Residential fires may occur due to carelessness, ignorance, or negligence on the part of homeowners, and may result in serious injuries or death for them, their families, or others. Between 2013 and 2017, the National Fire Protection Association reports that home fires caused on average 11,220 injuries each year and 2,620 deaths.
Causes of House Fires
Residential fires may start due to any number of factors; however, these causes generally occur due to heat igniting flammable or combustible materials or as a result of chemical reactions. Some of the most common causes of combustion-involved fires include leaving the kitchen or cooking appliances unattended, leaving space heaters too close to fabrics or other flammable materials, faulty electrical wiring, smoking, and leaving candles unattended.
From cleaning supplies to gasoline, people often have potentially volatile materials in their homes without realizing the risk. Improperly storing these materials may allow their vapors to escape into the air and reach flash-point temperatures or come in contact with open flames. Improperly stored household chemicals may also react with the oxygen in the air, which may result in spontaneous combustion fires.
Liability for Fire Injuries and Wrongful Deaths
When people suffer injuries or death due to house fires in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a result of homeowner negligence, they may have grounds to seek financial compensation. With few exceptions, people owe others a general obligation to take reasonable steps to avoid creating potential risks of injury or death. Failure to do so, such as plaintiffs may argue in fire injury cases involving the improper storage of a volatile material, which caused a fire and their resultant injuries, may result in homeowners bearing the financial responsibility for injury victims’ losses. Should they have a homeowners’ policy with fire coverage, property owners’ insurance companies may payout for such damages.
Should they choose to take legal action, those who suffer harm as a result of residential fires may seek compensatory damages for their economic losses, including their to-date and anticipated future medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Fire injury victims may also seek damages for their non-economic losses, such as the physical and emotional pain caused by the fire and their resulting injuries. In addition to these damages on behalf of the decedent, families of those who suffer wrongful deaths in residential fires may also seek compensation for the funeral expenses and the emotional distress of their losses.