The Chandler Law Group is an injury law firm that helps victims of accidents all over the Commonwealth of Virginia. With offices in Alexandria, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Warrenton, Fishersville and Front Royal we are uniquely positioned to offer aggressive and thoughtful legal counsel to injury victims all over the state. One of the main focuses of our practice is helping those who have been injured due to car fires. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a vehicle fire in Virginia, contact the Chandler Law Group for a free legal consultation today.
People think that car fires only happen in movies. If you’ve seen any particular action film, there always seems to be at least one scene where a car bursts into flames, usually preceded by a dramatic fall off a cliff or a bullet going into a gas tank. In fact, most car fires occur due to much more mundane circumstances. They occur when a car is in an accident or when there is a mechanical or electrical malfunction.
But while the circumstances or causes of a vehicle fire might be seemingly tame compared to what you see in the movies, the end result of these fires is anything but mundane. People suffer agonizing and disfiguring burns, and that’s only if they are lucky. Often the result of a vehicle fire can be death.
Most cars these days run so smoothly that it’s easy to forget that many of them are carrying ten or more gallons of gasoline, which is one of the most flammable materials on earth. Car fires can occur due to ruptured fuel lines or electrical short circuits. There is really no shortage of ways for a car to catch fire.
While cars do catch fire, they very rarely just “blow up.” So if you do notice that your car is on fire as you are driving, there are steps you can take to get yourself out of the situation as safely as possible.
Stop the car: This might seem like an obvious step, but what should be mentioned is that how you stop the car is incredibly important. Your instinct would probably be to just PULL OVER as quickly as you possibly can, but bear in mind that there are other cars out there on the road with you. Suddenly jerking your car over to the right or slamming on the brakes could cause your car to get hit, which could make an already bad situation much worse.
Turn off the engine: While your first and completely legitimate instinct would be to just get out of the car, you should turn off the engine and remove the keys. If the fire is due to a fuel leak, then stopping the flow of the fuel would be a good start. If the fire is due to an electrical problem, turning off the engine completely kills the battery, which can also kill the source of the fire.
Get yourself and passengers out: Once the car has stopped, it is important that you and anyone else in the car are removed from the confines of the vehicle. Even if it seems that the fire has stopped, it is best to get out as fast as possible.
Put as much distance between yourself and the vehicle: Get yourself and everyone else as far away from the car as possible. Make sure that you keep any passersby far away as well.
Make sure that oncoming traffic is aware of and is kept away from the fire: Wave at cars, wave your coat, jump up and down, but do whatever you can to signal oncoming traffic that there is a car fire ahead.
Call the fire department: Even if it looks like the fire has burnt itself out or has stopped, make sure that the fire department is notified.
Do not attempt to put the fire out yourself: This is just plain dangerous. Not only is there the danger of the fire, but there is also the real danger of the smoke and toxic fumes that are billowing out of the fire at a very high rate. Keep in mind, this isn’t smoke from a wood fire, but rather a fire of oil, metal, rubber, plastic and any of the other dozens of synthetics that make up your average vehicle. This smoke is much more toxic, and even a little bit of inhalation can prove disastrous.
Chandler Law Group
875 Rio East
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Fax: (434) 977-4316
Toll Free: 1-800-572-2099
Chandler Law Group
THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE;
AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE.