Who is Liable if Your Car Catches Fire After a Crash?

fireman extinguishing a car fireBeing involved in a collision is a traumatic experience, even when the accident is minor. If a crash also causes a car to catch fire, the situation could quickly become dangerous or life-threatening.

Learn more about car fires after a collision, including who may be liable, common causes – even in newer vehicles, and what to do if it happens to you. If you file a claim, an experienced attorney can make a significant difference in the amount of compensation you receive.

At Greg Coleman Law, we are prepared to help. Our car crash lawyers based in Knoxville have a proven track record, and we offer a free initial consultation. You can find out if your claim is valid and get answers to your questions at no cost or risk to you.

We are ready to help. (865) 247-0080 

Liability For Car Fires After a Crash

Determining who may be liable for a car fire following a traffic accident is challenging and requires a full investigation into the cause of the crash. There is no one answer, as there are different reasons cars may catch fire after colliding with another vehicle or object.

The negligent party who caused the collision may be held liable for your medical costs, lost wages and other damages. However, there could be more than one party responsible if a fire results, including:

  • The at-fault party who caused the crash
  • Car manufacturers if the fire was due to a defect or design flaw
  • Service shop if an improper repair or maintenance is responsible for the fire
  • Vehicle owners, who may share liability if the fire was due to a lack of maintenance

If you have an attorney, an investigation should reveal all possible sources of compensation that may be available to help you with your recovery.

What May Cause a Car Fire After a Crash

Newer vehicles may be less likely to catch fire than those that are older. In part, that is because today’s vehicles have more safety features and are better designed overall to protect drivers and other occupants.

Despite the age or make of a vehicle, car fires sometimes still happen after a crash for many different reasons, such as:

  • Exposed or spilled flammable fluids: Most vehicles operate on highly flammable fluids, including gasoline, transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid and power steering fluid. These fluids could ignite if a crash exposed them to heat.
  • Defective fuel pumps: If a fuel pump fails to shut off after a collision, the damaged vehicle may continue to pump gas through the fuel system, increasing the risk of a fire.
  • Vehicle crumple zones:  Older models may be more likely to crumple in a crash, potentially exposing batteries, electrical wires and more to heat. If a smaller vehicle collides with an SUV or other larger vehicle, there is an even greater chance a car fire could happen even if the vehicle is newer.
  • Electric and hybrid vehicle batteries: These vehicles are very economic to run, but in a collision, they could create a fire risk.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance: Failing to get regular repairs and vehicle maintenance can lead to a lot of issues, such as faulty wiring, damaged batteries and other issues that could spark a fire in a crash.
  • Faulty service or repair: Car fires after crashes may also be due to a faulty repair or a defective part used in a repair.

Act Quickly if Your Car Catches Fire

There are many measures you can take to help prevent a car fire, but if your vehicle does catch on fire - after a crash, or at any other time, it is important to stay calm and act quickly.

The National Fire Protection Association Council recommends taking these steps if your vehicle catches fire:

  • Pull over immediately, but safely - use your signal to notify others of your actions
  • Turn off your engine as soon as you stop the vehicle
  • Get everyone out of the car immediately
  • NEVER allow anyone back into the car to get anything
  • Move everyone at least 100 feet away from the burning car - both for the heat and potentially toxic fumes
  • Do NOT open the hood or trunk of your car - if burning, it could make the fire stronger
  • Watch for traffic while getting out of your car and while moving away from your vehicle
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately

Call Greg Coleman Law for Legal Help Today

Car fires after a crash are more common than you might think. Having an attorney on your side may help you to get the compensation you need for medical costs and other damages. 

Our lawyers are experienced and ready to help you throughout the legal process. We have the resources and staff to fully investigate your accident, including the cause of a car fire.

At Greg Coleman Law, we are ready to fight for the maximum possible compensation on your behalf. Learn more about your legal options today. Initial consultations are completely free and carry no obligation to file a claim.

Millions Recovered. (865) 247-0080