blog home Personal Injury Electric Vehicle Fires and Dangers They Pose to Buildings

Electric Vehicle Fires and Dangers They Pose to Buildings

By Jason Bottlinger on August 20, 2023

Building fires can have devastating consequences. Every year from 2018 to 2020, an estimated 1,900 fatal residential fires occurred in the U.S., as reported by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). These fires caused an estimated annual average of 2,745 deaths, 625 injuries, and $230 million in lost property. Among the other potential causes, electric vehicles have caused building fires in recent years.

How Can Electric Vehicles Potentially Cause Building Fires?

Most electric cars have lithium-ion batteries. All of these batteries use flammable materials. They are susceptible to “thermal runaway,” a chain reaction that can lead to fires or explosions. This can be triggered when a battery overheats or is punctured or when an electrical fault, such as a short circuit, occurs. Fires may occur spontaneously when the battery is charging, mainly due to manufacturing defects. Electric vehicle fires burn hotter than gasoline or diesel fires, and putting them out takes a lot more water and time. A fire that starts in a vehicle can spread to the garage, the house, and other buildings.

What Are the Consequences of Building Fires Caused by Electric Vehicles?

If the lithium-ion battery in an electric vehicle catches on fire or explodes while the vehicle is parked in a garage or near a residential building, the fire can spread to the building and the people within. Some apartment buildings have built-in parking garages beneath them, which can create a serious risk for residents when electric vehicles burn because their batteries catch on fire.

Building fires caused by electric vehicles can have serious consequences. They can cause significant property damage and devastating injuries. The most common injuries in these types of fires are:

Burn injuries: Severe burns can be caused by contact with heat or flames in fires or explosions.

Smoke inhalation injuries: A building fire caused by an electric vehicle can cause victims to inhale smoke containing toxic chemicals and sustain damage to their lungs from exposure to heat.

Respiratory failure and severe burns sustained in a residential building fire can be fatal.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Electric Vehicle Building Fires?

Electric vehicle fires are rarely the fault of the vehicle’s owner. Liability may lie with the vehicle manufacturer or another party involved in its production. Determining liability can be complicated because so many different parties may be involved in producing electric vehicles. After a building fire caused by an electric vehicle, our skilled Omaha personal injury legal team can conduct a thorough investigation to determine what caused it and who is liable.

The Role of an Attorney

When a building fire starts because of an electric vehicle, it can cause devastating bodily injuries and property loss. Your best chance of recovering full compensation for your losses from responsible parties is to have an experienced personal injury lawyer handling your case.

Your attorney can secure evidence to support your claim, build a strong case based on the evidence, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you deserve in court if necessary.

Consult a Trusted Nebraska Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been a victim of a building fire caused by an electric car, we want to hear what happened. At Bottlinger L.L.C., we have the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate your case, determine liability, and pursue maximum compensation.

Our Omaha injury lawyer is dedicated to helping each client achieve the best possible outcome and protecting your rights every step of the way. Head attorney Jason Bottlinger has over 15 years of legal experience and is committed to helping clients get the justice they deserve.

Reach out to us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free initial consultation. Let’s see how we can help.

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