Burn injuries can result in a few different ways, with an actual house or building fire being just one of them. There are also burn injuries that occur from auto accidents or simple and even brief contact with a hot item or surface. In some cases, chemical burns happen through contact with certain chemicals. The manner in which your burn occurs will determine what sort of California personal injury claim you may have. You might have a premises liability claim, an auto accident claim, or even a workers’ compensation claim if the injury occurs at work. Here, we’ll take a deeper look into those burn injuries that occur in or at a home or building and are pursued as premises liability personal injury claims.
Understanding Premises Liability Personal Injury Claims in California
If you have experienced burn injuries on someone else’s property in California, then you likely have a premises liability personal injury claim against that property owner and/or their homeowners insurance. Burn injuries that occur on personal property typically happen because of a dangerous condition, which quite often arises from the negligence of the property owner. Legally, the property owner cannot claim that he or she had no knowledge of the dangerous circumstance in such cases. Rather, the property owner is legally liable or responsible for being aware of any dangerous conditions. For instance, if there is an electrical problem that causes a fire, the property owner should have been aware of it, even if they were not. They should have known by doing regular inspections and keeping their property well maintained. If they did not know about it, and this lack of knowledge of the dangerous condition means that they did nothing to correct it, then they are still liable for any resulting injuries.
An Example of Premises Liability from Oakland, California
In one recent example of a premises liability claim involving a fire in Oakland California, 36 people died from a warehouse fire, when they were attending a party in the given building. The owners of the building had no legal right to host such a party, and they had not ensured that the property included appropriate exits or sprinklers just in case of a fire. For this reason, regardless of what started the fire, they are responsible. Of course, if it were determined to have been arson, then the arsonists would also be held responsible, with criminal charges filed against them. Even so, the property owner, who was illegally hosting a party in a building that was not set up for such use with the appropriate safety precautions taken, is still legally liable in all of the resulting personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Strict Liability For Personal Injury Claims and Wrongful Death Claims in California
In California, there are strict liability laws as well as the general theory of negligence. These laws mean that the individuals who promoted and hosted the dance party at the Oakland, CA warehouse fire are likely to be held legally and financially liable for all of the associated damages. Anyone who hosts a party in California has a legal duty of care to those who attend. This brings us to the topic of how to prove negligence in any personal injury or wrongful death claim. You must prove that the responsible party owed you a duty of care, that he or she failed to uphold that duty of care, that this negligence resulted in the given accident, and that the accident resulted in your injuries or the death of a loved one.
In the case of the warehouse fire, the promoters or property owners did not uphold their duty of care, which would have involved ensuring the safety of those attending the party, with property maintenance and the inclusion of fire exits and sprinkler systems. None of this was addressed before the party occurred, so each person who was injured and everyone who lost a loved one, can file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.
How Are Personal Injury Claims Involving Burn Injuries Different From Other Claims?
Personal injury claims involving burn injuries are different from other personal injury claims in that the injuries from burns are more painful and involve more long term consequences than many other injuries. Someone with serious burns will have to go through long periods of painful recovery, typically hospitalized for months with painful procedures to attend to their burn injury wounds. They can also end up with permanent and disfiguring scars. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by burn injuries in California, contact the dedicated personal injury attorneys in California at the Sargent Law Firm for a free consultation.