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Philadelphia Fire and Explosions Lawyer

Fire victims and their families suffer physical and emotional trauma. The burn injury recovery process is painful and often requires the care of skilled nursing staff day and night.  Burn cases or cases involving a death of another due to fire can be quite complex, but the Philadelphia fire and explosions injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Associates have knowledge of fire investigations and can be trusted with your legal case. If you or a family member have suffered injuries from a fire or explosion, our Philadelphia fire and explosion lawyers at Rosenbaum & Associates can help. Free consultations are available.

Injury and/or loss claims usually involve negligence or product liability issues. Negligent behavior has been proven against building owners, managers or landlords, building designers/architects and firefighters. Manufacturers and distributors of products (such as gas grills, electrical equipment, etc.) that cause fires can also be held responsible under a products liability theory. In a recent study, the NFPA found that in 2011, over 47,700 home fires were caused by a malfunction in electrical equipment.  However, many of these victims of home fires did not hold manufacturers responsible for their losses and never received the compensation they rightly deserved.

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Why Choose Us?

  • Since 1992, our law firm has focused exclusively on personal injury cases. We focus all of our experience and knowledge on personal injury cases to help injured victims recover.
  • We have helped recoup more than $100 million in damages to victims and their families.
  • We work on a contingency fee basis. Our firm only gets paid if our attorneys win the case or recover damages.

What Are Common Causes of Fires & Explosions?

The leading causes of fires and explosions include the following:

Cooking Equipment

Fires are quickly caused when pots or pans overheat or splatter grease and when people get distracted and leave their cooking unattended. Dish towels, oven mitts, paper towels etc. should also be kept away from heat sources. In the event of a fire: 

  • Remove the heat source if possible;
  • Use a fire blanket or fire extinguisher if you have one, or pour baking soda if it is a smaller fire. 
  • If it is a grease fire, do not use water or try to move the burning pot. 
  • Make sure you are safe and call 911 if necessary. 

Heating Equipment

A leading cause of fires due to heating equipment, such as portable heaters or chimneys, is failure to clean. Appliances must be inspected regularly and chimneys inspected and cleaned annually. The leading cause of home heating fire deaths is equipment being too close to things that can burn, such as the wall, mattress, bedding, upholstered furniture, etc.

Careless Smoking

One in 20 house fires is started by smoking materials, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Most commonly, these fires begin on an exterior balcony or porch when the material is left lit and drops or is thrown on the floor. 

Electrical Equipment

Malfunctioning electrical outlets or faulty wiring are responsible for many fires each year. These are often due to electrical appliances having loose or frayed cords/plugs, outlets being overloaded with plugs, electrical wires being run under rugs or heavy furniture, or overusing an extension cord or adaptor.

Candles

Candles are an open flame in a home and, if left unattended or forgotten about, can quickly start a large fire, especially if they are too close to some combustible material. 

 

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What Injuries Commonly Occur After Fire & Explosions?

The number one type of injury caused by fires and explosions is burns. Burns are categorized based on how deeply the burn might have penetrated a person’s skin.

  • First-Degree Burns are the least serious compared to other burns. They cause the skin to become red and sore and can still be painful. 
  • Second-Degree Burns affect the lower layer of skin, resulting in painful swelling and blisters. There will be blistering, moderate to severe pain, swelling, and discoloration. 
  • Third-Degree Burns or full-thickness burns are severe and burn through the bottom layer of skin and into the muscle and tissue. This can impact movement at the burn location, and cause permanent scarring, discoloration, raised/rough skin, and numbness. Since the nerve endings are burnt, third-degree burns may not be painful at first. However, they may require surgery and/or skin grafts, and the recovery process will be extremely painful. 
  • Fourth-Degree Burns can be fatal. All levels of skin are burned through along with fat, nerves, tendons, and muscles. The bones can even be affected, and victims who survive will likely have irreparable charring and a waxy, stiff, or leathery skin appearance. 

Explosion injuries can widely vary, but victims typically have little time to react, resulting in more severe or catastrophic injuries. For example: 

  • Blunt force trauma occurs when debris from the explosion hits the victim hard enough to inflict injury or death.
  • Traumatic brain injuries from getting thrown in the blast. 
  • Burns can occur when the explosion creates fire and heat.
  • Blast lung can occur without an obvious injury to the chest, causing respiratory difficulty or hypoxia, and is the most common cause of explosion-related fatalities.  
  • Smoke inhalation can cause temporary damage, but in other cases, it can be life-threatening.

Is a Property Owner Liable For Fire Damages?

An owner or business is generally responsible for keeping its property safe for persons lawfully on the property. Therefore, fires and injuries resulting from improper use or maintenance can result in liability. For example, storing flammable materials near a heat sources or other improper storage, failure to maintain wiring, and blocking or obstructing fire exits. If the owner is conducting “ultra hazardous” activities, such as blasting, they are responsible for injuries even they were not negligent.

Who Is Liable For Damages Caused By Fires or Explosions?

A thorough investigation may reveal persons involved with the construction and design of the building are at fault. Specifically it is important to review the architect’s and contractor’s work to ensure they met building code specifications. In addition, building maintenance crews and security providers may have contributed to the fire.

Liability may be imposed on these providers even if their conduct did not directly cause the fire, but rather contributed to the spread of the fire or the extent of the damage. In some special instances, even firefighters may be held responsible for negligent performance of their job.

Fires & Explosions from Defective Products

Defective or dangerously designed products may directly cause a fire, such as an exploding gas tank. In addition, the product may be defective because it did function/respond appropriately once a fire already started. For example, if sleep ware was not adequately flame resistant or a smoke detector failed to sound. In these cases the manufacturer or distributer would be responsible for the additional damages caused by the failure of their product. More information about defective products.

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Contact Us

Whatever the legal theory involved, the successful resolution of these claims requires a Philadelphia personal injury attorney experienced in all aspects of fire-related litigation. Involving an experienced fire loss attorney as soon as possible after the incident is critical to the collection of evidence regarding the cause the fire, as well as identifying all responsible parties. By contacting a Philadelphia fire injury attorney at Rosenbaum & Associates with experience in the area of fires and explosions, you ensure that you will receive the fullest possible protection.

If you would like more information please contact us online or call (215) 569-0200 for a free case evaluation with our Philadelphia fire and explosions lawyers.

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