Every year, there are tenants who suffer burn-related injuries due to fires which occur within the home or apartment they live in. Unfortunately, these injuries are often quite severe, and may often require, skin grafts, reconstructive surgery and a long period of physical therapy. The financial impact of a burn injury can be quite substantial, not to mention the pain and suffering involved.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a fire or experienced any loss or injury resulting from a fire or explosion, you should be aware of your legal rights. The fire may have been the result of negligence on the part of your landlord or other person, such as another tenant in the building, and you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages.

As a tenant you have certain rights and your landlord has certain obligations to provide for your safety. For example, under the law in New York, your landlord must provide you with:

Self-Closing Doors: For your safety in the event of a fire, the law in New York requires that your apartment must be equipped with a self-closing door, which means that the door closes by itself. Proper functioning of your apartment's self-closing entrance door is crucial in preventing a fire from spreading from one location to another. This means that your doors must not only be equipped with properly working self-closing door devices but that they must also be inspected, repaired and maintained by your landlord on a regular basis so that they continue to work properly.

Having a door that closes automatically helps save lives and minimizes property damage by preventing the spread of fire. Many fires are caused to spread because of defective self-closing doors. In apartment buildings there are also rules for the proper operation of exit and entrance doors to the building.

If you were the victim of a fire, whether as a result of suffering from fire or burn injuries or property damage, which were caused or contributed to by a defective self-closing door device then you may be entitled to recover compensation for the suffering which you have endured.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Your landlord has an obligation to provide approved operational smoke and carbon monoxide detecting devices in each apartment. The detectors should be clearly audible in each of the rooms of the apartment.

Fire Escape: The Landlord must provide prompt and ready access to a fire-escape from each apartment. This means that fire escapes cannot be blocked by illegal walls, gates or other objects.

The firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros has successfully handled many cases involving severe burns suffered as a result of faulty or missing self-closing doors, sprinkler systems, heating systems, cooking appliances, extinguishing systems, arson and many other cases involving negligence of both commercial and residential premises.

In bringing a case for compensation for injuries suffered as a result of a fire it is important to hire a firm with experience in this area of law and knows how to conduct the proper investigation, how to obtain the fire and police department records and reports as well as building department plans and records, and also knows how to hire and work with the right experts for your case.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a fire, contact the experienced attorneys of Jaroslawicz & Jaros, by phone at 1 - 212 - 227 - 2780, or toll free in New York at 1-800-269-2780, or email at [email protected]. Our office is located at 225 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, New York, 10007.

By: Abraham Jaros, Esq.