Dallas Burn Injury Attorney
Major fires can happen in a matter of seconds. Fires consume everything in their paths, including property and people. Burn injuries can take weeks to heal and leave behind serious scarring and disfigurement. Survivors of burn collisions will tell you the same thing: prevention is better than cure. Preventing a fire is possible with the correct safety measures. If you have suffered a burn injury on someone else’s property due to insufficient fire prevention methods, find out what the law can do for you.
Premises Liability Laws and Fires
In 2014, there were 72,124 reported fires in Texas. These fires resulted in 780 injuries and 163 deaths. Burn injuries are severe and can have complications involving infection that make health consequences even worse. Premises liability laws obligate every property owner in Texas to maintain their properties and do everything within their reasonable power to prevent fires. If a fire starts on someone’s property, resulting in injury, the victim(s) may sue the property owner if he or she suspects that negligence caused or contributed to the fire.
Premises liability claims involving fire deal with the property owner’s responsibility to provide reasonable care to visitors. In the case of a business, visitors are “invitees.” Reasonable care for invitees in Texas includes repairing known hazards, detecting and repairing unknown hazards, and posting adequate warnings of hazards not yet repaired. To detect unknown hazards, a property owner needs to understand a few common causes of property fires.
Common Causes of Property Fires
Property owners must do their best to be aware of potential fire hazards. The Texas courts expect property owners to foresee a fire to the best of their abilities, including looking into a building’s fire history and understanding industry-specific fire risks. Common causes of fires include:
- Exposed or faulty electrical wires
- Outlets that do not function correctly
- Gas leaks
- Defective equipment
Property owners must routinely check a building’s wiring and electrical outlets, hiring a professional electrician if necessary. They must replace old or faulty wiring and outlets and repair places where wiring is exposed. Electrical fires cause hundreds of fires in Texas every year. Electrical fires that start within the walls are especially dangerous, as visitors may not detect the fire until it is too large to put out.
Natural gas leaks are another common cause of fires. Natural gas is flammable, as it is primarily methane. Pure natural gas is odorless and colorless, making a leak difficult to detect. Property owners must have a system in place to detect a natural gas leak in time to evacuate the facility and reduce the risk of fire and explosion.
Defective equipment and appliances, including ovens, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, heaters, and fans, can all cause fires. Property owners must repair known equipment hazards that can spark or overheat and routinely check appliances for defects. Failure to take action to reasonably prevent a fire from occurring can be a punishable offense.
Injured in a Fire Collision on Someone Else’s Property?
To avoid liability in a fire incident, property owners must initiate fire prevention techniques. These include installing and maintaining smoke detectors, keeping fire extinguishers on the property, clearly marking emergency exits, and training employees how to handle a fire emergency. Failure to adhere to federal and state fire safety rules can lead to a dangerous fire collision, which, in turn, can justify a lawsuit against the property owner.
Here at the Law Office of Stephen W. Shoultz, we sincerely hope that you have not been injured in a fire collision on someone else’s property. If you have, however, contact our firm for legal counsel. Our premises liability attorneys will help you identify who is at fault for a fire injury and take the steps necessary to pursue compensation.