How old is the wiring in your apartment building? When was it last inspected? Who conducted this inspection?
If you are like most renters, you can’t answer those questions. Indeed, you probably haven’t thought to ask them before this. Yet someday your life may be at risk from a Wilmington apartment building electrical fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association—a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization—from 2005 to 2009, U.S. fire departments were called to over 43,000 home and apartment fires that caused over $1.4 billion in property damage, 438 civilian deaths, and 1,430 civilian injuries. Roughly half of those incidents resulted from faulty wiring or lighting issues.
What does your landlord know that you don’t?
North Carolina premises liability law applies when you are living in a rental property such as an apartment or a rented house. A property owner has a duty of care with regard to his tenants and their guests. He is obligated to take reasonable care to repair hazards that could endanger the health and safety of residents, and he has an affirmative duty to find out whether any such hazards exist.
This means your landlord or rental property owner has a legal duty to make sure the electrical system in his building is safe. If the landlord knows it is defective, he must notify the residents and take immediate corrective action. Even if the landlord is unaware of safety problems, if an electrical fire breaks out due to a defective power distribution system, the landlord may still be liable for any injuries or damage because he should have known about the defects.
The Actions to Take after a North Carolina Apartment Fire
If there was a fire in your North Carolina apartment building due to poor maintenance or faulty wiring, then you may have a legal claim against your landlord for any medical care, property damage, or other harm. As a first step, you may wish to obtain a copy of the fire marshal’s report on the incident, which may identify the cause of the fire.
Your next step will be to file a claim with the landlord’s liability insurance carrier, or alternatively with your own insurance company if you have purchased renters’ insurance that includes fire coverage. If that claim is denied, or you do not believe you are getting fair treatment from the insurance adjuster, then you may need to apply more leverage.
Contact a Wilmington fire injury lawyer from the Speaks Law Firm by dialing 877-593-4233. Our experienced North Carolina personal injury attorneys can negotiate with the insurance adjusters to get you a fair settlement. We’re not afraid to take the insurance company or your landlord to court if that’s what is required to get you the compensation you deserve.
Call today for a confidential and completely FREE conference about your case. We don’t get paid a cent until you get a recovery.