California Wildfire Threatens San Francisco Power Grid

What legal options are there for those injured in a fire or explosion?

When someone is hurt or killed as a result of a fire or explosion, damages may be recoverable.  The ability to recover depends on the specific situation and where the responsibility for the fire or explosion lies. For example, if a fire took place on public property, it must be determined if proper fire warning and protection systems were in place.

The following are examples of parties who may be found responsible in the aftermath of a fire or explosion:

  • Arsonist: If it is determined that a fire was started intentionally, the arsonist may be sued in civil court in addition to being prosecuted in criminal court. Insurance policies typically exclude coverage for intentional acts.
  • A negligent party: A person whose carelessness led to a fire or explosion will be liable for any foreseeable injuries resulting from the fire. In these cases, damages may be paid through insurance companies.
  • Landlord or motel owner: A landlord or motel owner can be responsible for a lack of working smoke detectors.
  • Owners of public property: Many buildings that are intended for public accommodation, such as schools, libraries, malls, office buildings and hotels, have special requirements for fire exits, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.
  • Municipality: A municipality has a duty to respond to an emergency situation such as a fire and can be held responsible in certain situations if an injury is caused by a failure to respond or negligence that happens in the course of their response.
  • Contractor: A contractor can cause a fire or explosion by acting in a careless manner, such as a landscaper who causes an explosion by piercing an underground gas line.
  • A utility company failing to maintain its gas lines.

Injuries suffered in a fire or explosion include death, burns, and scarring. Obtaining fair compensation can be a complicated process. Our San Jose personal injury attorney law firm is dedicated to helping those injured in these types of accidents.

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