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Electric Vehicle Accidents: What You Need to Know

By Karnas Law Firm |

Electric vehicles are all the rage. Virtually every television show features an ad for an electric vehicle (EV). The appeal of EVs is that they reduce carbon emissions and are safer for the environment, while also possibly saving you money in the long run because you don’t have to purchase gasoline. In 2022, roughly 800,000 electric vehicles were sold in the United States, and a large number ended up in Arizona, too. Experts forecast that these numbers will increase in the coming years as the government offers incentives for foregoing traditional, internal combustion engine vehicles.

However, according to one study, electric vehicles are involved in 50% more accidents than other vehicles. Maybe the driving behaviors of those behind the wheel are to blame. Whatever the reason, those in an electric vehicle can suffer serious injuries when involved in a crash.

At Karnas Law Firm, PLLC, we stay on the cutting edge of technological advances. If you were injured in a crash involving an electric vehicle, we can discuss your legal rights.

Battery Fire is a Real Concern

Electric vehicles have large lithium batteries which, like any battery, can catch on fire. Unfortunately, we don’t know if electric vehicles are more prone to fires than internal combustion engines. As an article in Forbes noted, data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) showed that electric vehicles might be safer. Only 2.44% of electric vehicles caught on fire after a fatal accident, whereas 3.17% of gasoline vehicles did. But the numbers involved were so small that it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions.

The real risk with electric vehicles is that the lithium battery fires are hard to extinguish. It is entirely possible that an occupant could suffer a serious burn after a collision if the battery ignites. Even emergency responders suffer serious injuries when they try to extinguish the fire.

Side-impact collisions (T-bones) and underside puncture accidents are most likely to damage the battery. We could see nearby vehicles at an intersection engulfed in flames when that happens.

Electric Vehicles Are Heavy

Heavier vehicles also tend to cause more serious injuries than lighter ones. And electric vehicles are very heavy. As NPR reports, the NTSB is concerned about accidents between a lighter car and an electric vehicle. Some EVs weigh close to 10,000 pounds, because the battery pack itself weighs close to 3,000 pounds.

In fact, the battery in an EV is often as heavy as a small car like the Honda Civic. It needs to be so large that it can store enough power for an EV to go 300 miles or more between charges.

Those riding in lighter vehicles face the possibility of severe or catastrophic injuries like permanent brain damage, paralysis, and multiple fractures. If the heavier electric vehicle lands on a person, it will be harder to push the vehicle off. Pedestrians face a higher risk of death, even when the electric vehicle is going slowly.

Electric vehicles also deliver power faster than gasoline-powered cars, which means the driver might be going faster as well. This is a recipe for disaster for anyone struck by a hard-charging, heavy EV.

Design Defects Could Contribute to Accidents

Many accidents are caused by negligent drivers. But sometimes a defect on the vehicle contributes to the collision. Electric vehicles are still quite new. Manufacturers are ironing out the wrinkles to make these cars as safe as possible, but a design defect could be to blame for the collision.

It’s possible to sue a manufacturer for a design or manufacturing defect. They are strictly liable when they sell dangerous products to consumers and must pay damages to those injured. You need a lawyer who can work with engineers to inspect the vehicle and determine liability. The engineer should be sufficiently familiar with EVs to identify if there is a flaw in the design or materials used during manufacture.

Karnas Law Can Help You

Electric vehicles pose dangers to pedestrians and motorists. If you were injured in a crash, we encourage you to reach out to our firm to talk about the accident. We can sue any negligent driver, including the person behind the wheel of an electric vehicle.

If the vehicle itself was dangerous, we can file a claim with the manufacturer of the vehicle or a defective component part. We will seek the maximum compensation allowed for your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, and income loss. Please contact Karnas Law to schedule a consultation with one of our car accident attorneys.