According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is an annual average of about 223,300 car fires in the United States. These fires result in approximately 329 civilian deaths and 1,221 civilian injuries.
If you’ve been hurt or if your loved one has been killed in a car fire, then it is important to know what caused your fire, who may be liable for your damages, and how to make the fair recovery that you deserve.
Why Car Fires Happen
Car fires can be the result of a mechanical defect or a flaw in the car’s design. For example, a car fire may occur if there is a(n)…
- Wiring malfunction. Electrical shorts in one of the car’s systems can cause sparks and ignite a dangerous fire.
- Gas tank issue. Damage to the gas tank during a collision can lead to a fire or an explosion. Fire can also occur if a gas tank has been incorrectly positioned or if the car lacks a shielded fuel system.
- Exhaust problem. When mufflers or other exhaust components aren’t installed properly, it increases the risk of a car fire.
- Fluid leak. If the fuel lines become damaged in a car accident, then toxic and flammable fluids leaks can quickly catch fire.
In these types of situations, there may be more than one party responsible for your accident. Potential defendants could include:
- Another driver.
- The car manufacturer.
- An auto repair company.
In order to hold the right party or parties responsible for the serious harm that has been done, you must know exactly how the car fire occurred.
How to Make a Fair Recovery
After a car fire, it is important to ask questions, such as:
- Why did this happen? Generally, a car fire happens in one of three ways. There may have been a collision that caused the fire, a manufacturing defect that caused the fire, or a bad repair that caused the fire. It is important to understand what may have caused the car fire that killed your loved one so that you can bring a case against the responsible party.
- When do I have to decide if I want to file a legal claim? As soon as possible. In most cases there is a short statute of limitations and you must file a claim within that time or you forever lose your right to do so. Of course, you shouldn’t make this decision until you have all of the information that you need to make a decision.
- How should I handle the insurance company? You should be very cautious about talking to anyone from the insurance company. Anything that you say may be used against you later.
Of course, you probably have unique questions that deserve answers based on what has happened to you.
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