Car Accident Resulting in a Fire - Miami Car Accident Lawyer, Sean M. Cleary
If you were involved in a car accident which subsequently resulted in a fire and were seriously injured, please do not hesitate to contact our attorney. He will promptly review your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How Can We Help?
We work with top accident reconstruction experts.
We identify any auto component which led to the fire.
We gather all the necessary evidence for your case.
We work to build a strong case against the defendant.
We recover the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Sean M. Cleary
Automobile Fires Occurring After Car Accidents in Miami
According to the National Fire Protection Association, over a period of 10 years, the fire departments responded to approximately 2 million vehicle fires in Florida. These fires resulted in 400,000 deaths, 130,000 injured passengers, and over $10 billion in property damage. More than 93% of reported vehicle fires and deaths involved cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles. On average, 31 Florida highway vehicle fires are reported every hour, with at least one person killed per day. Data from the U.S. Fire Administration shows that 93% of highway vehicle fires originate within the vehicle itself: 61% of the fires originate in the engine, the running gear, or the wheel areas of the vehicle, while 15% stem from the passenger area.
Who Is Responsible for Car Accidents Which Result in a Fire?
In car accidents resulting in a fire, smoke inhalation and burns are major causes of death. Unfortunately, when the fire stems from a car accident, the consequences can be devastating. If the fuel tank of a vehicle leaks, it only takes a few seconds before the flames completely engulfed the car. Any passengers trapped inside, who are either unconscious or severely injured, are likely to suffer fatal burns. Serious burns may require tissue removal or amputation and may even be fatal.
The party responsible for compensating the victim in a car accident which resulted in a fire can be the car manufacturer for unsafe design or unsafe components, as well as the insurance companies with which the third parties work. Liability often becomes clear through a detailed investigation and analysis of the car accident.
Car manufacturers are more concerned about financial benefits than the safety of the passengers and adopt cost-cutting measures. For example, although they are well aware that plastic melts instantly during a fire, many fuel tanks are still made of cheap plastic instead of metal. Oftentimes, manufacturers fail to provide fire shields around fuel tanks to prevent fires. Manufacturers can be held liable in any of the following cases:
The location or design of the fuel tank is defective
The materials used for the fuel line are inadequate
The fuel line has no safety valves
The fuel filler neck is defective
The fuel tank is exposed to objects which could easily puncture it following a crash
As a victim of a fire stemming from a car accident, you are entitled to financial compensation if you ended up sustaining a serious injury such as burns. Our product liability attorney, Sean M. Cleary, will make sure you recover the money you deserve for past and future medical costs, as well as for your physical and emotional distress. Burn injuries from car accidents can be debilitating and thereby victims may be unable to work or to lead a normal life after the car accident.
There is a combination of events that start a fire in a car accident. Consequently, the fire may be caused by human, mechanical, and chemical errors. Many fires caused by car accidents could have been prevented if the manufacturers spent more time, money, and attention to testing the components. A safe automobile design minimizes the risk of fuel fires by providing adequate protection to both the fuel tank and the fuel system. Car accidents result in a fire due to:
Defective design. One of the most common causes of car accidents is the actual design of the vehicle itself. Oftentimes, manufacturers identify defective designs early.
Fuel system leakage. Fuel system leaks are the most common reason why cars catch fire. Regularly maintaining your vehicle is the best way to ensure that you and your passengers are safe. If you smell gas around your vehicle or while you are driving, it is crucial that you get the leak fixed right away.
Improperly maintained vehicles. Identifying problems with wiring or leaky seals could stop a fire from happening. Be familiar with what is underneath your hood and make sure to check up on your vehicle regularly.
Batteries. Most car batteries are safe, as long as they are used and maintained properly. Some of the most common causes of a car battery starting a fire are lack of maintenance, leakage, and the hold down not being tight. While very environmentally friendly, the batteries in hybrid and electric cars have been linked to disastrous vehicle fires.
Overheating engines. Several factors can cause an engine to overheat. If you notice that your vehicle tends to overheat, you should take it to a mechanic before the problem gets worse.
Leaking fluids. A large number of the fluids necessary for your car to function are highly flammable. Always look out for leaks or other warning signs, especially in your car or truck’s engine bay.
Failing electric systems. Electrical failures are the second most frequent cause of vehicle fires. Regular maintenance is crucial to identify frayed, worn, or split wires before they cause a fire.
The latest car models recalled due to the risk of fire include but are not limited to:
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. recalled 52,000 model year 2011-2012 Avalon sedans
General Motors recalled 489,000 model year 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Light Duty Regular Cab, Crew Cab 1500, and Double Cab series and model year 2015 Suburban and Tahoe; GMC model year 2014 Sierra Regular Cab, Crew Cab 1500, and Double Cab Series and model year 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL vehicles equipped with a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Nissan recalled about 13,000 Frontier pickup trucks from the 2012 through 2014 model years
What Injuries May Result from a Car Accident Fire?
Suffering burns is among the worst injuries possible in any accident. Motor vehicle-related burns fall into one of four categories, with first-degree burns being the least serious and fourth-degree burns being potentially life-threatening.
First-degree burns are minor and cause damage to the outer layer of skin. The skin appears red, slightly swollen, and may be painful. First-degree burns are likely to heal within a few days.
Second-degree burns are moderate to severe burns, causing damage to both layers of skin. Second-degree burns cause the skin to appear swollen and red and also cause blistering of the affected area. Scarring is also possible once a second-degree burn has healed, which may take 2 to 3 weeks or longer.
Third-degree burns happen when the burn goes through the layers of the skin and causes scarring. The burn affects the layer of fat underneath the dermis, can damage nerve endings, causing numbness, and the skin may appear leathery and white. Third-degree burns require proper cleansing, administration of IV fluids, antibiotics, and possible skin grafts or artificial skin.
Fourth-degree burns have a bad prognosis. They extend completely through both layers of skin and the adipose tissue to underlying bones and muscles. A fourth-degree burn can require tissue removal and amputation. It also can lead to death.
Many burn victims have skin damage that requires extensive surgeries, lengthy hospital stays, and painful rehabilitation. They may suffer life-long damage. Severe burn injuries may change the quality of life, mobility, or the way a victim is able to complete daily tasks. Victims may be unable to have a normal life or to get employed. Instead, they may spend much of their life dealing with the high costs of medical treatment.
How Can The Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help You in a Car Accident Involving Automobile Fire?
With over 20 years of professional experience, our lawyer, Sean M. Cleary, will provide you with the assistance you need to file a claim against the responsible party in the unfortunate event of a car accident involving an automobile fire. Our accident reconstruction experts will recreate the accident to determine how it really took place, while our legal team will attend to all the necessary documents for your case.
Our law firm, which specializes in product liability, will identify the auto component which malfunctioned and thereby led to the vehicle catching fire. We will pursue the maximum amount of financial compensation from the liable party for your physical and emotional injury.