Fire departments in the United States respond to roughly 290,000 vehicle fires per year. Car fires occur approximately every two minutes in the United States, claim the lives of roughly 500 people per year and cause nearly 1,500 injuries yearly. The leading cause of car fires is mechanical failure or malfunction, with electrical failure or malfunction close behind. Car accidents are also responsible for many car fires, as damage sustained in the crash often causes gas and fluids to leak. After a significant crash, it is important that you exit the vehicle if you are able to ensure you are not the victim of a car fire.
Causes of Car Fires
Car fires are caused by a variety of things including vehicle malfunctions. Malfunctions are often examined by the manufacturer of the vehicle and may result in safety recalls. Here are the top 5 causes of car fires in the United States:
- Mechanical Failure or Malfunction
- Electrical Failure or Malfunction
- Intentional Arson
- Collision or Overturn
- Exposure to Other Fire
The cause of the car fire may be recorded and examined for future reference. Injuries sustained by the occupants of the car fire must also be documented. It is also important to point out that car fires are often not investigated by the manufacturer until a large number of people have experienced the same problem. Even then, auto makers are reluctant to investigate because they may ultimately be responsible for a great deal of damages associated with injuries, deaths, recalls, and property damage. It is important that you consult with a car fire lawyer immediately after the incident to ensure an independent investigation is performed before the car is destroyed or discarded.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Car Fire
The most common car fire injuries include burn injuries, smoke inhalation, cuts and scrapes, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire burns may range from a very mild sunburn-like burn or be life-threatening. Severe burns, such as third and fourth degree burns may cause scarring or disfiguration.
In extreme cases, burn injuries and/or respiratory injuries will cause the complete loss of life. Fires are known to cause suffocation or asphyxiation due to breathing in smoke. Significant burn injuries, otherwise referred to as extreme thermal injuries, can result in death through sepsis, shock, anoxic brain injuries, and multi-organ failure. If you lost a loved one because of a car fire, a wrongful death case will help reimburse the surviving family members for their loss and hold the negligent party responsible.
Fighting for Compensation after a Car Fire Injury
Car fire injuries range in severity from mild to life-threatening. Second, third, and fourth degree burns may require several visits to the doctor, skin grafts, operations, physical therapy, future scar revision surgeries, and other forms of treatment. Treatment for burns isn’t cheap and may require extensive time away from work. Here are some of the things you may receive compensation for if someone else is at fault for your car fire injuries:
- Medical Expenses: Medical expenses seem to increase every year. They cut deeply into our disposable income and deplete savings. You shouldn’t have to pay for your medical expenses if someone else is at fault. We will gather the information necessary to determine whether the accident was due to a malfunction or otherwise, and get you the compensation you need for your loss.
- Lost Wages: Burns and other accident-related injuries often take a long time to heal. Most of us can’t afford to go several weeks or a few months without a paycheck. We can help you fight for repayment of the wages you are missing out on by not being able to work.
- Scarring or Disfigurement: Deep burns and cuts cause serious scarring or even disfigurement. These can have a jarring impact on your life. You may become unable to work due to your injuries. We can help you determine whether your injuries are the responsibility of someone else and help seek reimbursement.
- Infection: Infections can be life threatening and are very common with third and fourth degree burns. They can cause serious health problems including sepsis, which is extremely dangerous.
- Pain and Suffering: Fire injuries result in some of the most significant pain and suffering of all injuries. Pain and suffering damages are often the largest element of your injury reimbursement case.
Every case is unique and injury victims are entitled to reimbursement for all accident related damages. If another party is responsible for your injuries, our lawyers will fight to ensure you receive reimbursement for all accident related damages.
Hiring A St. Louis Car Fire Lawyer
Don’t attempt to fight a vehicle fire on your own. Wait for the fire department to get there and let professionally trained firefighters handle the blaze. Firefighters must take several variables into consideration including burn time, location, the age of the vehicle, and contents of the vehicle. A vehicle carrying hazardous waste or anything explosive can turn a simple vehicle fire into a dangerous situation very quickly. The age of the vehicle can tell the firefighters a little about the possible cause of the fire, but both newer and older cars can catch fire.
The Dixon Injury Firm can help you gather the evidence you need to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. An investigation into the cause of the car fire must be conducted right after the accident. The insurance company’s involved will often try to take possession of the vehicle so it can be destroyed. Failing to preserve the vehicle can result in the loss of the only evidence available to prove who was at fault for the fire.
Contact The Dixon Injury Firm’s St. Louis car fire attorneys immediately after your accident. If we are able to help, we will make sure your car is properly preserved and investigated to determine who is at fault for your loss. There is NO FEE for our services unless we win your case. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION (314) 409-7060. Our aggressive and compassionate legal representation has helped recover over $35,000,000.00 for injury victims.