Seven people suffered injuries in a fire in the Corona section of Queens the night of Sept. 1. According to a CBS news report, the fire spread between two multiple-family homes. The victims included two NYPD officers, two FDNY firefighters and three civilians. All of them suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to an area hospital for treatment. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, CBS reports that neighbors saw cables between the homes sparking. The Red Cross helped temporarily house about 20 displaced residents, CBS reports. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this fire.
New York City Fires
Fires have killed more New Yorkers than residents of any other state through the first seven months of 2023, with 100 dead, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). New York State, with 19.4 million people, saw more fire deaths compared to states with larger populations. California, for example, had 57 deaths from a population of 39.24 million residents. Texas had 72 fire deaths among its population of 29.53 million people.
Of the state’s 100 fire-related deaths, 71 occurred in New York City. FDNY and the USFA said of those, 23 were in residences where no smoke detector was present; eight were in homes where a detector was present but not working; in another eight it was unclear if the detectors were working; and in another, inspectors were unable to determine whether there had been a working detector in the residence. In just 19 cases were inspectors able to determine there’d been a working smoke detector on-site.
Safety experts say having working smoke detectors in residences is key to saving lives. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55% lower in residences that have working smoke alarms compared with homes that have no alarms or no working alarms.
Property Owners’ Responsibilities
New York City laws require property owners and/or property managers to maintain spaces that are safe for tenants, visitors and guests. Property owners are required to provide, install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in many units. The devices should also be maintained and remain in good working order. When a fire or accident at a building is caused by negligence (carelessness) or a lack of proper maintenance, the property owners and/or property managers may be held liable for the injuries and loss of life that occurs. Injured victims or families of deceased victims can file a premises liability claim against the responsible parties including, but not limited to, the property owner, property manager, maintenance/repair company, etc.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Whether you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment complex or in a public housing unit (NYCHA) (the Projects), please remember that you have legal rights. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of dangerous conditions, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. For over 51 years, our skilled attorneys have established a proven track record of assisting injured victims. One of our clients — a hot water burn victim — secured $750,000 in damages from the property owner and manager.
Our firm also obtained a $985,000 settlement out of a $1 million policy for two people who suffered smoke inhalation injuries because the homeowner did not have smoke detectors installed and the $15,000 that was left on the insurance policy was for a person that we did not represent. Another of our clients recovered $2,500,000 due to a faulty space heater. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com