Approximately 20 percent of the millions of burn injuries that occur each year in the United States are the result of a vehicle fire. Additionally, an estimated 600 people die each year from vehicle fires. Most of those deaths are the result of a post-collision fire – a fire that occurs after the vehicle has survived a crash.
Car manufacturers are expected to design their cars so that they can survive a crash and not explode or catch fire afterward. Under Maryland law, if a manufacturer releases a model with design defects that lead to post-collision fires, that manufacturer could be held liable for any burn injuries or burn-related deaths that occur as the result of those defects.
There are several design defects that have been shown to cause vehicle fires and post-collision fires. Many of those defects are related to the fuel tank and include:
- Improper placement (outside of the frame rail or near materials that could easily puncture it, for example);
- Inadequate shielding;
- Negligent choice of materials (something combustible or easily punctured);
- Failure to prevent fuel siphoning; and/or
- Negligent construction.
Similar design defects in the fuel lines or the fuel pump can also cause a post-collision vehicle fire.
If you or a loved one have suffered a burn injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation for losses related to your injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Depending on the extent of your injury, you could also be awarded compensation for disfigurement and scarring, physical pain, and emotional trauma.
To received additional information from a qualified Maryland burn injury attorney, please contact our firm today for a free case evaluation.