A California man whose derelict property allegedly started a 27,500 acre wildfire near San Bernadino was recently slapped with a civil lawsuit by the federal government claiming his negligence was the proximate cause of the blaze. Authorities demand $25 million in restitution from the homeowner to cover the damage to the environment and costs to fight the blaze.
Investigators determined the 2013 wildfire near the town of Idyllwild broke out due to a faulty electrical box located on the defendant’s property. As sparks shot out of the warped-plastic box enclosing the electrical system, the dry grass adjacent to the housing caught fire.
In a statement concerning the incident, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker declared “property owners and their agents have a responsibility to ensure that property under their control is maintained in a safe fashion.” Federal prosecutors filed the suit in Los Angeles to recover the millions spent on the thousands of firefighters, hundreds of engines, and dozens of aircraft used to contain and extinguish the blaze.
Like California, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have laws requiring property owners to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable accidents and injuries on their property. When victims are harmed due to negligent and careless upkeep of a property, they may hold wrongdoers accountable by filing premises liability lawsuits.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, injured victims may ask the courts to award compensation for various damages including lost wages, hospital bills, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. While the law grants victims legal avenues to seek relief, defendants rarely admit fault and dispense the compensation necessary to help make victims whole again.
Premises liability injuries can occur anywhere for almost any reason due to the negligence or recklessness of the property’s owner or caretaker. Some of the most common premises liability accidents include:
Hiring a DC premises liability attorney can help unearth the answers as to how and why your accident occurred as well as whether anyone can be held legally responsible for the accident. At The Cochran Firm, D.C. we put our experience and resources to work for victims in their fight for justice and due compensation.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an accident on someone’s property, contact our office to find out what legal rights you have. Our office takes premises liability matters extremely seriously and believe strongly in the duty of property owners to uphold public safety.
Fill out an online contact form with the details of your case or contact our office by phone at 202-682-5800 during business hours or at 1-800-THE FIRM (843-3476) to reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Strict time deadlines apply when filing premises liability cases to please contact us at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.