Recent studies by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report that 212,500 vehicle fires caused nearly 600 deaths and injuries in the United States in 2018. Key findings of the study indicated that mechanical failures, electrical failures, and collisions were the leading causes of vehicle fires. Vehicle fires caused 4.5 times the number of deaths as nonresidential structure fires and 1.6 times the number of apartment fire deaths. Those that suffer injuries in a Maryland vehicle fire should consult with an attorney to determine their rights and remedies.
The harrowing data imparts how critical it is for vehicle manufacturers to engage in safety measures to prevent vehicle fires. Recently, BMW announced a recall involving more than a million vehicles. The company cited issues with the engine ventilation system in these vehicles; the faulty system can cause the car to catch fire. The recall involves nearly 1 million sedans and SUVs in the United States and thousands more in other parts of the world.
The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explained that these vehicles are prone to an electrical short in their valve heaters. Over time the irregularity can lead to overheating and even cause a fire. The fire can occur regardless of whether the car is driven or parked. The company advises drivers who smell smoke or burning plastic or view smoke wafting from the engine to pull over, shut the engine, and exit the car.
As research suggests, vehicle fires often stem from mechanical and electrical fires; as such, car manufacturers may be held liable under Maryland’s product liability laws. These lawsuits generally involve manufacturing defects, design defects, or marketing defect claims. While these cases may seem straightforward, the inherent power discrepancy between large car manufacturers and the accident victim may pose significant challenges. A Maryland product liability attorney can assist victims in overcoming these burdens and ensuring that they recover the damages the law entitles.
What Damages Are Available in a Maryland Product Liability Case?
In Maryland, product liability claimants may recover compensatory damages and, in limited situations, punitive damages. Compensatory damages include economic or “special damages” and non-economic damages. However, Maryland’s strict contributory negligence laws often impact how much, if any, damages the victim can recoup. In light of the strict laws, claimants should seek representation through an experienced Maryland accident attorney.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Maryland Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died in a Maryland car accident, the product liability attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen can help you recover damages for your losses. The experienced lawyers on our team represent clients in Maryland vehicle fire cases and claims to stem from traffic accidents, premises liability, construction accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, and similar matters. Our firm commits its practice to represent clients with respect, compassion, and integrity. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated and reputable attorney on our team. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our legal representation unless we can help connect you with the financial compensation you deserve.