A construction site on San Pablo Avenue between Oakland and Emeryville caught fire on Saturday, May 13. The fire broke out in the mixed-use apartment complex around 5 a.m. and took about 100 hours to control. Both the Oakland Fire Department and the Alameda County Fire Department sent engines and firefighters. The debris was still smoldering and firefighters remained on site through Sunday. The fire led to the evacuation of at least 35 residents from 15 neighboring units as officials were worried the partially burned crane might collapse. Some nearby homes were severely damaged.
This is the second time the construction site has gone up in flames. It caught fire last July, and neighbors and the building developers suspect arson. The previous fire started at around 2:45 a.m. and also spread to nearby homes and businesses.
The development was intended to be 105 one- to four-bedroom units and 21,000 square feet of retail space known as the Intersection. However, it remains to be seen when the Intersection will come to fruition. The building was supposed to be finished this October. However, this has set it back at least nine months.
Construction Fires Can Lead to Injuries and Fatalities
While neither of these apartment complex fires led to serious injuries or fatalities, fires at construction sites can spread quickly, leap to nearby buildings, and cause significant harm and death.
Common fire-related injuries include:
- Respiratory injuries due to smoke and gas inhalation
- Brain injuries due to oxygen depletion
Determining Liability for Your Injuries
If you were injured in a fire that began at a construction site, you should work with an experienced San Diego construction accident attorney immediately. These fires can be set intentionally, accidentally by trespassers, or due to negligent work at the site such as faulty wiring. You will have to rely on investigators to determine the underlying cause of the accident. Once that is determined, you and your attorney are better able to determine which person or business is liable for your injuries. It may be one of the businesses working on the construction site, such as the developer, or it may be an individual charged with arson.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
After being hurt in a construction site fire that started because of someone’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing, you have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. You may file a claim with the liable party’s insurance carrier or you may need to move forward with a lawsuit. In either case, you can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
Were You a Worker at the Site?
If you were a construction worker at the site and were injured when it caught fire, then your greatest chance of recovering compensation is through the California workers’ compensation insurance system. You will need to file a workers’ comp claim. However, you do not have to prove negligence to receive these benefits. As long as you are covered by the workers’ compensation system, your injuries or conditions arising from your employment are covered.
However, if a third party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongful act caused your injuries, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against that individual.
Contact a San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a fire that was someone else’s fault, call the experienced attorneys of Brod Law Firm today at (800) 427-7020.
(image courtesy of Dawn Armfield)