Tragedy struck in the town of Jupiter last Saturday when a vehicle in which two brothers were traveling crashed and burst into flames. When the burning vehicle was discovered by police, officers were able to extinguish the fire and pull one of the brothers, 35-year-old Mario Pizano, out of the car. Mario was taken to the hospital where he remains in critical condition. Unfortunately, Mario’s brother, 39-year-old Jose Jesus Pizano, was not reached in time, and he perished in the fire.
According to an article from The Palm Beach Post, officers are still investigating the Palm Beach car crash, and at this time, the cause of the accident is not known, nor do authorities know what caused the vehicle to catch fire. No other vehicles were reported to be involved in the collision.
Our West Palm Beach car accident lawyer knows that vehicle crashes happen every day in this area, but the vast majority of them do not result in vehicle fires. Vehicle fires used to occur with greater frequency than they do now. In fact, in the 1970s, Ford designed and released a new car model called the Pinto. The Pinto was Ford’s answer to other vehicle manufacturers’ compact cars, but it came with a fatal design flaw. The gas tank was located too close to the rear bumper, with insufficient protection between the two, so that when the Pinto was rear-ended, even at low speeds, the gas tank often exploded. Many people were badly injured or killed as a result. After lawsuits resulted in the realization that Ford had known about this risk and blatantly disregarded it, the manufacturing of the Pinto was discontinued.
However, thanks to the efforts of the victims, their families, and their attorneys, vehicle manufacturers have been given huge financial incentives to take steps to make their vehicles as safe as possible, including protecting against vehicle fire. Modern vehicles come equipped with safety belts and air bags. Vehicles are purposely designed in specific shapes in order to strengthen them against bending and breaking in a collision. Warnings are printed prominently inside vehicles to help parents determine the safest place for their children to ride. And, of course, gasoline tanks are now more protected than they once were in order to prevent them from exploding on impact.
In spite of the additional safety measures that automobile manufacturers have adopted, vehicle fires still occur. When vehicle fires do occur in our area, it is important for victims to speak to a West Palm Beach car accident attorney as soon as possible. The Palm Beach accident lawyer at the Law Office of Eric Luckman knows that the first thing to do in such cases is to determine exactly what caused each aspect of the accident. In other words, why did it crash and what caused the vehicle to catch fire. Sometimes, excessive speed itself can be the cause of a vehicle fire. However, in other cases, the fire may have been the result of a design defect – like the Ford Pinto – or a manufacturing defect – such as a gas leak. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, whether the injury was caused by vehicle fire or otherwise, call our office today to set up an appointment to discuss your case. We can help you understand your rights and what steps you can take to protect and enforce them.
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