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Who Is Responsible in the Case of a Nursing Home Fire?

Fires that break out in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are more common than you might think. Over 2,500 cases were reported in a two-year period between 2012 and 2014. The number of injuries sustained in nursing home fires is disproportionately higher than those of other health care facilities. These injuries can range in severity, from burn injuries to respiratory issues and even death.

If your family member has suffered an injury in a nursing home fire, you may be able to hold the facility liable for their injuries. Speak to an experienced New York nursing home lawyer for an assessment of your case and a thorough investigation surrounding the incident. We will exhaust every necessary resource in order to hold the at-fault party accountable and recover compensation for your loved one’s injuries. 

Frequent Causes of Nursing Home Fires in New York 

Nursing home fires are most frequently caused by cooking. These types of fires are usually mild and don’t cause serious injuries, death, or structural damage. Uncontained, large fires, however, make up about 26% of all nursing home fires. 

Everyday items such as pressurized oxygen tanks and other devices that are found in nursing homes often turn manageable fires into uncontrollable catastrophes. Additionally, fires can often be caused by items such as candles and unattended or dropped cigarettes. 

Other frequent causes of nursing home fires include: 

  • Negligent staffing
  • Poor staff training
  • Blocked exits
  • Poor building design
  • Failure to call 911 promptly
  • Poorly maintained building equipment, such as fire alarms and sprinkler systems
  • No evacuation plans

Injuries in a nursing home fire can be severe and fatal. Unfortunately, the residents of nursing homes are often more susceptible to getting severe injuries due to immobility and other factors, no matter the size of the fire. Even minor burns can lead to extensive health complications. If your loved one was not effectively and quickly evacuated in a nursing home fire, the nursing home is likely liable for damages. Speak with an experienced New York nursing home lawyer for guidance surrounding your unique case. 

Injuries Sustained in New York Nursing Home Fires 

There are many injuries that your loved one may endure because of a nursing home fire. Sometimes, even minor injuries can result in severe health complications later down the road. The following are frequent injuries sustained due to nursing home fires: 

Burn Injuries in Nursing Home Fires 

Burn injuries are common in nursing home fires. Even if burn injuries are mild, they may result in health complications later down the road. The skin of elderly residents is more fragile and can be more easily damaged by fire, and depending on the severity, the burns may be impossible to heal. Additionally, some nursing home residents have mobility issues and may not be able to handle injuries sustained without extreme pain and suffering. 

Smoke Inhalation in Nursing Home Fires 

One of the most frequently reported injuries endured in a nursing home fire is smoke inhalation. Often, even if residents survive a large structural fire, they may be left with severe lung injuries that affect them all their life. Lung damage such as bronchitis and breathing problems take a substantial toll on elderly residents.  

Fatality in Nursing Home Fires 

Nursing home fires can result in fatalities due to untrained and unprepared staff. Negligence plays a large role in avoidable nursing home death. If you believe your loved one’s death could have been prevented if it wasn’t for negligence, speak with an experienced New York nursing home lawyer for legal guidance surrounding your case. 

Nursing Home Negligence and Liability 

Nursing home fires occur each year. By law, nursing home facilities are required to offer reasonable care for their residents and keep them safe in such situations. Most residents have complex health issues such as constrained mobility and other physical and mental health conditions, so it is of the utmost importance to have proper, up-to-date safety equipment and procedures in place that will minimize the risk of injury. 

There are many ways that nursing home facilities can fail at offering adequate care for residents and proper fire safety, such as: 

  • Failing to ensure that the facility has up-to-date and fully functioning sprinkler systems. 
  • Failure to supervise and restrict smoking in the nursing home facility.
  • Failure to ensure that nursing home facilities have fire extinguishers in strategic places throughout the facility and work properly. 
  • Failure to practice safety drills to ensure that residents are prepared in the event of a fire. 

When entrusting your loved ones’ care to the hands of nursing home staff, they are required by law to uphold a duty of care to ensure your family member is cared for adequately while they are living on the premises. This means that all resources and safety measures must be taken to ensure they are safe in an emergency such as a fire. If they fail to do so, they are liable for your loved one’s injuries. 

If your loved one was injured due to nursing home negligence, speak with a skilled New York nursing home lawyer for an opportunity to hold them accountable for their careless actions and to seek compensation for their terrible injuries. 

Speak With an Experienced New York Nursing Home Lawyer at Dalli & Marino 

When your family member experiences a nursing home fire, you expect the staff to have taken adequate measures to ensure their safety. If your loved one was terribly hurt due to nursing home staff negligence or inadequate nursing home safety measures, you may be able to seek compensation for their losses. The New York nursing home lawyers at Dalli & Marino understand the importance of holding the at-fault parties accountable for their careless actions. 

Dalli & Marino is an award-winning team of nursing home lawyers who are intent on helping clients get justice for nursing home negligence. We are proud to provide dedicated service and representation to our New York clients by recovering the compensation they deserve since 1996. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call (888) 465-8790 or fill out our contact form. We also speak Spanish.

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