Four Injured in Chicago Apartment Fire, Questions About Potential Liability

Four Injured in Chicago Apartment Fire, Questions About Potential Liability

A fire in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood injured four people in the early morning hours of July 2, 2017, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Chicago Fire Department officials stated that they received a call around 5:30 a.m. regarding a fire in an apartment building along the 1000 block of North Orleans Street. One of the victims was taken to Stroger Hospital, while the other three were transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital; in all, two of the four men were listed in serious-to-critical condition. Officials have not released details on the total number of people residing at the apartment complex, the condition of the building, or the cause of the fire. Still, victims may be able to file a lawsuit for damages against the building owner or manager based upon the theory of premises liability under Illinois law.

What must a victim do to prove a claim for premises liability?

Many premises liability cases are based upon the legal theory of negligence, which requires a victim to prove:

  • Duty: An owner of property has a legal duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner.
  • Breach: A property owner that fails to maintain the premises in a safe condition is in breach of the duty. Common types of breach include carelessness, failure to inspect the property for hazards, or failure to address dangerous conditions.
  • Causation: If the hazardous condition was the factor that resulted in injuries to the victim, this establishes causation.
  • Damages: An injured victim suffers many types of damages due to the accident that occurred on the owner’s premises. That person may be entitled to financial compensation for these losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Does the victim’s status matter?

In a premises liability case, an owner’s duty to maintain the premises may vary depending on the identity of the victim. The obligation of a property owner or manager to maintain an apartment building in a safe condition for tenants and their guests is clear.

However, the duty may not apply if the victim is a trespasser on the premises. For instance, if a person injured in the Chicago apartment fire had broken into the building to use the laundry facilities, there may be no case. He or she was there illegally and should not receive compensation for injuries that resulted from trespassing.

The results of the investigation into the fire at the North Orleans apartment building may reveal additional information, giving victims more support in a premises liability lawsuit. If they’re able to prove the required facts, these individuals may recover compensation for the losses they sustain due to their injuries. Due to the complicated legal issues involved, it’s critical for a victim in such a case to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney. If you have additional questions or would like to speak with a lawyer about your circumstances, please contact the legal team at Michael T. Friedman & Associates. We can tell you more about your options or set up a free consultation to discuss your case.

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