How to Document a Fire Accident

Fire is one of the most destructive forces in nature, capable of destroying anything unlucky enough to cross its path. The blaze can reduce homes and businesses to ashes, and leave victims with severe burn injuries. Injuries from a fire accident can be costly for those who suffer from them, requiring long-term physical therapy and multiple cosmetic surgeries.

Fires can be caused by arson, human error or equipment malfunction. In the workplace, the most common causes are negligence, lack of maintenance and misuse of flammable materials. Employers should review their safety practices regularly to ensure the workplace is free of potential hazards. They should also provide proper training and education on how to properly handle chemicals, combustible materials and machinery.

A fire can cause significant damage to your home or business, resulting in a loss of valuables and personal items. A property insurance policy provides compensation for the loss of your belongings, but there are some things you should do to ensure you receive the maximum amount possible.

Contact your insurer as soon as possible after the fire, and request a fire report, if available. These reports provide official documentation of the fire, which is important for the insurance company’s assessment of damages and claims.

Document all areas of your property affected by the fire, and take photos to create a visual record of the damage. Include damaged items and their current value, such as furniture or electronics, in your records. Take photographs from several angles and varying distances to capture the full extent of the damage.

Once the fire department has cleared your property, and you have been permitted to reenter your home, it is a good idea to secure the structure against unauthorized entry until an insurance adjuster can inspect it. This may involve boarding windows or covering roof openings with plywood. This will prevent further weather damage and deter theft or vandalism.

As soon as you are able, contact any family members or friends who may need assistance. Follow your family emergency communication plan. If you cannot stay at your home, contact your local government office for assistance finding temporary housing.

When it is safe to return to your property, carefully evaluate the damage and take note of all items that have been lost or damaged in the fire. Be sure to document all damage, and use a digital camera or smartphone to capture high-quality images.

Hire expert witnesses, if necessary. They can help determine the fire’s origin, and identify other factors that could have contributed to the fire accident. These experts can be very helpful when determining liability and maximum settlements. They can also provide medical evaluations to determine the type and severity of your injuries. This helps ensure you receive all the standard forms of compensation, such as medical expenses and lost income. They can also help you claim non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a fire accident, the New York City fire and explosion injury lawyers at Shuman Legal can work on your behalf to obtain the highest possible settlement.

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