PTSD. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Severe anxiety
- Irritability or angry outbursts
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Avoiding things that remind you of the fire
Disfigurement and scarring can leave many people with limited mobility or with an inability to be as effective as they once were in their occupations. Fire injuries that require you to take time off work for treatment and recovery can have a great impact on the trajectory of your career even if a full recovery is possible.
If your injury prevents you from working in the future or doing things that were previously easy for you, you may need to talk to your lawyer about claiming your new disabilities in the lawsuit.
Fire injuries can be fatal. Losing someone in a fire is a hardship that no one should have to face alone. The New York fire accident lawyers at The Weinstein Law Group are here to support and fight for the rights of your lost loved one.
According to the US Fire Administration, there were 3,515 fatalities due to fires in the United States in 2019. This includes deaths caused by smoke inhalation and burns.
If you have lost a loved one to a fire accident, contact our New York fire accident attorneys as soon as possible.
Hire a New York fire accident lawyer today
After you have suffered an injury from a fire accident, you must contact a New York fire accident lawyer at The Weinstein Law Group.
Our team of lawyers will fight for your rights and ensure that financial compensation is available to help you move forward with life after the devastation of a fire.
Feel free to reach out by phone or email so we can answer any questions you may have about our services.