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Landlord Liable for Injuries You Suffered in a Fire?
Things can be replaced. However, when you nearly lose your life in a fire, it can be life-changing. Burns of any degree hurt. Meanwhile, when fire robs you of air, you see your life flash before you. Depending on the circumstances, you may wonder if your landlord can be held liable for injuries you suffered in a fire.
First, you should know that New Jersey property owners and managers are bound by particular laws when it comes to keeping things right. Most definitely, it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure a building, such as a multi-unit apartment, is up to code and that the residents are safe.
Suppose a fire breaks out in your apartment kitchen while you are in the bedroom. You find yourself trapped in the bedroom. The fire escape outside your bedroom is broken. No doubt you are worried that you will never get out.
Fortunately, the fire department speeds to the scene and rescues you. You spend a few weeks in the area hospital’s burn unit. You are so grateful for the first responders, but you have plenty of questions.
Later you learn that your landlord received citations as a result of the fire. The authorities want to know why there are no smoke alarms in your apartment. Your landlord admits that he never got around to installing them. And, then, of course – there is the issue of the faulty fire escape.
Property owners and managers are responsible for maintaining their properties in order to prevent hazardous conditions that may result in a fire. If there is a fire, the cause must first be determined by a fire department investigator.
Assuming you’re not at fault for starting the fire in your apartment, an investigation might attribute the fire to the property owner or manager for failing to take appropriate fire preventive measures.
The following are examples of failures on the part of property ownership that could cause a fire:
- Not installing and checking fire alarms or sprinkler systems
- Poor fire detector and alert system in the building
- Inadequate number of fire doors; poor signage
- Faulty or exposed wiring
- Defective electrical appliances
- Gas Leaks
- Dryer fire
- Broken outlets
- Failure to maintain furnaces and water heaters
New Jersey’s Fire Code establishes minimum standards for the preventive maintenance of all required fire protection equipment to be installed on a property.
The injuries that victims can sustain as a result of a fire can be severe or life-threatening. When landlords fail to take the precautionary measures in order to prevent fires, the consequences can be dire. Fire-related injuries can include burns and breathing injuries from smoke inhalation.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries as a result of a fire and you think your landlord is negligent, you may be entitled to compensation and should consult an experienced New Jersey premises liability attorney. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo will help you to determine whether you may have a case. Call us today for a free consultation.