My microwave shorted out and caused a fire in my apartment. Am I financially responsible for the damage?

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My microwave shorted out and caused a fire in my apartment. Am I financially responsible for the damage?

The fire report says cause of ignition was “failure of equipment” and under the comments section it said fire started from microwave, electrical problem.

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I doubt it, although for a reliable opinion, you will need to have an attorney in your area review all of the facts, including anything you haven't included in your question.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

In most states (I'm not a California attorney), you aren't strictly liable for something like a microwave fire.  Accidents happen, and you are only liable for accidents that happen because of your negligence (carelessness).  Unless the fire department report identified something like a frayed cord or damage to the microwave before the fire, it would probably be very hard to prove that you should have known this was likely to happen.


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