Burn injuries are some of the most painful and devastating injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. According to the American Burn Association five percent of all burn injuries occur on a street or highway an in 2016 there were 310 deaths from fire and/or smoke inhalation from vehicle crash fires. Fire is only one of the many causes of burns in motor vehicle crashes. For instance, contact with hot engines and exhaust pipes is not uncommon in an accident. In addition to thermal burns, chemical and friction burns often occur in car and motorcycle accidents.
Causes of Burn Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are ripe with potential sources of burn injuries. Examples of the ways in which burn injuries can occur in motor vehicle crashes include:
- Airbags – chemical, thermal and friction burns
- Fuel fed fire from leaking fuel system
- Electrical burns – wiring insulation can be melted or stripped in an accident leaving hot wires exposed
- Friction burns – road rash from being dragged in rollover, ejection accidents and motorcycle crashes
- Car fire started by electrical malfunction
- Car fire started by metal car parts scraping on the road and igniting grease, fuel or other flammable fluids
- Vehicle fire started by fluids, such as transmission fluid, leaking onto hot exhaust
- Chemical burns – from transporting chemicals in your own vehicle or getting in a wreck with a truck transporting hazardous materials
- Accidents involving power lines causing electrical burns and fire
- Wrecks with trucks transporting flammable materials
- Crashing into gas pump
- Scalds from steam and hot liquids released during a crash, often from a damaged radiator
- Contact burns from hot metal such as engine in car, or exhaust pipe on motorcycle
Burns can be caused by the crash itself or due to defective vehicle. Some defective vehicle burns are crashworthiness burns meaning that liability may fall on both the negligent driver who caused your accident and the vehicle maker or seller or another down the supply chain.
To learn more about your rights and compensation for burn injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents, please, contact an experienced car crash attorney today.