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Injuries Caused by Lithium Ion Battery Fires: Pursuing Compensation

Injuries Caused by Lithium Ion Battery Fires: Pursuing Compensation

May 02, 2024

No matter what consumer goods you use on a regular basis, most of them likely rely on the use of a lithium-ion battery to power them. This includes items as commonplace as smartphones and laptops to gadgets your kids play with, including hoverboards as well as electric cars. However, horror stories highlighting the dangers associated with this energy source have been in the news since their inception.

Of particular concern are injuries caused by lithium-ion battery fires. These can cause victims significant harm, leading to them incurring significant medical bills and, in some cases, being unable to work for long periods of time — and sometimes forever. Situations like these result in these battery fire victims pursuing compensation for their losses with the help of attorneys like ours at Paynter Law.

Types of Injuries Caused by Lithium Ion Battery Fires

Some of the most common fire-related injuries associated with lithium-ion batteries include:

Shrapnel Injuries

Lithium-ion fires often start with an explosion. This happens because the pressure inside the consumer product, like a battery recharger for your smartphone, has built up so significantly inside that there’s nowhere else for it to expand. The only way for it to release is for the device to explode. This is why shrapnel injuries are one of the most common injuries associated with lithium-ion battery fires. 

As you may suspect, when explosions like these occur, not only does it release the raw minerals they’re formulated with into the air, which we’ll discuss later, but any other components contained within it, including on its exterior, become airborne. The latter may include metal pieces, heavy plastics, rubber, etc., all of which can cause contusions (bruising), lacerations (as serious as severe puncture wounds), and, depending on where they strike someone, even blindness.

Burn Injuries

Burns generally accompany shrapnel injuries as, immediately following the explosion, a fire ensues. The shock a person experiences in seeing a product suddenly explode in their presence, followed by them tending to those immediate injuries the explosion causes, doesn’t often prepare them for the fire that soon erupts. 

The scary part about lithium-ion battery fires is that the temperatures they burn at tend to be particularly high, meaning the harm they cause anyone within proximity of them is often catastrophic. It’s not uncommon for those who suffer burns from lithium-ion batteries to need long-term treatment in a treatment center that offers specialized care in this area, including one that regularly performs skin grafts. 

How To Pursue Compensation After a Lithium Ion Battery Fire

Cases like these fall into the product liability area of the law. These laws allow you to take legal action against a designer, manufacturer, advertiser, marketer, distributor, and even sometimes retailers, if you can prove that one of them did something that caused the battery to be unsafe, actions (or inactions) which led to your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death.

Examples of negligence, for example, that may serve as grounds for pursuing a product liability claim against someone along the lithium-ion battery supply chain include:

  • Not taking caution when producing the product to ensure an absence of manufacturing defects
  • Failing to warn of the dangers of overcharging a lithium-ion battery-powered product in product instructions or product packaging
  • Transporting the battery-powered product at incorrect temperatures caused a premature buildup of pressure within it
  • A retailer not maintaining proper inventory control, including not removing potentially tampered with, returned items from store shelves
  • A device built without proper circuitry and/or software to monitor for short circuits

While the examples are only a few examples of potential issues that can result in dangerous lithium ion-powered products making it into consumer’s hands, they give you an idea of the dangers that exist. 

North Carolina law and those in other states afford consumers like you who were harmed when using lithium-ion battery products as prescribed the right to take legal action against parties who failed to do their part to ensure the products they released on the market were safe. 

Pursuing compensation in situations like these requires you to file a claim showing where someone dropped the ball and how that oversight was responsible for your injuries and associated losses. 

Proving liability in cases like these can be challenging. However, you can count on attorneys like the ones at our firm, who’ve long handled cases like these, to assist you in building the strongest claim possible to recover the maximum compensation you’re entitled to. Contact us to discuss your potential case during an initial consultation today, as a very short statute of limitations applies to filing lawsuits in situations like these.