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JD
JD, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years in practice as a litigator ... civil and criminal
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I,m being suied for a fire that occurred in my apartment from

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I,m being suied for a fire that occurred in my apartment from my landlady's insurance company and i do not have renter's insurance. I have a note frm my optomologist because 2 says prior I suffered chemical burns to both of my eyes, and cldn,t see and was bed ridden with shades on, due to sensitivity to light. there was absouletly no pots on the stove and the fire was exstinguished by my dad and son, to which we all suffered smoke inhalation damages and was treated at the hospital for.The fireman dnt not put the fire out, they came in & helped with gettn rid of the smoke & told me it was due to a faulty stove. later on the fire report stated it was a fire containted to a container&it also states they put the fire out(lies) and i feel due to this i,m being suied for 7,500 worth of damages. What legal recourse to I have? I have not been sent to a lawfirm that will put me in collections & my dad sent a notarized letter which states how everthing took place. Help!XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.
How do they allege the fire started?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the firemen stated it was a faulty stove, but report states it was a cooking fire containted to a container( pot i assume). the insurance company came in and looked at it and said in thier investigation that the electrical stove knob had to be pressed in and turned on. I assure you I dont cook that often and didnt for at least one week prior.I  really dont know how it started. little more information, there was plastic and styrafoam plates on top the burner which all was covered with metal covers, because i dnt cook that often. I have receipts that shows dinner was bought that night bcause I cldnt see to cook for my dad whom just arrived about 20 mins prior. my son, my dad and I was in bedroom eating and I have a freind that picked him up from the airport and took them to buy dinner also, who is willing to write a letter stating the facts. my son wasnt cooking either. thnks

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

You are only liable if you were negligent and that negligence caused the fire. If you were not cooking and were not otherwise negligent then the fire was not your responsibility. It would be best if you could obtain legal services either through a local legal aid program, a local bar association's pro bono project, or retaining your own attorney. If that is not possible, make sure to attend every court proceeding and be prepared to present your evidence to the court. Further, you need to file a responsive pleading with the court as soon as possible denying their allegations as to your negligence. If you must do this without an attorney then go to the court clerk's office and ask for an example of an answer. Make sure you do not miss your court date!

 

Your witness testimony and receipts may be very persuasive in court. Hopefully you can also secure a firefighter who can note that no pots or pans were found on the cooking surface.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I havent been taken to court yet. Allstate insurance company referred me to a collection agency. This occurred Nov 14th.

1. Can I counter sue for health damages been treated at hospital for my family?

2. I have receipts for food expense for one month, shld I be reimbursed by Landlandy or her insurance company, the stove was replaced in Dec?

3. Shld I be paying rent and no repairs have been done since last year to kitchen?

 

 

 

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

1.  If you haven't been sued then you cannot counter sue.  You can sue for your medical damages if you can prove those damages were the result of either a) you landlord's negligence or b) a dangerous product (sue the product manufacturer).  You should definitely consult a local personal injury attorney about this issue.

 

2.  Your losses due to the fire are your own to pay unless you can show the fire was the result of someone else's negligence.  You may be able to recover your food costs if you can show your landlady did not replace the appliance in a reasonable time period.  You will need to review your lease carefully for any provisions on damage repair and replacement of damaged fixtures.  This would be a breach of contract (lease) action.

 

3.  Generally you cannot live somewhere for free even if the landlord is failing to make necessary repairs.  There are certain instances where you can deduct the costs of repair from the rent, but those are very limited and I never advise people to go that route.  You can sue the landlord for breach of contract (lease) and seek repairs and damages or you can terminate the lease and move to a new apartment while suing for the costs of the relocation and change in rent.

 

You really need a lawyer to assist you.  These are very complicated legal matters that involve multiple areas of the law (landlord tenant, personal injury, insurance, product's liability, etc).  Most attorney will not charge for an initial consultation and may aid you in your initial efforts to resolve this situation.

 

It appears this matter will require legal action in court.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I find it bit offensive to assume that I want to live for free! simply put I pay my rent on time every month for the last 8yrs and it is clear that she has no intentions of doing the repairs 4 months later and the place is still covered with sooth and burnt cabinets. I have the right to live in a functioning apartment. I will/still have to seek advice frm anthr source. I know that tenants have some rights when repairs are not done in a timely manner or if not done at all. It may be possible to put the monies in an escrow acct until repairs are done is what common sense tell me. such sarcasim is ridiculous!

 

after reading all replies I still have to get an attorney to help anyway.. hum

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

I never said you wanted to live for free. I find it offensive that a landlord fails to repair a tenant's premises for such a long period of time and then engineers a collection action against them for damages that were not their fault.

 

Sorry if I offended you.

 

I do wish you well.

JD, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience: Over 11 years in practice as a litigator ... civil and criminal
JD and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help.

 

I,m under high stress with nowhere to turn, no extra funds and I have continued to pay rent to-date in an aprt with no lease, cnt afford to move and I,m fighting daily other obstacles frm disability, dying father, etc. and being taken advantage of and feel helpless. my home is no longer my sancturary.

 

this cnt be real, wish God wld wake me up frm this nightmare. i live right, do good, dont steal or cheat anyone of anything. i want to be right with God.

 

reading ur answers again, n disclamer.. you cleary stated this is not legal advice and not a lawyer client relationship, just general info.

 

i,m too am sorry..n very thinskinned right now.

 

God Bless

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ps. i will click accept so you are paid for your time.

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