When a car catches on fire, it only takes a few minutes to become one of the most dangerous and terrifying situations a person can experience. Unfortunately, no matter how many vehicles have been recalled due to this type of issue, these incidents could continue to happen more and more often.
Numbers vary (the New York Times seems to think it’s in the millions), but the National Fire Protection association reports there were about 208,500 vehicle fires in 2021, leading to 680 deaths and about 1,500 injuries. An experienced Columbus car accident attorney can answer your questions and help you recover compensation for your injuries.
What causes a car to catch on fire?
There are many reasons why cars may catch on fire. However, when car fires occur, the most common cause is flaws in the design or manufacturing defects. It is important to understand that not every single car that has a defective part or design flaw will catch on fire, but you are putting yourself and others at risk by continuing to drive the car.
The following are a few of the most common reasons why cars catch on fire:
- Overheated brakes: When your brakes become overheated, the brake pads and tires can easily catch on fire.
- Engine oil leaks: If the engine is losing too much oil, it may overheat and catch fire.
- Failure to maintain your vehicle: If you keep putting off maintaining your vehicle, you may cause a fire. The reason for this is because your seals and rubber hoses need to be replaced consistently. If they are not, they will become worn out and start leaking flammable liquids.
- Not removing flammable objects: When you do anything to your vehicle, you should always make sure that you remove any flammable products from under the hood. For example, if you check your oil or simply look under the hood, the last thing you want to do is leave paper towels or rags behind to catch on fire.
- Purchasing cheaper parts: You may be trying to save money by purchasing cheaper auto parts, but the truth is that these parts are more likely to wear out fast or malfunction. Therefore, it is best to ensure that you always buy top-quality parts for your vehicle.
- Motor vehicle accidents: When two vehicles collide, the impact can cause a fire to start. Most of the time, this is because the cars start leaking flammable liquids, which can lead to flames erupting.
- Electric system failure: If the electrical system of your car is defective or faulty, this can cause wires to catch on fire.
What types of burn injuries result from car fires?
The main type of injury that folks involved in car fires suffer from are burns. (Smoke and ash inhalation is also common.) If you believe that you have a burn injury, it is strongly suggested that you get proper medical attention immediately to find out the type of burn you have and begin treating it. Here are a few differences between each type of burn:
- First-degree burns: When you have a first-degree burn, you may notice that the area is red, swollen, painful, and dry. Most people compare this type of burn to a sunburn, and it usually heals quickly.
- Second-degree burns: This type of burn can result in scarring. Most people notice that the area is painful, swollen, red, and blistered.
- Third-degree and fourth-degree burns: Third-degree and fourth-degree burns are very serious. They not only damage the skin but can also damage your bones, tendons, and muscles underneath. You will most likely never have feeling in the burn area again as the nerves have been completely destroyed.
Which vehicles catch fire the most?
According to AutoinsuranceEZ, hybrid vehicles catch on fire the most when compared to gasoline and electric vehicles. Per their findings, the vehicles that caught fire the most were:
- Hyundai Elantra: Electrical short
- Kia Cadenza & Sportage: Electrical short
- Honda Odyssey: Electrical short
- Hyundai Genesis & Genesis G80: Anti-lock braking system
- Hyundai Kona: Battery
- Chevrolet Bolt EV: Battery
- Chrysler Pacifica: Battery
Who is liable for a car fire?
If your car caught on fire and injured you, you may be wondering what to do or where to turn. This is where our personal injury attorneys come in, as we can help you determine who is liable for your car fire. There are a variety of different people or companies that we will investigate when it comes to your accident, including:
- The other drivers who were involved or caused the crash
- The mechanics who maintained or repaired the vehicle
- The car manufacturer or designer who was responsible for creating the vehicle
If negligence is found, your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, property damage, and emotional trauma may be recovered.
If you were lucky enough to escape a car fire, you most likely have severe injuries and accumulating medical costs. If this is the case, a Columbus car accident lawyer from Soroka & Associates will be glad to assist you with your claim and fight for your right to the compensation you deserve.
We know that you are going through a very difficult time right now. Therefore, our team encourages you to focus on healing, while we handle all the challenges and hurdles of your case. Call our office, or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.