When a vehicle catches fire in a crash, it can cause serious or fatal injuries. Victims who survive a vehicle fire may be permanently disabled or disfigured and face a lifetime of pain and suffering. When drivers or passengers die in a vehicle fire, surviving family members may be facing serious financial hardships along with the tragic loss of a loved one.
The highly combustible lithium batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) may combust spontaneously or catch fire after a collision. These fires burn at extremely high temperatures and they are very difficult to contain. EV batteries have caused building fires that resulted in death and serious injury.
The experienced Dallas trial attorneys at The Lenahan Law Firm have won millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. We have a perfect 10.0 rating from Avvo, and our firm has been recognized by Super Lawyers for providing our clients with outstanding service.
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- An estimated 212,500 vehicle fires caused 560 deaths and 1,500 injuries to U.S. civilians in a recent year, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Vehicle fires caused 1.6 times as many deaths as apartment fires.
- Fires in vehicles account for 16% of the 1.3 million fires reported to fire departments in the U.S.
- Vehicle fires caused 15% of all civilian fire deaths and 10% of all civilian fire injuries.
- Only fires in one- and two-family homes claimed more lives than vehicle fires.
- Highway vehicle fires are most common from May through August, with the highest numbers in July.
- In a recent five-year period, car fires accounted for 65% of highway vehicle fires and caused an average 230 fire deaths and 694 fire injuries per year.
- A vehicle collision fire can cause severe burns from hot metal, hot coolant, steam, or flames. Third-degree burns may require multiple skin grafting procedures and cause permanent scarring or loss of a limb.
- Victims may suffer damage to the lungs and respiratory problems from exposure to toxic fumes as the vehicle burns.
- In the worst cases, when injuries are fatal, a vehicle fire caused by someone else’s negligence can lead to wrongful death.
According to NFPA, the leading causes of vehicle fires are mechanical failure or malfunction and electrical failure or malfunction. Older vehicles account for a sizable portion of vehicle fires with these causes. However, collisions are the leading cause of vehicle fires resulting in death. Large trucks have a higher rate of deaths from vehicle fires than highway vehicles overall.
Traffic crash fires can result from:
- Punctured gas tanks
- Faulty EV batteries
- Fluid leaks
- Defects in the exhaust system
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Collision with a truck hauling flammable material
Many car owners who are concerned about the environmental impact of internal combustion engines are switching to electric vehicles. As a result of this trend, sales of Tesla EVs have grown astronomically in recent years.
Like many other new products, Tesla cars contain significant design and manufacturing flaws. One of the most notable problems with Tesla is their batteries, which are subject to spontaneously exploding into flames.
Tesla batteries may catch fire at any time, and when they do, they are extremely difficult to extinguish. It takes thousands of gallons to put out a Tesla battery fire, which burns at temperatures of almost 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Most fire departments are not equipped to deal with these fires.
Tesla battery fires may result from automobile crashes, or the batteries may erupt suddenly when the vehicle is parked or being charged. EV fires cause homes and buildings to burn down, resulting in death and severe injuries for occupants.
Spontaneous fires caused by EVs with defective batteries that occur in homes, parking garages, charging stations, and other building will quickly burn out of control. When these batteries ignite suddenly, unsuspecting victims may be killed in their sleep before the fire department has an opportunity to respond.
Due to a process called thermal runaway, EV batteries burn at very high temperatures, and they continue to burn after being doused with thousands of gallons of water. EV battery fires may be caused by:
- Design flaws
- Manufacturing defects
- Short circuits
- Physical damage
- Charging issues
- Water damage
- Cooling mechanism malfunction
If you have lost a loved one in a Dallas vehicle fire, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim if death was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. If a mechanical or electrical defect, such as an exploding gas tank or faulty wiring, caused the vehicle fire and the death of your loved one, you may have a wrongful death claim against the vehicle manufacturer or a parts manufacturer. If a negligent driver caused the crash and vehicle fire that killed your loved one, you may have a claim against the at-fault driver.
Our Dallas personal injury attorneys at The Lenahan Law Firm will investigate the fatal accident to determine what caused it and who was responsible. We can help you seek justice for your loved one, hold responsible parties accountable, and pursue compensation for your family’s future in a wrongful death claim.
We have been fighting for the maximum compensation for our clients for more than two decades. Our firm has won multi-million dollar recoveries for clients in wrongful death cases. We have extensive experience handling motor vehicle accident wrongful death claims.
Our lawyers can take care of the legal action on behalf of your loved one while you grieve and recover from your loss. Contact us at (214) 295-1008 if you have lost a loved one in a vehicle fire. You may have a wrongful death claim for compensation.