Public charging points in a row on the street.

Building fires are a devastating occurrence that can lead to immense property damage, personal injury, and in worst-case scenarios, loss of life. Recently, an emerging cause of these fires has been linked to electric vehicles (EVs), specifically issues such as battery failure or charging station malfunctions.

Causes of Building Fires

Electric vehicles (EVs) are increasingly popular due to their eco-friendly nature; however, they do come with unique fire risks. Predominantly, these risks stem from the lithium-ion batteries that power the vehicles. When these batteries fail, it can cause a thermal runaway, a rapid and uncontrolled increase in temperature, often sparked by manufacturing defects or damage to the battery itself. For instance, in some cases, EVs have caught fire while charging, which was attributed to malfunctions at the charging station.

Unlike conventional vehicle fires, those involving EVs present additional challenges for emergency responders. The lithium in the batteries burns at extremely high heat, and there’s also the risk of the fire re-igniting even after being extinguished. Therefore, while EVs offer significant environmental benefits, these potential fire risks underline the need for ongoing advancements in safety measures.

The Devastating Consequences of Building Fires

The consequences of building fires caused by electric vehicles are far-reaching. Significant property damage can be expected, with the intense heat from lithium-ion battery fires potentially causing severe structural damage. Many buildings, particularly apartment complexes, have built-in parking garages, increasing the risk of residential fires caused by EVs.

Personal injury is another grave consequence. Individuals can suffer from severe burns, smoke inhalation injuries, and other trauma. The toxic fumes released during an EV fire can pose serious health risks.

Who Is Liable in an Electric Vehicle Fire?

In the event of a building fire caused by an electric vehicle, several parties could be held liable. The manufacturers or distributors of the faulty vehicle or charging station may bear responsibility if their product is found to be defective or not fit for use. Property owners or managers could also be held accountable if they failed to implement adequate fire safety measures.

Understanding the laws and regulations that apply to electric vehicles and charging stations is crucial. These rules can affect liability and compensation claims in the event of a fire. For instance, if a manufacturer did not comply with safety standards, they could be held liable for damages.

Why Hire an Attorney?

Building fires caused by EVs can result in significant material and physical losses. Victims may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, navigating the complexities of liability and compensation claims can be challenging. That’s why consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer is so important.

The New York fire injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP can help uncover the cause of the fire, identify liable parties, and advocate for full and fair compensation. If you or a loved one has been affected by a building fire caused by an electric vehicle, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal assistance.

Call us at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Posted in: Personal Injury