Victims in Tesla Crash Could Not Be Promptly Rescued Because of Exploding Batteries
Rescue of Car Crash Victims Hampered Because of Exploding Batteries
Rescuers responding to the crash of a Tesla electric vehicle in Indianapolis this week were reportedly held at bay for a time due to the car's batteries exploding, creating a safety hazard to rescuers. A Tesla electric car being driven by a 27-year-old woman and carrying a male passenger in his forties crashed into a tree and parking garage before catching fire. As the Tesla vehicle burned, the car's battery – which consisted of many smaller lithium batteries – caught fire and began to explode "like Roman candles," according to the USA Today story.
Reports further indicate that the male passenger was able to be extracted from the vehicle but died later at a hospital because of smoke inhalation and burn injuries, and the female driver tragically died at the scene of injuries relating to the crash, including fire-related injuries.
Bad News for Tesla
Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot system, which had been the focus of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation, was recently found to be free of design or manufacturing defects in the case of a man who crashed into a semi-truck while the Autopilot feature was engaged. Now, however, Tesla's electric car designs are likely to come under scrutiny to determine whether the vehicle's battery design had any defects. If the battery system could have been designed in a safer way without resulting in significant additional costs, a design defect may be said to exist. Additionally, if this particular car's battery pack was somehow faulty and deviated in some way from Tesla's battery design, then a manufacturing defect might be found to exist.
For example, in the case of the male passenger, the fire clearly contributed to his death: one pertinent question would be whether the battery's design and the manner in which the battery exploded and kept rescuers at bay unnecessarily and unreasonably made the man's death more likely. In other words, the man's surviving family members may have legal recourse against Tesla for defects in the battery if evidence shows that the car's battery was designed or manufactured in an unreasonably unsafe manner and that defect resulted in a fire that otherwise would not have happened and/or made the fire unreasonably dangerous for rescue personnel to approach and rescue the man.
Lawsuits Against Manufacturers of New Automotive Technology
Tesla has made no indication that it intends to cease production of its electric cars, so unfortunately it is only a matter of time before another wreck involving one of its electric cars occurs. While electric cars may be a new and exciting development in automotive technology, automakers who produce these vehicles must still take reasonable steps and precautions to help ensure that the electric cars they manufacture are reasonably safe for drivers, passengers, and other motorists.
Injured in an auto accident? Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law are dedicated to helping drivers and passengers who are injured in motor vehicle accidents across Georgia and in the Southeast recover monetary damages for their injuries and losses and holding all parties whose carelessness contributed to the collision or crash accountable for their actions – even the automaker itself. Our firm has the requisite resources to help determine if a design defect or manufacturing defect in your electric car or other automobile played a role in causing your injuries.
Contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you would like to speak with one of our Car Accident Attorneys, contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, today by calling (800) LAW-NEED (529-6333) to schedule your free consultation. You may also visit us online at www.montlick.com, to complete a Free Case Evaluation Form, and you may also participate in a 24-hour Live Online Chat.
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