Tag Archives: Fire

Latest Posts

Archives

Categories

Tags Cloud

Suing for Fires Caused by Electric Utility Equipment

Investigations into the cause of last year’s devastating Camp Fire in and around Paradise, California, have focused on equipment owned and operated by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), a large utility company. The fire, the deadliest in California’s history, may have been started after the failure of a hook supporting components of a 100-year old transposition tower. The hook may have broken due to unusually high winds. In previous wind events, PG&E had shut off power to lines that it believed were at risk of wind damage, but in this case they chose leave the power running. Although the Camp Fire took place in California, it carries important lessons for residents of Nevada who could face a similar disaster. When human error causes a major disaster, litigation often follows. Claims for property damage, loss of life, and impacts to health are all common. Litigation relating to a large fire caused by a utility’s equipment invariably involves a complex mix of parties: the utility itself, its insurers, government, individuals, and businesses of every size may all take part. In the midst of the flurry of legal activity that goes on, an individual who has suffered losses needs to focus on protecting his or her best interests against the competing voices. The fact that electrical lines can cause fires is well understood. Depending on local conditions, a fire can have widespread, severe effects. As a consequence, utilities have an obligation to continuously inspect and maintain their lines. Lines need to be built and maintained to account for foreseeable weather conditions, like high winds or ice storms. Every utility expends significant effort to inspect its lines for potential problems. Despite those efforts, problems can go undetected or, worse, detected problems can be left unaddressed until it’s too late. A lawsuit against a utility for fire-related damages typically asserts that the utility has committed one or more acts of negligence by failing to comply with its obligation to keep its equipment in reasonably safe condition. There are a number of challenges that such a suit will need to overcome:
  • Establishing that the utility’s negligence was the legal cause of the fire itself.
  • Proving that the damages claimed in the lawsuit were the result of the negligence and not due to an intervening cause, such as a lack of adequate fire exits in a building.
  • Collecting on a successful judgement or settlement award against a large number of competing claimants.
An individual who has suffered significant losses in a fire caused by a utility’s negligence should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The utility will likely offer quick settlement payments to individuals in the hopes that they will accept the quick cash instead of pursuing the full amount of what they are owed. Whether this first offer should be accepted needs to be weighed in light of the case’s full potential. For over 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in personal injury, wrongful death, and other similar cases. If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries in a fire, call today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.

Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Las Vegas House Fire

bigstock-House-Fire-1402895.jpgFireworks can be fascinating. Their colors and booming explosions are enough to capture just about anyone's attention. Unfortunately, they’re also extremely dangerous in the wrong hands and can be the subject of a premise liability or personal injury case with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer. A central Las Vegas community learned just how easily fun times could turn into fearful ones when a family of four was forced from their home after a fireworks-initiated fire blazed through their property.

 

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the family's neighbors were setting off illegal fireworks when the remains of one caught a bush on fire just outside the family's home. The family was inside their home when one of the family members noticed orange flickering outside a bathroom window.

According to Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman, Tim Szymanski, the man grabbed a gallon of water and attempted to extinguish the fire with it. When that failed, he attempted to use a garden hose but the flames had already begun spreading too fast. By the time official fire crews arrived, the fire had shot up an exterior wall and ignited the building's attic.

It took the Las Vegas Fire Department 30 minutes before they were able to successfully extinguish the blaze. Not before the fire caused an estimated $55,000 in damages and respiratory health issues for one family member.

It’s unknown whether the displaced family will pursue a legal case against the individual who set off the illegal fireworks, but a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer could help them recoup damages. While homeowner's (or renter's) insurance should foot the bill in cases of a fire, other out-of-pocket expenses can be pursued due to neighbor negligence. Fireworks are dangerous and many of them are illegal and inoperable without special licenses. A person who is injured by fireworks, illegal or not, may hold the person responsible for setting off those fireworks via a personal injury claim with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.

You can help prevent fires from occurring by practicing safety tips such as:

  • Putting sparklers and other consumer grade fireworks in a bucket of water once they’re finished
  • Staying away from ground-based fountain devices
  • Keeping family members a safe distance away from firework displays
  • Setting off fireworks only on a concrete, compact dirt, or similar non-flammable pad
  • Only purchasing legal “safe and sane” fireworks in Clark County

Contact the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys of GGRM

For more information about firework safety and negligence laws, contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476. Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling a wide variety of cases and will help you get the compensation needed to get back on your feet after an accident.

Is A Lawsuit Inevitable Offer