Fire Insurance Claims

Fire Burns Your Home

Then, protect your property by securing your home. Board up damaged windows and doors. Remove valuables and important documents. Turn off power if necessary.

Prepare Inventory of Damaged Property

Include the age, brand, model number and other pertinent details of the damaged items. If you or the fire department believe the fire was caused by a faulty appliance, keep the item for inspection by the Claims Adjuster, unless the fire department takes it with them.
Your insurance or your ability to buy insurance protection for wildfires may be a problem in your state. It is important to be represented by an attorney before completing a proof of loss or at an examination under oath. Call Richard Rizk to help you protect your rights. Economic damages include medical expenses and loss of wages. Non-economic damages are pain and suffering, interference with normal activities, and permanent injury.

Early / Prompt Investigation Crucial

A prompt and thorough investigation requires examination of the scene and instrumentalities involved in the accident. Timely interviews of any witness and collection of reports from investigating agencies is also important. Keep any instrumentalities involved in the fire preserved in post-accident condition until the cause of the fire and burn injury is clearly established.

First Degree Burns

First-degree burns are red and sensitive to touch. The skin appears white when light pressure is applied. First-degree burns cause minimal tissue damage at the skin surface. A sunburn is a first-degree burn.

Second Degree Burns

Second-degree burns affect both the outer-layer as well as the under lying layer of skin (dermis) causing redness, pain, swelling and blisters. These burns often affect sweat glands, and hair follicles. A deep second-degree burn is not properly treated will result in swelling and decreased blood flow—that can result in the burn becoming a third-degree burn.

Third Degree Burns

Third-degree burns affect the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, causing charring of skin or a translucent white color, with coagulated vessels visible just below the skin surface. These burn areas may be numb, but the person may complain of pain. Third-degree burns heal very slowly due to the destruction of skin tissue. Third-degree burns frequently result in extensive scarring.

Consequences of Serious Burn Injuries

When skin is severely burned, scar tissue is formed. This scar tissue loses many normal characteristics such as:

No Re-growth: When the skin suffers third-degree burn injuries, it may lose its ability to regrow. In this instance, the surgeon transplants undamaged skin from another part of the body to the damaged area. Modern medicine has also developed artificial skin to cover severely burned areas of the body.

Inelasticity: Skin normally maintains the much needed characteristic of elasticity. Unfortunately, loss of elasticity is a consequence of burn scar tissue.

Loss of Touch: Humans rely on touch to discern hot from cold. Loss of sense of touch is a consequence of severely burned & scared skin tissue.

Inability to Perspire: One way the body acts to stay cool is to perspire. Perspiring brings the fluid to the skin surface, so the fluid can evaporate and we then feel cooler. Perspiration also helps the body eliminate waste. A seriously burned victim’s skin may not perspire normally as the quality and ability of the skin tissue has been compromised. This loss of ability to perspire indicates the body’s cooling system no longer functions.

Need for Weather Protection: Severely burned skin, even after healing, must be permanently protected from the sun and weather elements.

Inhalation Injuries

Fire is associated with three types of inhalation injuries including:

  1. Heat Inhalation: True lung burn occurs when you inhale hot air or flame.
  2. Systemic Toxins: Systemic Toxins affect our ability to absorb oxygen. When a person is found unconscious or confused within an enclosed fire, systemic toxins could be a possible cause. Toxin poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and other organs.
  3. Smoke Inhalation: Smoke intoxication is often masked by more visible injuries such as burns. About 70% of fatalities resulting from burn injuries are attributed to smoke inhalation.