Many people would be shocked to learn just how common vehicle fires are. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there are more than 200,000 vehicle fires that occur in this country every year. Hundreds of victims die from these fires, thousands more are injured, and there is almost $2 billion in property damage. The severity of the injuries suffered by survivors is often catastrophic, leaving permanent scarring, disfigurement, and lifelong pain. There is also the ongoing medical care and costs that victims must deal with.
Burn Injuries Caused by Car Crashes
Being involved in a car accident is often a frightening experience, but when there is an eruption of fire, it becomes terrifying. Given the mechanics and systems that make a vehicle run, there are a wide array of issues that can cause a vehicle to burn in an accident. Some of the more common causes of burn injuries include:
- Burns from flames from gasoline igniting
- Burns from contact with parts of the vehicle that have become extremely hot when trying to exit the vehicle
- Burns from scalding liquid spraying from a radiator
According to data collected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), approximately 60 percent of all vehicle fires start in the gearbox or engine. A little more than 10 percent of vehicle fires begin in the passenger area. FEMA also found that less than 2 percent of all vehicle fires start in the vehicle’s gas tank or fuel lines. This is one reason many people do not realize the high risk of a vehicle fire in any type of crash, not just one where the back of the vehicle is hit.
Burns from a car accident have a chemical, electrical, or heat source. Chemical burns can occur if there are any kind of hazardous materials that are spilled during the crash, especially in accidents involving commercial trucks transporting these substances. Electrical burns often occur because the victim comes in contact with an exposed or damaged electric component. Heat burns are a result of the victim’s exposure to flames, hot liquids, hot surfaces, or steam. A fire from a burning vehicle generates heat at approximately 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Call a North Carolina Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries from a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney to discuss what legal options you may have against the at-fault party. Our legal team will work diligently, using all available resources, to get you the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. We have successfully represented many burn victims and their families who have suffered horrific losses.
Some of the damages you may be able to collect include medical expenses, loss of income and benefits, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring, disfigurement, and more. Call Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation to find out what legal recourse you may have for the losses you have suffered.