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  • Are Electric Cars Safer in Accidents?

    Electric CarsThe number of electric vehicles on the road worldwide is expected to increase by more than 26 percent over the next nine years, according to a MarketsandMarkets report. While most purchasers of electric vehicles are motivated by climate impact and saving money on gas, research suggests that electric cars may be safer in car accidents.

    Electric cars that run entirely on batteries are safer in collisions because they do not carry gasoline, which is extremely explosive. Any gas-filled fueled tank is a safety hazard because the metal brackets and rods near the tank can pierce the tank and ignite an explosion during a collision. Electric cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries instead of gas.

    Manufacturers of electric vehicles also include a variety of safety features in each car to prevent batteries from exploding on impact. These features include collision detectors that disconnect batteries from circuit breakers if the battery pack is in danger of sustaining damage.

    Is There a Risk of Electric Car Batteries Spontaneously Exploding?

    There is a risk of electric car batteries spontaneously exploding; however, manufacturers provide cooling systems to counteract this problem. Most lithium-ion batteries contain cobalt oxide, which can self-heat and then explode when it reaches a certain temperature.

    Lithium batteries in smartphones and computers have been known to spontaneously catch fire and explode. Therefore, it is essential to keep the battery pack of electric car cool. The amount of energy packed into each electric car battery is quite large relative to its size. One reason why there are so many smaller batteries instead of one large one is to prevent damage in the event of a malfunction. Batteries are typically separated from each other by casing that can prevent a fire in one battery from spreading to others in the battery pack.

    Many manufacturers of electric vehicles install a protective cooling shroud filled with liquid around each battery pack. The function of this cooling shield is similar to a gas-powered car’s radiator. Some electric car manufacturers also use air cooling systems.

    Even if a battery catches on fire, it can usually be extinguished relatively easily because the fire is usually contained to a specific area. This situation is much less dangerous that wide-ranging explosions caused by the flammability of gasoline.

    Are Hybrid Vehicles Safer Than Conventional Cars?

    A study by the Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that hybrid vehicles are safer than conventional gas-powered cars. The study found that the odds of sustaining an injury in a car accident are up to 25 percent less in a hybrid vehicle compared to a conventional car. Hybrid vehicles typically contain a gas-powered internal combustion engine as well as a high-voltage battery pack. Part of the reason why hybrid vehicles are safer is because they are heavier than traditional vehicles due to the weight of the battery pack.

    There have been several highly publicized instances of the battery packs of electric and hybrid cars catching fire after hitting road debris. However, 10 years of crash testing indicate that, compared to gasoline-only powered engines, electric and hybrid cards pose less risk of injury to passengers and drivers in the event of an accident.

    What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Collision With an Electric Car?

    As with any car accident, individuals involved in a collision with an electric car should take following steps to protect their well-being and their rights:

    • Dial 911 and ask for the police.
    • Accept medical treatment if an ambulance arrives.
    • Exchange names, addresses, car registration, driver’s license numbers, license plate number, and proof of insurance with other drivers involved.
    • Call the car insurance company.
    • Use a phone to take pictures of the accident scene, including skid marks, debris, and all damages.
    • Call a lawyer.

    Individuals involved in a car accident should not evade speaking with police even if they think the accident was their fault. When speaking with police, individuals should never make any statements that admit fault. This is very important, especially if they want to consider pursing a lawsuit against the other driver.

    When Should I Consider Pursuing a Lawsuit Against the Other Driver?

    Individuals involved in a car accident should consider pursuing a lawsuit against the other driver if the accident resulted in serious injury. Moreover, anyone injured in a collision in Pennsylvania or New Jersey should contact a lawyer immediately if either of the following occurs:

    • An insurance company denies or minimizes payment for a bodily injury claim.
    • An insurance company offers an on-the-spot settlement.

    In both of these situations, it is important for the injured parties to seek legal advice before agreeing to anything offered by an insurer. Compensation offered by an insurance company may not be enough to cover medical bills, lost wages, future loss of income, future medical treatments, and the emotional stress caused by pain and suffering. Insurance companies often lowball the portion of settlements allotted to future costs and emotional stress.

    How can I Protect My Rights?

    The best way that you can protect your legal rights is to seek the advice of a lawyer who has car accident experience. Drivers who think they may have been partially to blame for the accident should still seek legal counsel. A qualified lawyer will investigate the accident and examine the evidence to determine whether or not other factors contributed to the cause.

    After discussing the facts of your case, our legal team will provide sound advice regarding whether or not to pursue a lawsuit. One reason to seek our skilled counsel is that if you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident, there may be other sources of recovery in addition to the driver of the other vehicle. Many people do not realize this. The other sources may include the following:

    • The vehicle manufacturer.
    • Municipalities responsible for maintaining roads.
    • Bar or restaurants that served alcohol to a drunk driver.

    Galfand Berger LLP has a long history of helping those injured in car accidents, including the following case:

    • $4.5 million for a spinal injury that was caused by a car crash. The client was paralyzed as a result of severe spinal trauma suffered in a head-on collision. Our lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP pursued claims for damages against the driver and also against the manufacturer of the client’s automobile. The manufacturer was found liable due to a defective seat belt and inadequate crashworthiness of the vehicle.

    Whether or not electric vehicles are involved, individuals who have been harmed in car accidents deserve justice.

    Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP are Experienced in Representing Individuals Injured in Collisions

    Many factors can be involved in electric car accident cases. No matter the type of collision, a lawyer can help you with your legal needs. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP can help you if you were injured by a negligent driver. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.