Nearly 171,500 car fires occur on U.S. highways every year. Car fires can happen in all types of motor vehicles, including passenger vehicles, semi-trucks, buses, and motorcycles. As vehicles have become more advanced, car fires are less common than they were fifty years ago. However, the majority of car fires that do occur result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars in property damage every year.
Unfortunately, escaping a car fire with no injuries is nearly impossible. Whether caused by an accident or not, fires spread fast and immediately start damaging the protective barrier of your skin. Victims of a car fire and their families may need a Houston car fire accident lawyer to establish negligence and protect their rights. When you’re ready to work with a legal team that has a proven track record of success, call Sutliff & Stout.
What Are the Main Causes of Car Fires?
It’s very uncommon for one problem to cause a car fire. Car scene investigators and analysts bear the burden of tracking down the complication that started the fire, which is challenging to do when much of the evidence is destroyed. It’s plausible that a combination of these three factors causes car fires: human error, mechanical issues, and chemical reactions. More specifically, the main causes of car fires include:
- Design or manufacturing defects
- Inadequate maintenance
- Car accidents
- Battery-related issues
- Overheating catalytic converters
- Overheating engines
- Fuel system leaks
- Electrical system failure
Recognizing these causes may be able to help drivers prevent a situation like this from happening to them, but it is extremely difficult to predict when and why a car fire might occur. Manufacturers, designers, distributors, and car owners have a duty to ensure that vehicles meet federal safety standards. This means that recalls notices must be sent, and vehicles must undergo proper maintenance or repairs when necessary.
Severe Burn Injuries Sustained in Car Fires
Burning cars put drivers, occupants, and passenger vehicles at significant risk of sustaining burns—burns so severe that they may result in death. Burn injuries are classified in different degrees, depending on how harsh the burns are. In a car fire, you may sustain the following burns:
- First-degree burns impact the surface of the skin, causing only minimal skin damage. Recovery is quick and pain is mild.
- Second-degree burns impact the first and second layer of skin, causing blistering, redness, and swelling. Recovery may take a few weeks and is usually painful.
- Third-degree burns completely damage the top two layers of skin, as well as the underlying nerves, muscles, and bones, causing the affected area to look charred. These burns typically require hospitalization and require skin grafts.
- Fourth-degree burns damage all layers of the skin and reach your bones, muscles, and tendons. All feeling is destroyed, and these injuries can be fatal.
Healing from burns takes time. Not just physically but mentally too. Burns can alter the way your body looks, leading to mental distress. Get help after a car fire with a knowledgeable car fire accident lawyer at Sutliff & Stout. We can’t take away the pain, but we can ensure you’re compensated for your damages.
Steps to Take If Your Car Catches Fire in Houston
Knowing what to do if your car is on fire is important. You may want to try to understand what went wrong, but it’s critical that you act fast to protect yourself. Some steps to take if your car is on fire include:
- Pull your car over and shut off the engine
- Exit the car; don’t worry about leaving behind personal items
- Help get passengers out of the car
- Move away from the fire
- Call 911
- Try to put the fire out if you have an approved fire extinguisher and know how to use it properly
- Pay attention to your surroundings
- Alert others nearby
Contact a Houston Car Fire Accident Lawyer Today
Although car fires are not something you see every day, they do still happen. When victims of car fires suffer very deep burns, the consequences may be life-threatening and accompanied by excruciating pain, medical bills, and unemployment. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car fire, seek legal assistance from a Houston car fire accident lawyer at Sutliff & Stout. Our legal team has years of experience fighting for injured Texans and we’re eager to do the same for you.
Here at Sutliff & Stout, we believe that those injured due to the negligence and fault of others deserve to be represented by strong advocates. That’s why our attorneys are transparent and honest with you about their expectations and your goals. Request a free, no-obligation case review to discuss your car fire with one of our Board-Certified attorneys today by calling (713) 987-7111 or completing our contact form. We also have optional video consultations available.