A car fire is a dangerous situation, whether it occurs in a traffic accident or due to a manufacturing defect, the trauma experienced can be deeply unsettling for a long time following the event. Many car fire accident victims typically experience burn injuries and post-traumatic stress, in addition to the more common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents like back, neck, and soft-tissue injuries.
From 2020 to 2021, there were an estimated 208,500 vehicle fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), with 174,000 of them being highway vehicle fires. Here in Florida, vehicle fires accounted for 32.1% of all fire casualties. Highway vehicle fires in 2021 caused an estimated 650 civilian fire deaths; 1,100 civilian fire injuries; and $1.5 billion in direct property damage. Fire departments responded to an average of one highway vehicle fire every 3 minutes and 2 seconds.
It’s understandable how such an event can leave you with a list of pressing questions about responsibility, health & rehabilitation, financial accountability, restoring your quality of life, and how to get the compensation you deserve.
Talking with an experienced accident & injury lawyer will help you understand the legal aspects that arise when someone else’s negligence leads to a car fire, and determine if you have a case to pursue an injury claim.
We’ve compiled the following information to help answer some of the most common questions we hear from clients involved in these types of accidents.
The answer to that question really depends on whether you can prove the dealer or the vehicle manufacturer should be held legally liable for committing one or more acts of negligence.
Suing for a car fire may require you to file a product liability lawsuit, which can be difficult to win without the help of an experienced attorney with a proven track record of successfully winning these types of claims.
A product liability lawsuit is a type of personal injury case, where the investigation aims to establish that a manufacturer and/or dealer should be held responsible for creating and manufacturing a hazardous product, such as a vehicle prone to catching fire.
So, yes you can sue for your vehicle catching on fire as long as you can prove that the fire was a result of a manufacturing defect, or negligence on behalf of the dealer.
This often starts with determining the cause of the vehicle fire.
Motor vehicles catch fire for a number of reasons, but there are identifiable trends that showcase how some causes are more common than others.
Some of the more common causes of car fires include:
The only answer to this question is, that we just don’t know yet – because there is not a lot of data out there tracking vehicle fires by classification.
So while certain headline-grabbing articles like this one from AutoinsuranceEZ.com, indicating that fires in electric vehicles (EVs) are more prevalent, have garnered attention recently, the data is unreliable at best.
Popular Science points out how some of those challenges were spelled out in a report that the NTSB publicized in 2021. A video from the agency highlights three distinct safety issues that specifically pertain to EVs and fire: thermal runaway, battery reignition, and stranded energy, which refers to the energy that’s left behind in the batteries after a fire.
Their resulting analysis found that per 100,000 cars sold in each category, electric vehicles had the lowest number of fires. Hybrid vehicles had the highest risk ratio for fire, and traditional cars were in the middle.
These specific makes and models were cited in the AutoinsuranceEZ report – but it’s important to remember that the statistics compiled in their report did not communicate the level of trust that consumers should rely on as fact.
Liability in a car fire lawsuit hinges on fault and cause.
It’s not unusual for one of the vehicles involved in a car accident to ignite in flames. If you find yourself injured in such an accident, and your vehicle happened to be the one that caught fire, you might be wondering if you have grounds to pursue legal action against the responsible party.
Your medical expenses, lost income, and any other losses incurred due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence can potentially be awarded as compensation.
The party considered to be at fault is usually:
At Glover Law Firm, we have a proven track record of advocating for and providing legal assistance to Florida residents who have sustained injuries in car fires, ensuring they receive maximum compensation to cover their medical expenses and other related losses.
This meeting will allow you to explore your legal avenues following an accident and discuss your options for obtaining a favorable outcome from a car fire lawsuit.