House fires are a terrifying and tragic experience. They can easily be brought on by so many extenuating and inadvertent circumstances—from faulty wiring to a short in an appliance, you could literally lose everything. Add physical injury, scarring, and permanent disfigurement to an already tragic emotional accident, and you’ve just suffered from a calamitous life-changing event.
Burns resulting from accidental fire—what you need to know.
The American Burn Association reports that one person dies every two hours and 42 minutes as a result of fires. These numbers do not account for people who are permanently disabled when a fire breaks out. Burns that are a result of fires started due to accidents or negligence entitles victims to compensation. If you’ve suffered injury as a result of any of the following unfortunate circumstances, your only option is to seek legal help.
- Structural fire
- Construction site fire
- Faulty wiring
- Acts of arson
- Faulty appliances
These examples, along with any other accidental fire instances, entitle you to payment for your pain and suffering as well as any other losses that you encounter.
Why do I need an attorney? The insurance adjuster said he’d take care of everything.
Burns that occur as a result of an accidental fire can bring with them a lot more than permanent scarring, emotional stress, and prolonged recovery. Hospitalization, doctor visits, medical bills, time off work, and the inability to care for your family are all factors that will exceedingly increase your frustration levels. You have been left with physical scars and emotional turmoil, and returning to life after a fire is very difficult. There is no need to complicate your already fragile state with insurance companies trying to short change your situation.
There are so many nuances to an insurance settlement—especially after a fire. In fact, FEMA clarifies that victims of fires who return to the scene often find additional damage that occurred as a result of putting the fire out. Without a doubt, hiring someone who understands what you are fully entitled to can help you deal with the precise process required by insurance companies.
You also have to keep in mind a fire brings with it catastrophic losses. Often times, some of those losses can be much more valuable to you than they are on paper. Can you honestly place a dollar value on your wedding dress or on your child’s hospital photo? How much, exactly, was great grandma’s hope chest worth? You can’t put a dollar value on everything, and with the help of an attorney, you can be sure that you are appropriately compensated for both your physical burns as well as your emotional losses.
How soon after suffering from fire burns should I contact an attorney?
Contact representation as soon as possible. Never sign anything from an insurance company without first seeking legal guidance. After your accident, your energy will be focused on the arduous process of recovering from the burns you suffered. You will simply want to collect payment for your losses and move on—keeping your focus on fixing the physical destruction to both your body and your home. What you need to keep in mind is that both you and your family are entitled to some immediate compensation such as temporary housing, a food allowance, a clothing allowance, and any other basic survival needs. A suitable legal advocate will see that you are given reasonable allocations to cover these basic needs. The right attorney will see your case through to the end, from ensuring your basic needs are met to securing long term compensation for your suffering.
What’s the bottom line?
Insurance companies will often use industry jargon that can easily confuse fire burn victims. Legal representation will ensure you compensation for the many types of punitive, economic, and non-economic damages you’ve suffered. Find the right burn lawyer and hire someone who has your best interests at heart.