Vehicle Fires in California – Injury and Damages

At least one person recently died in a crash that occurred on Interstate Highway 800, which is located just north of Auto Mall Parkway. The accident involved a minivan/sports utility vehicle that collided with the center barrier causing the vehicle to overturn and catch fire. Motor vehicle operators and passengers who are in a vehicle are at risk of being seriously burned or killed when a vehicle catches fire. In some cases, people might survive the impact of a vehicle collision but have difficulty escaping the motor vehicle after it catches on fire.

 Causes of Vehicle Fires – Many vehicle gas tanks carry between 12 and 20 gallons of flammable fuel. There have been several recalls for vehicles that pose fire dangers over the years. Some of these examples include a Chrysler recall of about 470,000 vehicles that were manufactured between 2011 to 2014 due to a faulty alternator that created a fire hazard. This can prove deadly because when gasoline is ignited, the fuel creates an explosion. A vehicle fire can occur for several reasons, which include the following:

  • Fuel Lines and Fuel Pumps. Fires can occur after vehicle collisions due to defects in the fuel line or fuel pump. Because many vehicles today utilize fuel injected engines, fuel speeds through a vehicle’s fuel lines at a very fast rate. Ruptures in a fuel line can result in a large amount of fuel leaking out. Many vehicles that utilize fuel injection engines also have electric fuel pumps. If a fuel pump does not shut off after a collision, a fuel pump can continue distributing gasoline through a vehicle’s system, which can serve as further fuel for a fire.
  • Fuel Tanks. Fuel tank design defects can result in a motor vehicle’s tank leaking and rupturing after a collision. A large number of motor vehicles have their fuel tanks mounted at their rear axle, which creates a significant risk when rear impact collisions occur. Other vehicles have fuel tanks located outside their frames, which makes these vehicles particularly vulnerable to a vehicle fire when a side impact collision occurs.

Steps to Take in the Event of a Vehicle Fire 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that individuals follow several important safety tips when a vehicle accident occurs. These steps include:

  • Pull over as safely as possible.
  • Turn off a vehicle’s engine after the vehicle is stopped.
  • After leaving the burning vehicle, never return to the vehicle for any reason.
  • Contact emergency services.
  • Move all people in the vehicle at least 100 feet from the vehicle.
  • Purchase and keep a fire extinguisher in the vehicle, which can be helpful if the car catches on fire.
  • Make sure to have your vehicle inspected and maintained properly twice a year.

Contact a California Accident Attorney

Vehicle accidents involving fires are particularly dangerous in nature and frequently result in serious injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one is harmed in this type of accident and another party is responsible, you are likely entitled to compensation. The Law Office of Justin H. King represents victims of serious auto and car accidents in Ontario and surrounding. Justin H. King is a nationally recognized personal injury attorney in Ontario. Do not hesitate to contact our office today to obtain the compensation that you need.