Indianapolis injury lawyers know that fires are among the many life-threatening outcomes of an accident on the road. It’s important to better understand these fires, as they can destroy property, cause serious injuries, and in the worst cases, claim lives.
For instance, police just recently reported on a driver in Hendricks County who died in a car fire after his vehicle struck off-road obstacles and then rolled over; by the time first responders reached his vehicle, it was already completely engulfed in fire.
Indianapolis injury lawyers share common car fire misconceptions
To better understand vehicle fires, it’s necessary to clear up some misconceptions, including the following:
- Vehicle fires are rare. They’re actually quite common. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that between 2003-2007, fire departments across the United States. responded to an average of about 287,000 vehicle fires each year. Annually, the U.S. has seen an average of 1.3 billion dollars in property damage from these fires. On average, they lead to the death of one person per day, and hundreds of injuries every year.
- They only occur after dramatic, Hollywood-style crashes. Vehicle fires don’t have to manifest as a large dramatic explosion. Most of these fires occur as a result of vehicular defects and can arise even in the course of safe driving. (However, most of the fatalities caused by vehicle fires come about in the aftermath of collisions.)
- They can be easily put out without professional assistance. This is a grave misconception. People assume that because vehicle fires may look small-scale, they can be handled without the help of professionals. In fact, car fires can spread quickly, and even a fire that appears small and manageable may easily engulf a vehicle’s fuel or electrical systems and get out of control. It’s important to get away from the vehicle and contact authorities if it’s on fire.
- The flames and potential for explosion are the only sources fatality and injury. While flames and flying vehicle components from explosions are indeed potentially deadly, another hidden danger that people aren’t aware of is the effect of toxic fumes released by burning car components. Get at least 100 feet away from the burning vehicle (while also taking care not to step out into traffic).
In the aftermath of a vehicle fire, be sure to contact experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyers. Even if you remain uninjured and don’t have to worry about medical bills, you will still have to deal with insurance companies and the costs of your damaged vehicle. Get an experienced legal advocate on your side to help you out.