Home Blog Car Accident How Electric Vehicle Batteries Can Make Accidents Worse

How Electric Vehicle Batteries Can Make Accidents Worse

By Eugene Bruno on July 30, 2023

Electric vehicles have become incredibly popular in recent years, soaring well above 2.1 million globally in 2019. They keep the cost of traveling down, making them a more attractive option for those concerned about rising fuel prices. Despite the benefits of these vehicles, there are some hidden dangers. Electric vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have been known to spontaneously overheat and explode, making them potentially more dangerous in a car accident.

Understanding Electric Vehicle Battery Technology

Lithium-ion batteries are often used in electric vehicles for a number of reasons, including their high energy density, low self-discharge rate, and their ability to withstand many charge cycles. Despite the benefits these batteries present, they come with many potential hazards, including:

  • Lithium-ion batteries are prone to thermal runaway and cell rupture, which can result in combustion.
  • When lithium-ion batteries short circuit, they can heat up and discharge electrolytes. The electrolytes can vaporize and turn into a flammable gas.
  • Overcharging a lithium-ion battery can result in a short circuit.

Enhanced Risks in Electric Vehicle Accidents

There is always a risk of a fire or explosion, regardless if the cars involved in an accident are electric or gas-powered. However, the batteries found in electric vehicles are not only more prone to explosions, but the resulting fires are also much more challenging to extinguish. Lithium-ion batteries generate more heat, which means they could take substantially more time and water to extinguish. Even in cases where the battery does not catch fire, chemicals that leak from the battery could still injure anyone in the vehicle or at the accident scene.

Another risk lithium-ion batteries pose is the potential to reignite after a fire is extinguished and the vehicle is towed. This puts first responders and towing company employees at risk.

Common Injuries in Electric Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving electric vehicles could cause many injuries commonly sustained in other accidents, such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries. They may also cause a variety of other injuries, including:

  • Inhalation injuries caused by toxic fumes
  • Burn injuries
  • Electrocution

After being involved in an accident with an electric vehicle in San Diego, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is essential. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, they could develop into larger health concerns. Treating them early on can help you recover faster and start a paper trail if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim.

Establishing Liability in Electric Vehicle Accident Cases

Although driver error is often a major cause of car accidents, there are many other parties that could potentially be responsible for an accident involving an electric vehicle. These are some of the parties that may be held liable for your injuries:

  • The manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts
  • The party that provided maintenance for the car

In some cases, more than one party may be liable for an accident, which is why hiring an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer to handle your case and determine liability is crucial.

Contact Our San Diego Car Accident Lawyers

The experienced San Diego car accident attorneys at Eugene Bruno & Associates can provide the help you need to navigate the legal process. We can help you pursue the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more.

If you have sustained injuries in an accident that involved an electric vehicle, we want to hear about it. Let us fight on your behalf. Call us today at (619) 209-6066 to schedule a free case consultation.

Posted in: Car Accident