In action-packed movies and action-packed tv shows, it is not uncommon to see a scene involving speeding vehicles crashing into objects that result in the vehicle erupting into flames. When these types of crashes happen in the real world and involve a vehicle catching fire, these crashes can be especially devastating for those involved and even for those who witness the fiery crash. According to research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, “an estimated 212,500 vehicle fires caused 560 civilian deaths, 1,500 civilian injuries; and $1.9 billion in direct property damage in the US during 2018.” The causes of vehicle crashes that involve fires are not always easily identifiable or immediately clear and take some time to be investigated properly.
A recent news article revealed the details of a tragic accident that occurred during an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan. A 40-year-old male died while driving a semi-truck powered by jet engines 300 mph down a runway as part of a performance. A video shows him driving past an explosion on the runway when his jet-propelled truck catches fire and appears to roll. The crash took place during the show’s pyrotechnic portion when planned explosions were going off. The crash is still under investigation.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading causes of vehicle fires were mechanical failures or malfunctions and electrical failures or malfunctions. The association stresses the importance of regular maintenance on vehicles to prevent vehicle fires. When vehicle crashes include fires, family members of accident victims may wonder how this impacts their ability to recover damages. One may be able to bring a product liability suit against the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturer of a vehicle can be held liable for defective trucks they design when it is proven that the vehicle posed a reasonable risk of harm, that a safer version of the vehicle could have been manufactured, and the defect was a direct cause of the injuries sustained. In addition to the possibility of product liability suits, victims and the loved ones of those killed in these types of accidents should consult with an experienced lawyer who can help determine which type of civil lawsuit may be viable.