A car crash can be scary enough. When the car catches fire after a crash, that can be downright terrifying. Fire can destroy nerves, and cause other types of permanent injuries. In many instances, these injuries require not only excruciating treatment, but also grueling physical therapy – and that’s only if a person is lucky enough to survive.
Please don’t allow a negligent driver to escape accountability for causing a car crash that leads to your car catching fire, and you having to suffer horribly as a result. The attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be here to help ensure you get the money you deserve. We will make sure you’re completely informed through the entire process, and that you fully understand what’s going on at all times.
The following is a look at some of the more common reasons a fire can start after a car crash.
Leaking Fuel Tanks
This is probably the leading culprit when a car starts to go up in flames after a wreck. Just a small leak is all it takes for a vehicle to be quickly engulfed – as well as anyone inside. Metal can become super-hot, or a tiny spark can suddenly trigger an inferno.
There are times where some sort of manufacturer’s defect can contribute to a fuel leak. For example, the fuel tank may have been designed in a way that a fire would be more likely. It could have been placed near a bracket, or some other type of sharp object in the undercarriage of the vehicle. Or, the fuel lines may have been improperly routed, and more prone to leaking as a result.
Electrical System Failures
Any sort of failure in the electrical system can cause a driver to lose control of their car, and be involved in a collision as a result. But an electrical problem can also lead to a car crash fire. Sparks from a failed battery can ignite a fluid leak, or ignite any gasoline vapors that might be present. Wiring in the doors, under the seats, and under the floor could also fail, resulting in a fire.
Severe Engine Failure
The engine is another obvious location where a fire can start. The usual cause is overheating. While the engine itself isn’t likely to explode, overheating can make coolant, oil and other fluids rise to dangerously high temperatures, increasing the risk that they will leak onto the exhaust system, the engine bay, or some other incredibly hot surface. If that happens, then it will probably only be a matter of time before a fire starts.
As we mentioned earlier, a battery can sometimes contribute to a fire after a car crash. The battery might have not been correctly designed, increasing the risk of combustible corrosion to form on its terminals. The wires coming from the battery could have been poorly designed, creating a current overload. This, in turn, can melt the insulation that protects the wires, turning into a fire hazard in the process.
Airbags are supposed to protect drivers and their passengers in the event of a wreck, of course. But when they malfunction, the result can be a fire that leads to a severe, debilitating injury. Many motorists have suffered severe burns due to a malfunctioning airbag.
You might not realize that airbags actually don’t fill with air. They fill with gas when deployed. When a collision occurs, a small device, about the size of an aspirin pill, ignites. The ignition converts the device from a solid to a gas, which only takes a fraction of a second to fill the bag. When this process goes wrong, however, the airbag can catch fire after an impact.
But faulty airbags don’t just cause burns. They can cause other types of extreme damage to the body. Manufacturers have sometimes used very unstable propellants which exploded suddenly, even when there was no crash. This led to metal fragments racing through the inside of a car, much like the fragments inside a hand grenade.
You learned a little bit already about how certain design defects can contribute to the development of a fire after a collision. There are many types of mechanical defects that can do the same thing. These include oil pans that leak due to being made of defective materials, and engine blocks that corrode too easily, contributing to the leaking of flammable fluids.
What Happens if My Car Catches on Fire, but Someone Else is At Fault for the Accident?
When a collision takes place due to another driver’s negligence, any design or mechanical defects that exist can become magnified, with terrible consequences. If this happens, the injury victim is going to need to prove they weren’t to blame. This takes solid evidence.
An experienced car accident attorney can help you obtain that evidence, and deliver the proof it will take to make your case as strong as possible – and give you the best possible chance of obtaining full and fair compensation in the process.
Fires Can Cause Severe Injuries, Hire an Attorney that Will Get You the Compensation You Deserve
The attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm have that experience, and we also have the skill needed to help our clients achieve positive results. Our team of experts has established a long track record of success, mainly because we provide tenacious representation. We will work incredibly hard to make sure our clients’ rights are protected at all times.
Incredibly, however, there are some people who actually think they don’t need to hire an attorney. They’re certain they can represent themselves and still get the money they deserve. Please don’t make this mistake. Self-represented injury victims fail the vast majority of the time – and wind up getting no compensation at all.