After a housefire, many people are left with more questions than answers and more grief than anything else. A housefire destroys lives by taking loved ones, eliminating the presence of a home, and the loss of all the resident’s belongings. These losses independently might be manageable, but together it’s unbearable for most families who experience this life-changing event.
The top causes of residential fires that lead to injuries or death include cooking, heating, general carelessness, or electrical malfunction. These issues do give some families the opportunity to seek compensation from the people or parties responsible.
Malfunctions in Electrical or Heating Units
Heating units, toasters, and all variety of small or large appliances can lead to housefires. Electrical hires are often more difficult to detect because they smolder for a long period of time rather than blazing freely. That means that people in the home are not likely to notice the smoldering smell until the fire is in full swing.
When it comes to defective products or issues that stem from the manufacturer, many families aren’t sure where to start. Do they need an Ohio wrongful death attorney, a personal injury lawyer, or a defective product case manager? In cases where a death was involved, you need a wrongful death attorney. However, that doesn’t mean that you might not have to involve product defect experts as part of your case.
Poor Servicing, Contract Work, or Similar Issues
As heating and electrical malfunction are among the top reasons for house fires, it’s clear that repair and servicing people or companies may play a role. For example, if a repair person comes out, fixes the heating unit, and then the house burns down because of a faulty repair that repair service company may be liable for their employee’s work.
Poor servicing and work from contractors that plays any role in the start of the fire can be held responsible. These people go into a home in an effort to make them more livable, not dangerous.
A house fire could come down to one particular person’s fault. For example, if a family was renting a home and reported that there were issues with a heater or electrical appliance, and the landlord did nothing, they may be liable. If, in this example, the electrical appliance worked but malfunctioned and the family continued to use it, and it led to a house fire, then the landlord failed to provide a duty of care. That means that the landlord failed to provide a safe living environment for their tenants.
Specific people involved could include:
- Person or persons responsible for the arson
- Property manager
- Property owner
- Other tenants (if cooking or similar carelessness led to the fire)
Taking a case against a specific person often isn’t the goal. Ideally, these cases will hold the highest level of responsible party at fault for the death and resulting pain.
Personal Injury Attorneys Can Offer Some Guidance in Wrongful Death Claims
Hiring a personal injury attorney for wrongful death claims is almost necessary. Not just anyone can submit a wrongful death claim, and not everyone can receive benefits. Often the only people eligible to receive benefits are the surviving spouse, children, parents, and in some cases, step-children. However, extended family, often the ones pushing for a case, rarely receive any benefits.
Courts may award damages for pain and suffering, funeral expenses, medical expenses incurred prior to death as a result of the fire, and even punitive damages. Punitive damages are rarely awarded because they’re meant to financially punish the person who was ultimately responsible for the death.
Punitive damages are most common in drunk driving accidents that result in death but can be present in fire-related deaths as well. Arson, negligence, and negligence, specifically on the part of landlords, can result in punitive damages, but it depends on the judge.
Contact Young, Reverman & Mazzei for More Information About Wrongful Death Claims
The law offices of Young, Reverman & Mazzei are here to help the families of victims throughout Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. Wrongful death claims are always difficult to manage, but our skilled and considerate attorneys are here to guide the family through this unknown territory.
When contacting our law office, be sure to mention the primary concern of the wrongful death. Then, we can ensure you will speak with an attorney that has experience and a skillset best matched to your needs. We will help you build a strong case and fight for the financial compensation for financial recovery and to cover the pain that your family has experienced.