If there was a fire in my apartment and it was my fault am i responsible for damages, what if i don't have renters insurance

Asked over 5 years ago - Wheeling, IL

There was a fire in my apartment and the whole building was burned. I was severly injured too. Investigation is still ongoing and cause of fire is undetermined. I received a letter from my Apartment management insurance company mentioning that the losses are estimated to be at $0.5 Million and they asked to forward that letter to my insurance company. I don't have renter's insurance. Do I need to do anything with that letter? Is there any chance that I'll end up paying $0.5 Million?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Peter LaSorsa

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . I agree with the previous answer. You should try to determine the cause of the fire. Just because the fire may have started in your apartment does not mean the fire is your fault. The fire could be the result of something in the construction of the apartment, or faulty wiring or appliances. Consult with an Illinois attorney to protect your rights.

  2. Erik Glen Swanson

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . If you don't have insurance and are found to have been responsible for the fire, there is certainly the possability that you would be personally liable to the building and the other tenants.

    You should most certainly not ignore the situation, but consult an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

  3. Thuong-Tri Nguyen

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . "Is there any chance that I'll end up paying $0.5 Million?" Do you have the money to pay?

    You likely should review the facts with local attorneys.

    Do you have any idea as to the cause of the fire? If the fire was your fault, you may end up being liable. Not only would the building owner be suing you, the other renters likely will sue you too. The damages may be a lot more than half a million dollars.

    On the other hand, if you are not at fault, you may not be liable to anybody. You may even be able to sue the landlord if the fire was the landlord's fault.

    If you are obviously "judgment proof", no one may be interested in suing you even if the fire was your fault as collection of a judgment would be difficult.

    You should review your facts with an attorney to see what your options are.

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