If your home was damaged or destroyed by fire due to the negligence of someone else, you will be entitled to all reasonable damages that you sustain as a direct result of the fire. Such damages could include the cost of:
- Temporary hotel lodging,
- Rent for an apartment or home while your home cannot be occupied or during the course of your home being re-built,
- Furniture, clothing, appliances, and other items destroyed by the fire,
- A replacement vehicle and limited rental car expenses, if a vehicle is destroyed,
- Securing the house to prevent theft, restoration costs, and costs to secure undamaged property at a storage facility,
- Incidental damages incurred as a direct result of the fire.
How Are These Costs Determined?
It’s important to understand that the purpose of a lawsuit is to make the injured or damaged person “whole” to the extent possible, not to confer a windfall on such person. In this regard, it will be up to a jury to determine the fair market value of property destroyed in the fire, and the plaintiff will be entitled to such amount.
Those who have had a home destroyed by fire should act in a reasonable and prudent manner in seeking to minimize expenses. Normally, it is the job of the jury to determine what constitutes “reasonable.” For instance, apartment renters should seek to find a new apartment to rent, and a homeowner might seek to rent a home while their current home is being re-built. Temporary accommodations in hotels are usually necessary, but long-term hotel accommodations may not be compensable.
Personal Injury and Lost Wages
In addition to being compensated for property loss, you will also be entitled to compensation for any injuries that you suffer, and for lost wages. For more information about burn compensation, please see “Types of Compensation for Burn Injuries.”
How We Help
If your home has been burned due to the actions of another, we can advise you as to what actions you should take. Typically, in the case where a person has renters’ or homeowners’ insurance, the insurance company should be notified immediately. While many insurance companies do the right thing and treat people as they should be treated under insurance policies, unfortunately there are many adjustors who provide inaccurate information to homeowners in order to try to save money.
We are with clients at every step of the way in seeking to obtain a full recovery from all those who may be liable for a home fire. When insurance companies do not treat their clients fairly, we will advise them of our representation and their obligations. For others who were responsible for causing the fire, we initiate litigation and seek to recover from them on behalf of our clients for every penny that they are owed.