Tragically, a mother and her two young daughters (aged 9 and 11) recently lost their lives in an apartment fire in Brooklyn. The fire swept through their third-floor apartment early in the morning. A neighbor on the same floor barely escaped with her life. New York City Fire Department (FDNY) officials later determined that the blaze started in the kitchen, which lacked a working smoke alarm.
Unfortunately, stories like this are all too common. New York leads the nation when it comes to deaths caused by residential fires. In 2022, 144 people lost their lives to residential fires throughout the state. According to one local news source, there have already been 45 such deaths in the first three months of 2023 alone.
How Do You Prove Liability After an Apartment Fire?
Many of these deaths and injuries could have been avoided had the landlord followed building and fire codes. Establishing liability after an apartment fire in New York requires a thorough investigation of the scene to gather evidence substantiating your legal claim. However, structural fires can be extremely destructive, which sometimes means they leave very little evidence behind. This usually requires the services of a fire cause and origin expert. Even so, specialized fire investigators typically can determine the underlying cause of most residential and commercial fires.
Property owners and other responsible parties will likely push back hard against your claim seeking compensation. That is why you need a resourceful and knowledgeable attorney fighting in your corner. The skilled legal team at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. can help by connecting with fire investigation experts, evaluating all available evidence, and building a strong claim on your behalf. Our legal team is ready to help you pursue monetary damages for your harm and losses, including financial loss, pain, suffering, disfigurement, and future medical or cosmetic expenses.
Can I Sue for Wrongful Death After a Residential Fire in New York?
Yes. A wrongful death includes any fatality caused by another’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. In New York, the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation from the at-fault party. Their personal representative may be appointed in a will or, in the absence of a will, by a court. The proceeds from wrongful death lawsuits are distributed to the deceased person’s dependents and heirs.
Is There a Deadline for Filing My Case?
Although the standard deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New York is three years after the date of injury, there is a shorter, two-year deadline for wrongful death lawsuits. No matter which deadline governs your case, it will be strictly enforced. Failure to file on time nearly always results in your case being dismissed in court, thereby destroying your right to sue for money as compensation for your economic losses, medical bills, pain, suffering, and disfigurement through a civil lawsuit.
Avoid this result by consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. This will give your attorney plenty of time to investigate your case and build a strong legal claim on your behalf.
Why You Should Hire an Experienced Burn Injury Lawyer Sooner
An experienced burn injury lawyer will immediately take care of the following:
- Send letters of representation to all defendants and insurance companies
- Demand that valuable evidence be photographed and preserved
- Secure the premises for a cause and origin investigation
- Review and supplement, if necessary, official investigation reports
- Conduct an on-site inspection
- Interview critical witnesses and take their statements
- Determine if a defective product or smoke alarm caused the fire or failed to alert you to it
- Determine if there were building code violations
- Assist with arranging for medical care with expert physicians
- Assist with scar revision
- File suit and question defendants while under oath
- Determine the cost of future medical care and scar revision
- Negotiate a settlement or prepare to go forward to trial
Contact an Experienced New York Attorney for Help
If you are the victim of a residential fire caused by little to no fault of your own, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. This is the best way to get started on a strong footing down the road toward accountability and compensation. At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to helping people like you recover fair compensation for their losses. Call us at (833) 862-3205 or visit our website to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
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Since 1981, the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon have been delivering results for our deserving clients. We are solely committed to helping injured individuals, never representing corporations. No matter how large or small your personal injury case is, you can trust that it is important to us.