It is generally recognized among automotive designers that vehicle occupants should not be seriously injured or killed due to a post-collision fire if the accident is otherwise survivable. Unfortunately, despite consensus in this area of the importance of designing vehicles to prevent thermal injuries or fire related deaths post-accident, an alarming number of people are still injured or killed each year due to faulty fuel system designs.
Investigating and pursuing fuel system defect cases requires the participation of multiple experts. First, a detailed accident reconstruction must be performed to ensure that the accident sequence is fully understood, and that the impact forces and amount of vehicular damage are accurately calculated.
Only with a full understanding of the initial crash can it be determined if a potential fuel system defect may exist. Second, an appropriate medical expert must be consulted to determine whether the initial crash or the resulting fire caused the injuries or wrongful death complained of.
If the injuries or death were not caused by the post-crash fire, then a fuel system defect claim will not exist. However, if the accident itself was survivable but for the fire, a deeper investigation should be done.
Specifically, a cause-and-origin expert, typically an experienced fire or arson investigator, must be retained to pin-point where the fire started and determine why it spread causing the injuries or death involved. Lastly, a fuel system design engineer must be consulted to evaluate if the fuel system is defective in either it’s design or manufacture. If potential design alternatives existed to prevent the tragedy, or if failures occurred in the system’s performance that should not have happened, then a fuel system defect claim may well exist.
As Fuel System Defect attorneys we can help
If you suspect a fuel system to be the cause of a serious injury or death, contact us for a free evaluation of your case. As fuel system defect lawyers we have extensive experience in litigating vehicular claims involving fuel-fed fires, and stand ready to bring our knowledge and expertise to bear for consumers injured by defective fuel system.