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Illegal Apartments Become Death Traps in New York

In September 2012, the NY Daily News reported that New York has failed to crack down on illegal apartments as pledged by Mayor Bloomberg. The mayor had promised to enforce illegal conversion laws more aggressively after two 2011 fires led to the deaths of five residents. In 2012, however, Building Department statistics showed that the city has done little to reduce the number of illegal apartments. As a result, tenants may be more at risk of harm or even death. Contact a New York personal injury lawyer for help if you or a loved one has been harmed while living in an illegal apartment.

What are Some Problems in Illegal Conversions?

Safety concerns are very real in many illegal apartments. Hazards include:

  • Unsafe electrical wiring
  • Unsafe gas lines
  • Improper stove or heating system maintenance
  • Missing smoke alarms

If any of these problems caused a deadly fire in an illegal apartment, your family may have a basis for a lawsuit.

How Can New York Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

If you’ve lost a loved one to a deadly fire in an illegal apartment, an attorney may be able to help you find out who is responsible for the tragedy. For example, the landlord might be liable in a negligence or wrongful death case. The landlord may be responsible if he failed to warn about dangerous conditions in the apartment, failed to maintain safe conditions in the rental, or failed to follow laws governing building safety.

With the help of an experienced New York personal injury lawyer, a plaintiff might also be able to file a lawsuit against the city or locality which was responsible for inspecting the apartment. If local department responsible for inspections – for example, the Building Department in New York – failed to inspect buildings, identify illegal conversions, and enforce regulations, an attorney might be able to help raise awareness and pursue legal action against the city on your behalf.

Next Steps

Don’t face a personal injury lawsuit alone. If a fire in an illegal apartment has harmed you, find out what you can do to move forward. Call Gerowitz Libo & Korek, P.C., New York personal injury lawyers, at 800-529-9997 for a free consultation today.

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