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Apartment Fire Burn Injury Lawsuits in Texas


Home » Helpful Houston Personal Injury Information » Apartment Fire Burn Injury Lawsuits in Texas

Apartment fires can be devastating, causing severe injuries and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured in an apartment fire, you may be entitled to compensation through a burn injury lawsuit. The legal options available to you after being burned in an apartment fire depend on the cause of the fire and proving negligence. Getting an experienced burn injury lawyer is an important step toward justice.

Understanding Apartment Fire Burn Injuries

Apartment fires can result in various burn injuries, ranging from minor to severe. These injuries can be caused by direct contact with flames, smoke inhalation, or exposure to hot surfaces or objects. In some cases, burns can also be caused by chemicals or electrical sources.

Burn injuries are classified into three categories: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns are the least severe and only affect the outer layer of skin. Second-degree burns affect both the outer and underlying layers of skin, while third-degree burns are the most severe and can cause damage to muscles, bones, and nerves.

If you have suffered a burn injury in an apartment fire, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. The liable party could include the landlord, property management company, or even a negligent tenant. Depending on the circumstances of the fire, you may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Negligence and Liability

To have a successful burn injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove that the responsible party was negligent. Negligence means that they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the fire from occurring or properly maintain the property, resulting in the fire.

Landlords have a legal duty to provide a safe living environment for their tenants. The duty includes ensuring the property is up to code, maintaining fire safety equipment, following smoke detector rules, and addressing potential hazards. If a landlord fails to fulfill these duties and an apartment fire occurs, they may be liable for any injuries.

What are Landlords’ Obligations Regarding Smoke Detectors in Texas?

In Texas, the landlord’s obligations regarding smoke detectors are generally covered in Section 92.255, which provides: 

(a) A landlord shall install at least one smoke alarm in each separate bedroom in a dwelling unit. In addition:

(1) if the dwelling unit is designed to use a single room for dining, living, and sleeping, the smoke alarm must be located inside the room;

(2) if multiple bedrooms are served by the same corridor, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the corridor in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and

(3) if the dwelling unit has multiple levels, at least one smoke alarm must be located on each level.

(b) If a dwelling unit was occupied as a residence before September 1, 2011, or a certificate of occupancy was issued for the dwelling unit before that date, a smoke alarm installed in accordance with Subsection (a) may be powered by a battery and is not required to be interconnected with other smoke alarms, except that a smoke alarm that is installed to replace a smoke alarm that was in place on the date the dwelling unit was first occupied as a residence must comply with residential building code standards that applied to the dwelling unit on that date or Section 92.252(b).

Other states may have different duties regarding smoke detectors.

Product Liability

In some cases, a defective product may have caused the apartment fire. Products that could create liablity include faulty wiring, malfunctioning appliances, or flammable materials used in building construction.

In these situations, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product.

Tenant Rights

As a tenant, you have the right to a safe living environment. If you believe your landlord has been negligent in maintaining the property, you can take legal action to protect your rights. You may file a complaint with the local housing authority or seek legal advice from a tenant rights organization.

However, if you are seriously burned and believe someone else is responsible, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Steps to Take After an Apartment Fire

If you have been injured in an apartment fire, it is important to take the following steps to protect your rights and ensure that you have a strong case for a burn injury lawsuit.

Seek Medical Attention

The first and most important step is to seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to have a medical professional assess them and document them for your case.

Document the Scene

If possible, take photos or videos of the scene of the fire and your injuries. Documentation can serve as valuable evidence in your case. Keep any medical records, bills, and other documentation related to your injuries.

Contact a Lawyer

It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an apartment fire. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process. They can also help you gather evidence and build a strong case for your burn injury lawsuit.

Compensation for Apartment Fire Burn Injuries

If you are successful in your burn injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for various damages. These may include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, medication, and rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages due to time off work for recovery
  • Pain and suffering, including physical and emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Property damage, such as damage to personal belongings in the apartment fire

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of the fire. A lawyer can help you determine the appropriate amount to seek in your lawsuit.

Read More: Burn Injury Verdicts and Settlements

Protecting Your Rights as a Tenant

As a tenant, it is important to understand your rights and take steps to protect them. This includes:

Knowing Your Lease Agreement

Before signing a lease, ensure you understand all the terms and conditions. This includes any clauses related to fire safety and property maintenance.

Reporting Hazards

If you notice any potential hazards in your apartment, such as faulty wiring or malfunctioning appliances, report them in writing to your landlord immediately. Reporting will not only protect your safety, but it will also serve as evidence in your case if an apartment fire occurs.

Documenting Communication with Landlord

Document all communication if you have reported hazards or other issues to your landlord. Keeping a record can include emails, letters, or notes from phone calls. The documentation will indicate your attempts to address any safety concerns.

Contact the Apartment Fire Lawyers in Houston at Baumgartner Law Firm for Help!

Apartment fires can result in devastating burn injuries, but you do not have to face the aftermath alone. By understanding your legal options and taking steps to protect your rights, you can seek compensation for your injuries and hold the responsible party accountable.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an apartment fire, seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call Baumgartner Law Firm for a free consultation at (281) 587-1111.

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About Our Law Firm

Baumgartner Law Firm is a Houston personal injury law firm headed by Greg Baumgartner.

Our firm was established in 1985 and has helped thousands of injury victims get maximum compensation for their cases. If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, TX, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. (281) 587-1111.

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