While buildings are routinely fitted with fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, protective insulation, and other fire prevention measures to comply with local codes, people do still suffer from burns in their homes. In rare cases, large houses and buildings can be completely consumed if a fire goes undetected in the middle of the night and has time to grow.
Burn injuries can cause all kinds of medical complications, including death in severe cases. An elderly man was killed in a residential fire in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
One victim dies in apartment fire on the South Side of Chicago
Authorities believe that a fire started at a multi unit apartment building on West 48th Street at approximately 4:30 am.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the gas in the building was turned off, and that occupants had been using space heaters, but no exact cause of the blaze was given by the local fire department. A 55 year old resident of the third floor was killed in the blaze and about 15 to 20 other people will be displaced with nowhere to stay. The Chicago Fire Department believes that the fire likely started on the third floor somewhere close to where the victim’s body was found. About 50 firefighters arrived on the scene to try to control the blaze and account for everyone who was in the building. They determined that the smoke detectors in the building were working.
The Deputy Fire Chief for the district released a statement regarding the use of space heaters. He said that all residents should keep them away from other materials that may ignite and not overload an outlet with a heater and multiple other items that all draw electricity at the same time. A neighbor who lived next door to the building said that he had heard of people in the area who were not able to pay their gas bills, and they have used alternative methods to try to heat their apartments. The buildings which border the apartment that went on fire were very close together, and people in the area commented on how lucky they were that the fire did not spread to other residences.
Back of the Yards is a division of Chicago’s South Side district. The identity of the victim and specific details about his injuries were not released.
The severity of burn injuries
Injuries that are related to fires and burns may require multiple medical treatments. The damage caused to the outer layers of the skin may never heal correctly, even after surgery or other procedures that take time and cost lots of money.
Homes and apartments are all required to be fitted with smoke detectors and other fire prevention measures that can prevent burn injuries and lead to early fire detection. However, as the news story above shows, it is still possible for people to be hurt or killed when a blaze gets out of control.
Personal injury lawsuits
All personal injury lawsuits attempt to make the person or business responsible for causing an accident pay for damages sustained by the victims. This can include things like medical treatment and hospitalization, lost wages, property repairs, or even funeral expenses after fatal accidents. A skilled attorney can argue for the maximum amount allowed by law relative to their client’s injuries. They may also be able to negotiate for a comparable settlement agreement when it seems that the case against the defendant is favorable and both sides would prefer to not spend time and money on a full trial.
Wrongful death lawsuits
While the victim of a fatal accident may not be around to file a lawsuit on their own, each state, including Illinois, has a wrongful death statute that outlines which family members can sue on a dead person’s behalf. This is generally limited to the deceased person’s children, or a surviving husband or wife. Wrongful death cases in the state also allow the victim’s family to try to recover non-economic damages related to mental and emotional pain related to the accident. This can be done for unintentional or intentional acts that result in the death of a victim. The cases can also be brought in civil court regardless of the disposition of any criminal charges tied to the same incident.
One of the most important things to keep in mind for a wrongful death action is that there is a shorter statute of limitations than most other kinds of cases. This means that an attorney should be contacted as soon as possible after a family member dies for the best chance of success.
Local lawyers are available to help you after an incident
To learn more about how personal injury lawsuits work, contact Budin Law Offices. The attorneys at Budin Law focus on helping clients get paid for their injuries and losses after all kinds of accidents in the Chicago area.