While fires are relatively uncommon in car accidents, there is a very real possibility of a severe car accident damaging a vehicle’s fuel system, setting the groundwork for a major fire. In these cases, occupants are belted in and can be unconscious, rendering them unable to exit the burning vehicle. If you or a loved one recently suffered a burn injury from a vehicle accident, the burn injury attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. in Phoenix can help you build a case to recover compensation for your damages.
Dangers of Vehicle Fires
In a car accident or any type of vehicle collision, enough force can damage one of the vehicle’s fuel tanks, spilling gasoline and other hazardous chemicals into the area. A spark or open flame can ignite these substances, causing an intense fire in a very short time. However, it should be extremely difficult for this to happen. Vehicle manufacturers must meet rigorous safety standards in the production of their vehicles, and this means ensuring that a vehicle’s fuel tank construction minimizes the chances of a leak or fire.
When manufacturers fail to meet this obligation, a vehicle defect that results in burn injuries can lead to costly product liability claims against the manufacturer. One of the most famous examples of this type of situation is the Ford Pinto, an affordable vehicle that had an unfortunate habit of exploding after sustaining a rear-end collision due to the orientation and weak construction of the vehicle’s fuel tank.
Physicians and burn treatment specialists categorize burn injuries using a degree scale. Most burns from vehicle accidents are thermal burns, or burns caused by direct contact with hot surfaces, boiling liquids, or open flames. A first-degree burn only affects the top layer of skin and the victim should be able to treat such an injury with over-the-counter first aid supplies. A second or third-degree burn is a medical emergency, however, and these injuries can cause lasting damage.
A person who suffers severe burns faces a very difficult road to recovery. Skin grafts may be necessary, and rehabilitation may entail physical as well as occupational therapy. It’s not uncommon for burn injury victims to lose the ability to work for a very long time after severe burns.
As a burn heals, the skin becomes tough and loses its elastic quality. This creates an uncomfortable sensation when the victim moves the affected area. The tougher skin pulls on the healthy skin around the burn area, causing itching, pain, and discomfort. Burns in areas of the body like the knees, elbows, and wrists can make it very difficult to move these joints for quite a while after the injuries heal.
Filing a Lawsuit for Your Vehicle Burn Injury
After suffering a burn injury from a vehicle accident, you should have some idea of your options for legal recourse and recovery. A personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver who caused your accident can yield different types of compensation, including:
- Medical expenses. Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can recover compensation for their hospital bills, rehabilitation, surgery fees, and any other expenses related to medical care for the injuries caused by the defendant’s negligence.
- Pain and suffering. Burns are painful and damaging wounds, and the justice system allows plaintiffs to receive compensation for their physical pain and mental anguish.
- Lost income. If a burn injury prevents the victim from working for an extended time or returning to work at all, the victim can claim compensation for lost income or lost future earning potential.
- Property damage. If another driver was negligent and caused your vehicle accident, you can also claim compensation for the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle and personal property.
The first step in winning your vehicle burn injury lawsuit is to find the right Phoenix personal injury lawyer to represent your case. The team at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. has extensive experience with all types of civil claims in Arizona, and we’re here to help you, too. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your vehicle accident burn injury.