Investigation underway after car catches fire in parking lot

by Benjamin Treviño | March 16th, 2022 | General

March 12, 2022

(Pharr) According to the Pharr Police Department, a car inexplicably caught fire Saturday (March 12) outside a local restaurant. The blaze happened near the corner of Jackson Road and Sam Houston Boulevard.

A city spokesperson says the owner of the vehicle was able to get out of the burning car before being injured. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Can I sue if my car catches fire on its own?

The first thing you would want to do is find out what caused the fire. For example, the blaze could have been caused by a manufacturing defect, or by negligent repair by a mechanic, or perhaps even a rag that got caught under the hood.

If the fire was caused by a defect in the vehicle, you could sue the manufacturer, and/or the seller for negligence and strict liability.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care to produce a product that was not defective. “Due care” is generally defined as the degree of care that a reasonable manufacturer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances.

In order to prove negligence, you would need to prove the defendant had a duty to exercise the due care mentioned above. You also would have to show the defendant breached that duty. Additionally, you would have to prove the actual cause, the proximate cause, and the damages.

Proving actual cause means that you have demonstrated that without the defect the car would not have started on fire.

If you can establish that there were no unforeseeable, intervening events that would relieve the manufacturer of liability, then proximate cause has been established.

Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Damages would be the cost of repair to the car.

The seller is liable for negligence even if the seller could not have known about the defect.

In addition to your claim of negligence against the manufacturer and seller, your lawsuit should include a separate claim for strict liability.  Strict liability means the manufacturer and seller are liable whether or not due care was exercised.

When a product is defective, this can refer to either a manufacturing defect, or a design defect.  A manufacturing defect is an aberration.  A design defect is one where the defective condition is due to the actual design of the product.

Keep in mind that you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

Prior to filing your lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers for the manufacturer and seller. If the case is settled, no lawsuit is filed. If the case is not settled, you can proceed with your lawsuit.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, you can reject the settlement offers, and hire an attorney file your lawsuit.

If it is possible to settle with one of the parties, but not the other, then your lawsuit would only name the party with whom settlement has not been reached as a defendant. If the case is settled with the insurance carriers for both parties, no lawsuit is filed.

If you are unsure how this information applies to your specific case, contact the injury attorneys at J. Gonzalez Law Firm. We can help you decide which course of action is best for you. Call us today at 1-800-CAR CRASH.


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