Who Is Liable for Nevada Rental Apartment Fire Injuries?

firemen putting out a fire
Madeleine Jones
November 25, 2020

A rental apartment fire is a significant inconvenience for both tenants and apartment owners. It can leave you with a significant amount of loss of personal property and rental apartment fire injuries.  Property owners are left with major repairs to make sure they can continue to get income from it. As everyone tries to go back to normal, the financial and emotional costs will only continue to increase as well as the need to determine who is legally liable. In the case of the fire causing severe injuries or death, it is extremely urgent to establish liability. Property owners and tenants might point fingers at each other. If you or a loved one have suffered from any rental apartment fire injuries, you need the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney that can protect your legal rights.

firemen putting out a fire

What Causes Apartment Fires?

Your apartment catching on fire is a scary thought, especially in multi-unit residential buildings. A fire typically starts when a tenant is doing everyday activities. On the other hand, the cause may be unseen. The following are examples of common causes of apartment fires:

  • Electrical equipment
  • Cooking equipment
  • Cooking
  • Portable heaters
  • Smoking
  • Candles
  • Faulty wiring
  • Faulty appliances
  • Lighting

What Is Landlord Negligence?

Negligence is when someone behaves without regard for the consequences of their actions. This negligence can come in two forms, such as an action or a failure to act that leads to someone getting injured.

Particularly, one of the benefits of renting an apartment over owning it is that your landlord is the one responsible for maintaining it. A good landlord will be responsive and will make sure the property you’re renting is safe and habitable. As a renter, you are not generally responsible for plumbing or roof leaks, and heating or cooling systems.

When a landlord’s actions put their tenants in a direct financial loss or harm, tenants may be able to get compensation for their situation. The landlord negligence’s elements include the following:

Duty of Care

A landlord and/or the property manager have a duty to keep your residence habitable and livable for you.

Breach of Duty

When a tenant files a lawsuit against their landlord they have to prove that their landlord breached their duty of care. This is typically done by violating the contract or the rent. An example of this can be if a tenant complains about a roof leak, then the landlord has the duty to fix it. If the landlord doesn’t fix it, that is a breach of duty.

Causation

Causation is when a landlord or property owner fails to act on a problem that makes the property inhabitable. When causation is the cause of the property’s damages, the tenant may file a lawsuit against the landlord for negligence.

Damages

Sometimes it is hard to prove damages. A tenant has to be able to prove that the landlord failed to fix a situation that somehow led to damages. If the tenant’s claim is successful, they can recover compensation for the damages.

How Can a Landlord be Liable for an Apartment Fire?

We already went through the most common causes of apartment fires. However, apartment landlords or property managers are responsible for installing fire safety systems. When they fail to do so and breach their duty, they may be held liable for any injuries or deaths resulting from a fire.

The following are common reasons why a landlord’s negligence can cause an apartment fire:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Overcrowding
  • Violating building codes
  • No smoke detectors
  • No fire extinguishers
  • Heating equipment
  • Smoking
  • Defective smoke alarms
  • Blocked fire exits
  • Pest infestations
  • No fire alarms

All of the above are negligent behaviors that a landlord must address immediately. An apartment fire can lead to a big explosion that can hurt tenants, not only in that apartment but in the apartments next to it. A landlord may not be responsible directly for a cooking fire, which is the most common cause of house fires, but they are responsible for providing the appropriate safety equipment to prevent fire injuries and/or death.

Why Is Evidence Critical?

Everyone involved in a fire investigation has something to get out of it. The property owners need to get the insurance money to pay for the building repairs. The tenants want to have their personal belongings replaced. And, if someone is severely injured, they will seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income. When a death occurs, the survivors will most likely file a wrongful death claim. Everybody needs to know the outcome of the investigation.

All insurance companies need to know how the fire started. If the evidence shows that their insured committed arson or fraud that void coverage, the insurance companies don’t have to pay. The evidence also helps the affected parties determine their legal right to file a claim against the person liable for the fire.

Compensation For Apartment Fires

The most common damages collected in apartment fires include the following:

  • Cost to replace lost or damaged personal belongings 
  • Medical expenses
  • Cost to restore personal property 
  • Relocation costs 
  • Additional living costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

Injured In An Apartment Fire? Call Cogburn Law

Apartment fires can cause severe or deadly injuries. In the unfortunate event, you suffered any rental apartment fire injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Cogburn Law today at (702) 748-7777  for an initial consultation. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will help you through this. You won’t be alone during this difficult time.

Do you want to learn more about the personal injury claim process? Add your email below and we will send you our guide free of charge. It includes useful tips on things to avoid when going through a personal injury claim and how you can give yourself the best chance of winning it.