Unlike most injuries involved in vehicle collisions, suffering a burn in a car accident often has long-term effects, which leave permanent scars all over the body. Burns from automobile fires are still a leading cause of severe burns in the US, and occur with greater frequency than most drivers would believe. In fact, the Chicago metropolitan area has had an increase in the number of auto accident fires as the roads have become significantly more congested over the last few decades, with an increase in population.
Statistics by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) indicate that there were nearly 220,000 vehicle fires in 2009, with more than 1600 reported serious injuries, and 280 deaths. Many of the injuries and fatalities resulted in severe burns. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) indicate that automobile fires occur more on highways than regular roads or streets, due to congested roadways and high speeds.
Even though the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) adopted standards in the 1970’s to maintain the integrity of the fuel system of every motor vehicle, busy highways and defects in automobile manufacturing there is still too many victims that suffer a burn in a car accident.Causes of Automobile Fires & Resulting Burns
Driver error and car defects, as well as unexpected extenuating circumstances, are usually the cause of a vehicle fire. Since car fires are one of the leading causes of burn injuries, Chicago area motorists must stay aware of how these types of fires happen, to avoid them from starting. There are varieties of situational factors that often influence the potential of a vehicle fire. These include:
- Two Colliding Vehicles – when two vehicles collide with each other, one or both fuel tanks could rupture and produce a fuel fed fire. This kind of fire can instantly become extremely dangerous for all passengers involved in the collision, along with any others nearby.
- Leaking Fuel Tank – In some situations, the fuel tank can spontaneously explode or leak, and create a dangerous situation involving hazardous projectiles on the interior of the vehicle. A leaking or exploding fuel tank can trap passengers and motorists inside the car. Often times, an exploding fuel tank can be catastrophic, or even fatal.
- Auto Part Defect – Other significant causes of a car fire can include an exhaust leaking fluid, faulty wiring, waste or trash igniting, and arcing short-circuit wire, seat heater malfunction, cigarette lighter accident, flammable liquid spill and electrical malfunction.
- Smoking- While many people would never consider smoking in their homes, many people have no problem lighting up when they are stuck in traffic. In a confined area of an auto interior, an ash from a cigarette or hot lighter can quickly start a fire which threatens all occupants.
It is often difficult to determine responsibility of a car fire, because examination of the burned parts can be challenging. However, experts can often determine if the design and construction of a fuel system was insufficient for withstanding an impact of the car collision and lost its integrity during impact.
In some incidences, a skilled personal injury attorney that specializes in Chicago car accidents can build the case on improper design, construction or manufacturing of car components including exhaust systems, electrical wiring and other heat sources that possibly started the fire when the gas tank erupted during impact.
In the event that the vehicle manufacturer failed to provide their legal obligation of selling a safe product, they can be held accountable for their negligence. As a result, a car accident victim burned in the crash might be entitled to receive financial compensation. This could include funds for all ongoing medical expenses, rehabilitation, future surgery, missed work, or other expense that is related directly to the injury.
When the auto manufacturer was egregious in their conduct, the victim might also obtain punitive damages. In addition, the other driver involved in the collision might also be at fault and held accountable or responsible for the accident.Get Compensation For Burns Sustained In A Car Fire or Explosion in Chicago
Skilled Chicago car accident burn injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Lawyers can hire medical experts and accident reconstruction engineers to document exactly how the fire in the crash occurred. The experts can detail the extent of the victim’s injuries to build a persuasive, solid case for financial compensation.
If you have suffered serious injuries caused by a burn in a car accident, you are likely eligible for compensation. Skilled automobile accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can assist you with your claim for recovery and help you obtain financial compensation to cover your expenses, suffering, pain and other damages. Call the law office at (888) 424-5757 or fill out our online contact form for an initial, free case consultation.