Recently, a vehicle fire on the upper deck of NB I-35, around Manor Road in Austin, caused traffic to be diverted for several hours, with fire crews guiding traffic to the lower deck. While as of this writing, law enforcement reports no injuries, there is not enough evidence to discern the fate of the driver. If you are so unfortunate as to experience this type of accident, whether it is your car on fire or another vehicle’s fire that might spread to yours, know that you do not have to suffer alone. You may be able to hold the negligent party responsible for your medical bills if the situation merits it.
The most recent available data from the National Fire Protection Association estimates an average of 223,000 vehicle fires per year, with over $1 million in property damage during the same period. The causes of vehicle fires can be legion, with anything from driver error to poor road conditions to poor vehicle maintenance possibly causing sparks or providing another catalyst. Vehicle issues may also be baked in, so to speak, with defective parts coming standard on your car or truck. It is often too late to discover this until after there has been a problem.
As one might imagine, the injuries sustained in this kind of vehicle accident can be extremely severe. Burns are the most commonly seen, as one might imagine, but other injuries may still occur, including broken bones, cuts and bruises, and others that can occur after an explosion. Most, though not all, vehicle fires may result in an explosion at some point simply because of the presence of potential accelerants in the car – for example, electrical systems or the fuel tank if your car is not electric.
Before You File Suit
If you have been injured, or you have lost a loved one, in a vehicle fire, and you believe that it occurred due to another person’s negligence, the first thing you need to discover is how best to file suit against that person – or, in some cases, ensuring that you are able to do so. If you suspect, for example, that poor road maintenance was the primary cause of your vehicle fire, you would bring suit against the company that is supposed to maintain the roads. However, governmental agencies like the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are immune from suit due to a concept called sovereign immunity.
If you discover that you are able to bring suit against the person or entity you believe was negligent, know that you must do so within a set time frame (in Texas, the statute of limitations is usually two years for personal injury-related cases). This may seem like a lot, but it can and does go by very fast; if you plan to file suit over your injuries (or a loved one’s wrongful death), you need to do so as quickly as possible and ensure that you have an experienced attorney on your side to get you through the process.
Call a New Braunfels Car Accident Attorney
While as of this writing, it remains to be seen if there will be any fatalities in the NB I-35 vehicle fire, injuries are usually quite severe for anyone who is lucky enough to live through one. If you need help after a vehicle fire accident, call the skilled New Braunfels car accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm to speak to an attorney with experience in these types of cases. Our firm will work hard for you. Call us today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.