Facebook Icon.       LinkedIn Icon.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases Related to Fire and Burn Injuries

May 5th, 2022

The wrongful death of a loved one is never easy, but when your loved one burned to death or perished from smoke inhalation due to a fire, the pain and anger may be compounded. If you’ve lost a family member in a fire-related accident that was preventable or caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss under the law.

Among the many types of accidents that can result in wrongful death claims, let’s focus on four that are most commonly associated with fire-related deaths, and take a closer look at these.

Premises Liability

Premises liability cases are among the most common situations under which fire-related deaths may occur. We usually think of premises liability in terms of slip-and-fall accidents (i.e., the owner/manager of the property is liable for someone’s injuries if they slip and fall). However, if a fire starts on the owner’s premises as a result of maintenance or fire safety violations, they can be held accountable for any injuries and/or deaths that occur as a result.

Product Liability

Fire-related deaths can also frequently be traced to faulty products that are defective either in design or materials. Common recent examples include electronics that suddenly catch fire or the recent rash of “hoverboards” that have ignited for no apparent reason. If a faulty product causes a fire, and that fire takes the life of someone you love, the manufacturer of that product may be liable for a wrongful death claim.

Workplace Injuries

Employers have a duty to provide safe working conditions for their employees. Unsafe workplace conditions cause many deaths each year, including from fires that began unnecessarily, whether from fire code violations or from dangerous equipment being operated in unsafe conditions. Worker’s Compensation provides a death benefit for the families of employees who are killed in workplace accidents. But if the cause of death is fire-related, it may become more complicated to collect that benefit—or it may not be enough to cover the loss. In some cases, you may be eligible to file a separate wrongful death claim against a third party responsible for causing the fire.

Car Accidents

Wrongful death claims are frequently associated with fatal car crashes, but we include car accidents here specifically because vehicle collisions sometimes spark fires. If your loved one dies from burns or smoke inhalation due to a car catching fire as te result of a crash, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the driver at fault—and in some cases, the manufacturer of the vehicle.

Even if a fire-related death can easily be traced to someone’s negligence, wrongful death claims can be difficult to prove—and not everyone is legally entitled to receive wrongful death benefits. It’s best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure your claim has the best chance of success. To discuss your case and determine if you’re eligible to file a wrongful death claim, call today to schedule a consultation with us.