Violent auto accidents are frightening and traumatizing, but when those crashes cause cars to erupt into flames, the fear and danger multiply. When a car catches on fire after a crash, the occupants may not be able to get out of the car quickly enough and it is very likely they will suffer burn injuries or worse. Many people injured in fires after car accidents don’t know what happened to cause their vehicles to catch on fire.
While there are many reasons for vehicles involved in crashes to catch on fire, the three main causes are:
- Fuel tank rupture. Violent crashes in which one car hits the other on the side where the gas tank is can dislodge the tank or cause the tank to rupture. Because gasoline vapors are highly flammable, a fire can easily erupt from the damaged fuel tank.
- Damage to the engine. While cars have crumple zones to absorb the energy of a crash, the engine can be damaged and spark a car fire, especially in violent head-on collisions. When an engine catches fire, the fire can quickly spread into the interior of the car, giving people little time to escape.
- Defect or design flaw. Almost every auto maker has recalled a vehicle for possible vehicle fire risks. Sadly, some people have died and others have been severely injured in car fires before manufacturers took the necessary steps to fix defects.
While it may not be surprising that a crash can cause a car fire, it may be surprising to learn that people can also suffer burns in their cars when their airbags deploy. Whether you suffered a burn injury as a result of a manufacturer’s or another driver’s negligence, it is important to hold the negligent party accountable to obtain the necessary compensation for your medical bills and other damages.