No Smoke Alarm or Extinguisher
I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes from a listener whose “family member suffered smoke inhalation in an apartment fire, and they would like to know their legal options.”
Many times, we have assisted families who have suffered injuries or loss of a loved one in an apartment or home fire.
The lack of a functioning smoke alarm or even a lack of a functioning fire extinguisher can be important.
When landlords fail to maintain a safe environment for apartment residents in the event of a fire (even where the landlord is not at fault for the fire) the lack of a smoke alarm or extinguisher may be instrumental in causing injury. Here’s what attorneys look for:
- was the smoke alarm sounding at the time of the fire?
- was the smoke alarm properly placed in the apartment, or was it too far from a bedroom to alert someone asleep in a bedroom
- was the smoke alarm of a modern type capably of quickly sensing a fire
- was there a fire suppression system in the apartment (either sprinklers, hand extinguishers, or range hood mounted extinguishers)
- did the lack of suppression equipment combined with a lack of alarm warning increase the risk of injury
- were escape routes marked for the building
- did the apartment have a sufficient number of escape routes
- were fire escape ladders (fixed or rope) provided
Of course, there may also be issues of a malfunctioning smoke alarm which may lead to a case against the manufacturer or seller of the smoke alarm.
In short, without an experienced attorney in your corner, you could end up leaving a rock unturned and not recovering for the full extent of your injuries.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.