A New Kensington man died as a result of a fire in a vehicle over a weekend. The Coroner determined that the cause of death was acute burns and smoke inhalation.
Unfortunately, vehicles can often be involved in serious fires because they carry such a large fuel supply. In this case, it is not clear exactly what caused the fire in the vehicle. Over the years, there have been an number of lawsuits for wrongful death or personal injury filed against car manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, on the ground that the vehicles did not have enough safety devices to prevent fuel tank fires. Many times, those lawsuits are based on the location of the fuel tank or the vehicle's failure to have some device which shuts off the flow of fuel once an accident has occurred. These product liability cases are some times referred to as "crash worthiness" claims because they deal with whether the car has been designed well enough to withstand a crash.
Our office has been involved in certain product liability cases involving the design or safety features of motor vehicles. We have also handled a number of cases involving fire or burn injuries.
Burns injuries, whether they occur in motor vehicle accidents, or fires and explosions are among the most serious of all personal injury cases. They often lead to long and very painful periods of recovery with extensive medical treatment and future medical costs.