Car accidents are traumatic enough, but severe ones result in even more damage after the collision has already occurred. Some car accidents turn into huge fires and explosions, known as post-collision fires. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between the years of 1979 and 1986, nearly 228,000 people were maimed and killed by car accident fires. To put this on a yearly scale, this amounts to 29,000 accidents annually. An impact with another vehicle or object can result in serious traumatic injuries, but a post-collision fire can add even greater injury. Many of those who survive post-collision fires live their lives with serious scarring and loss of feeling.
A similar study by the NHTSA indicated that 88 percent of all accident victims would not have been seriously injured had it not been for the post-collision fire. The type of injury caused by fires (serious burns) are often more severe that typical car accident injuries such as broken bones or whiplash. Although some instances of car accident fires are inevitable, others may have been caused by fuel system defects. A defective fuel system is an issue of product liability, and results from a fuel tank or hose being improperly manufactured or designed. Flaws such as this can result in avoidable fires.
Fires: Making Investigations Difficult
Unfortunately, these types of accidents are difficult and sometimes near impossible to investigate due to the severe charring. If the accident was caused by a defect in the fuel system, our firm is prepared to investigate other vehicles of that make and model in order to determine if there were defects. Our firm takes investigations very seriously and will begin quickly in order to make sure that no evidence gets ignored.
Investigation should begin immediately o ensure that your attorney is uncovering every source of liability. Burned vehicles, even if they were not completely burned, deteriorate rapidly by way of corrosion. Preserving the evidence is a vital component to the effectiveness of your case. Witness testimony is also crucial when investigating car accident fires. A witness will be able to describe the fire, which could help indicate the cause. Was the fire black? Was it thick smoke? Was there a flashback? Answers to all of these questions are incredibly important to a case.
Living with Burn Injuries
Victims of post-collision fires, if they survive, will likely live their lives with serious scarring, nerve damage, and even loss of limbs. Burn victims often have to relearn how to perform every day activities such as getting dressed and eating. The severity of the lifetime effects will depend upon the degree of the burn. Burn degrees range from first to fourth, with fourth being the most severe. First degree burns are similar to sunburns and typically heal within one week or less, while fourth degree burns can necessitate amputation, since the burn protruded all the way into the subcutaneous tissue.
Get The Advocacy You Deserve If you were injured in this type of accident, be sure to contact Arnold & Itkin LLP as soon as possible. While the statute of limitations gives an individual two years in which they can file a personal injury claim for compensation, it is best to start the process as soon as possible. Over time, witnesses forget what they saw and evidence can deteriorate or get lost. Our firm exists to help its clients recover maximum financial compensation after they were wronged. Call To Learn More