Car Accident Burn Injuries
While many people associate car accident injuries with broken bones, concussions, whiplash, etc., there is also a very real risk of suffering burn injuries. Serious burn injuries have occurred even in automobile accidents that most would not consider to be “serious.” It is true that a car fire is not a common occurrence in an auto accident, but when a car does in fact catch fire, it is more likely to cause devastating injuries. Fortunately, the state of Texas recognizes that victims of car accidents may need legal compensation to help them recover from their injuries. An experienced Houston injury attorney can help victims seek that compensation after a crash.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Car Accidents
Car fires are uncommon and tend to happen much more regularly in action movies than they do in real life. That said, they do happen in certain circumstances. A fire requires both a source of fuel and an ignition. An automobile uses an internal combustion engine that is designed to burn fuel to produce energy to create forward momentum. Vehicle fuel (gasoline) is therefore highly flammable and can combust with the slightest spark.
Given the flammability of gasoline, the most common cause of vehicle fires after car accidents is when the fuel tank becomes compromised. Fuel leaks and punctured gas tanks can result in fuel spilling into hazardous areas. Any spark could ignite the spilled fuel, such as a spark caused by the impact of metal during the crash.
Serious burn injuries can also be caused by seat belts and airbags.
Types of Burns and Severity of Degrees
Burns are categorized into three degrees. As the degree of burn increases, the more severe the burn is considered. First degree burns are the mildest type of burn, and merely result in a red tinge of the skin and pain in the epidermis (the outer layer of skin).
Second degree burns cause more serious injury affecting both the epidermis and the dermis (outer and lower layers of skin). These more serious burns cause pain, blistering, and swelling.
Third degree burns are known as deep-tissue burns. This is because they penetrate beyond the skin causing significant long-term injuries. The most serious types of burn injuries occur when a driver or passenger wind up trapped in an inflamed vehicle.
The Basis of Legal Compensation After an Auto Accident
The most common legal theory associated with automobile accidents is negligence. Unfortunately, many auto accidents are preventable and occur because of the carelessness of one of the drivers. Under Texas law, the responsible party can be held liable and ordered to compensate the injury victim for his or her injuries incurred during the crash. This includes any injury caused by a car fire or burns.
Recoverable Damages from an Injury Lawsuits
Injury damages are designed to compensate victims for their injuries and make them whole after an accident. As such, victims may recover different types of damages such as the cost of any medical bills, the amount of any lost wages or working time, and the pain and suffering that resulted from incurring the injury.
Contact a Houston Car Crash Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered a serious burn injury in a car accident caused by the carelessness of another driver, now is the time to speak to a Houston auto accident injury lawyer to help guide you through the personal injury claims process. The law firm of Michael P. Fleming & Associates can help. Contact our office today to schedule a free case review 713-221-6800.