Household fires are among the most traumatic and scary incidents that can happen to a person. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 1.3 million house fires took place in 2017. House fires caused 3,400 deaths that year and resulted in over 14,670 injuries. The property damage came in at $23 billion dollars in 2017. According to Ready.Gov, a website run by the Department of Homeland Security, a household fire can become deadly within just two minutes.
Household fires cause smoke and toxic gasses to fill a home. The gases and smoke kill more household fire victims than the actual fire itself. An entire home can become engulfed in flames within five minutes. If you have survived a household fire in North Carolina, you may be suffering from significant loses, expenses and/or personal injuries. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation.Causes of Residential House Fires in 2017
There are several different causes of fires throughout the United States. In 2017, 1,900 fatal residential fires happened in residential buildings. The causes for these fires included the following:
- 7.5% of residential buildings fires were caused by an electrical malfunction
- 11.8% of fires were caused by someone smoking
- 13.1% of fires were intentionally started
- 13.6% of fires were still under investigation
- 16.7% of fires were unintentional or caused by carelessness
- 37.3% of the fires were caused by all other causes
Each homeowner’s insurance policy is unique. The text of the home insurance policy will state which fire events the insurance policy will cover. Some homeowner’s fire insurance policies only cover damage caused by the fire. Other policies will cover any problems stemming from the fire, including water damage and smoke. Full coverage policies may also cover melted personal property, wind damage, structural damage, plumbing, and electrical damage.Filing a Homeowner Claim After a House Fire
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our lawyers understand how stressful a house fire can be. Not only are you displaced from your home, but you have likely suffered physical injuries from the house fire. Escaping a house fire can also have an extremely negative traumatic effect on your mental health. In addition to all of the stress surrounding a house fire, victims also need to deal with filing a homeowner’s insurance claim. Homeowner insurance companies are notorious for offering settlement amounts that are far too low. In many cases, homeowner’s insurance policies will unfairly deny the initial settlement amount.
Our lawyers know that their clients have faithfully paid insurance premiums with the expectation that should their home become destroyed, the insurance company will provide compensation to which they are entitled. Our lawyers have the skill and experience to assertively negotiate with insurance companies who are seeking to avoid paying house fire claims. If your home insurance company unfairly denied your insurance claim, you may have legal recourse to compensation.Take a Careful Inventory of Items Lost in the House Fire
It is important to file a homeowner’s insurance claim as soon as possible after your house fire. The homeowner’s insurance company will require you to submit a “proof of loss claim.” You will include all of the items you lost in this form. Be sure to make a detailed list of things that you lost in the fire. Make the list as soon as possible after the fire so you will remember more of your lost possessions. Include your new home. small items that you may not think are worth listing. Small items will all add up. Remember, you will have to replace all of these items in your new home.
Also, do not throw away any items that have been ruined by the fire. Many victims of house fires begin to toss out damaged items. However, insurance claims adjusters often want to see proof of the items that have been damaged in the fire. Hold onto the items until the claims adjuster is able to see the items.Our Skilled Personal Injury Lawyers can Help
If you have suffered personal injuries or property damage in a house fire, you can benefit from the extensive skill of our personal injury lawyers. We will focus on negotiating with your homeowner insurance company. If necessary, we will bring a lawsuit for your compensation. Contact our personal injury law firm as soon as possible to schedule your free, initial consultation. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.