Fires are particularly devastating events due to how fast they spread, how quickly they destroy, and how all-consuming the destruction often is. Surprisingly, a home or apartment fire can completely envelop a home or apartment unit within as few as five minutes!
If you ever experience an apartment fire, then it’s paramount to get the right medical care, properly value your losses, and fully explore your options for financial recovery. Often, it makes the most sense to talk to the best possible apartment fire lawyer Atlanta has to offer to ensure that you consider every legal option available to you. After all, you’ll likely experience a wave of losses in the aftermath of the fire.
Get more details about apartment fires, the most common causes, the different types of losses you’re likely to experience, and what options you have for legal compensation below.
How to Cope With an Atlanta Apartment Fire
As of mid-2023, Georgia had the second highest number of fire fatalities throughout the country. Throughout 2022, at least 69 individuals passed away in home fires in the state.
If you recently experienced a home or apartment fire, then it’s important to contact a team of the best house fire lawyers Atlanta has to offer as soon as possible. Getting in touch with a lawyer in a timely manner will ensure that your rights are upheld, and any potential future claim is protected.
First, get yourself and your family the medical treatment you need to cope with any injuries. Remember that some injuries can occur due to smoke inhalation, so don’t assume you’re okay just because you didn’t get burned. After you get checked out, you’ll need to analyze the extent of your property damage.
From there, you’ll need to start making a decision on how you want to handle your losses. You’ll need to consider the circumstances of the fire, what caused it, whether you have an insurance policy, and whether any negligence on the part of another party played a role in your losses.
What Causes Apartment Fires?
First, you need to determine what caused the fire. Your ability to pursue compensation for your losses will hinge on what caused the fire to break out. This holds true whether you decide to file a claim against a negligent apartment complex owner or use your renter’s insurance policy to cover your losses. Here are some of the top causes of apartment complex fires:
- Defective appliances
- Faulty wiring
- Improper use of candles or space heaters
- Extension cords
- Tenant carelessness
- Lack of maintenance
If you’re unsure about what caused your apartment fire, then it’s best to contact a quality apartment fire lawyer in Atlanta for help. The right lawyer can help prompt an investigation into the fire situation if one hasn’t begun already. They can help you identify the cause of your fire as well as inform you about how that might have an impact on your legal options.
Types of Damage Caused by Apartment Fires
Apartment complex fires can be completely devastating, especially when a loss of life occurs. Below, we’ll go over some of the different types of damages caused by fires.
1. Physical Injuries
Fires can lead to serious physical injuries. Even when you don’t get burned, you could suffer from smoke inhalation or other injuries sustained while you fled from danger.
Anytime your injuries result in significant medical bills or other losses, like lost wages, it’s best to contact the best apartment fire lawyer Atlanta has to offer. They can help you determine if you have any legal options for seeking out financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
2. Property Damage
Apartment fires also usually result in significant property damage. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to accurately value all your losses after a fire. Some items were probably irreplaceable, and your possessions have likely been collected over your lifetime. A house fire lawyer in Atlanta can help you assess your losses in the best way possible.
3. Emotional Distress
Fires can also cause long-lasting emotional distress. Fires can be traumatic, and survivors may need therapy to overcome newfound anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other issues.
4. Financial Compensation from Wrongful Death Claims
Tragically, some apartment complex fires lead to fatalities. Under these circumstances, a fire damage lawyer in Atlanta can help surviving loved ones pursue compensation for burial costs, a loss of financial support, pain and suffering, and more.
Understanding Premises Liability Claims in Apartment Fires
Many apartment fires in Atlanta are the result of apartment complex owner negligence. Under premises liability laws in Georgia, apartment complex owners have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of tenants.
Statistics show that the risk of dying in a home fire is 55% lower when the home is equipped with an operating smoke alarm. In general, an apartment complex owner’s legal duty of care would include installing proper smoke alarms and fire protective equipment around their complexes. A failure to use these adequate safety measures could amount to legal negligence. If courts determine that an apartment complex owner was negligent, then they may be held financially responsible for your losses.
Statute of Limitations and Requirements for Filing a Claim in Atlanta
There are specific laws that limit the amount of time you have to seek out a fire claim after an accident. In general, the statute of limitations extends for two years after the date of the fire. If you wait longer than that, then you will forfeit your right to pursue compensation even if you can prove that someone else’s negligence caused the fire.
In order to file a claim in Atlanta, your situation must have all the following elements:
- The apartment complex owner had a legal duty to provide for your safety (you were a tenant or invited guest on the property)
- The apartment complex owner failed to uphold their duty of care and provide adequate fire security measures
- This breach in the property owner’s duty of care contributed to or caused the fire
- You suffered losses as a result of the fire
If you have more questions or you’re not sure if your circumstances meet the threshold for a claim, then it’s best to consult with a fire apartment attorney in Atlanta. The right lawyer will be able to help you make an informed decision about pursuing a claim during an initial consultation.
Hiring an Experienced Atlanta Apartment Fire Lawyer
If you think someone else’s actions may have caused or contributed to the fire you experienced and your losses are significant, then it might be worth your time to consider your legal options. An apartment fire lawyer in Atlanta can help you determine if you have the basis to seek out a claim, but they’ll also help you determine if it’s worth your time and effort, too.
In general, a lawyer for fire damage in Atlanta will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they’ll only get paid once you do. That being said, you can rest assured that they won’t encourage you to seek out a claim if it isn’t likely to be a success. If you don’t get paid, then they won’t either!
Are You Ready to Get Started on an Apartment Fire Claim?
After an apartment fire, you may feel like your entire life has been reset. There’s a lot of truth to that statement considering many of your possessions are likely lost forever, you may be injured, and you’ll need to start rebuilding from scratch.
The good news is that you may not have to cope with all the losses on your own if someone else’s negligence contributed to or caused the apartment fire. Make sure to consult with an Atlanta premises liability attorney to learn more about your options. The right lawyer will make sure you’re fully informed regarding your options, which will help you make an informed choice on how to move forward.
Are you ready to get started on an apartment fire claim in Atlanta or a nearby area? If so, then our office can help. Schedule a consultation with our team now to learn more about how we can help.