Tesla Slams into Concrete Wall in Fort Lauderdale, Bursting into Flames Killing Two Teens and Prompting Federal Inquiry

A 2014 Tesla Model S recently ran into a concrete wall and burst into flames in Fort Lauderdale, killing two teenagers and prompting an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  According to a report from Bloomberg News, the teenagers were driving at a high speed when they drove off the road, slamming into a concrete wall.  Immediately after the car slammed into the wall, it caught fire and the entire car became engulfed in flames according to a Fort Lauderdale Police press report.  The speed at which the vehicle was traveling is believed to have been a factor in the traffic crash.  Both teens were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.  Another teenager riding in the backseat was ejected from the car and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment for his injuries.  The NTSB announced that its team of investigators will primarily focus on how firefighters and others responded to the electric car’s battery fire caused by the crash, according to a statement from the agency.  This will be the NTSB’s fourth active investigation into crashes involving a Tesla vehicle, a potentially wider problem for the company and Tesla drivers.

Motor Vehicle Malfunctions: A Complication That Can Either Cause Motor Vehicle Accidents or Serve as an Aggravating Factor Where Driver Negligence is Already Present 

According to the NTSB, this recent incident could be indicative of a problem with the vehicle’s electric battery.  Although Fort Lauderdale police are still investigating the cause of the accident, it seems fairly clear that the teenage driver’s speed may have played a role in causing the accident.  After all, the car likely ran off the road due to the high speed at which he was operating the vehicle.  Nevertheless, the fact that the car burst into flames immediately after it hit the concrete wall in Fort Lauderdale appears to be linked to a problem with the vehicle’s electric battery, according to the involvement of the NTSB.  This is the fourth reported case of an NTSB investigation into a crash involving a Tesla vehicle and the third involving a vehicle that burst into flames after being involved in an accident.  On March 23, a Tesla Model X in California burst into flames after hitting a highway barrier in northern California, while in August 2017 another Model X burst into flames after crashing into a garage.  Finally, another Tesla Model S in Los Angeles ran into a parked firetruck on a freeway in Southern California and burst into flames in January 2018.

There is therefore a clear trend here of Tesla vehicles bursting into flames after hitting a stationary object.  If the NTSB investigation determines that a mechanical or other flaw led to these vehicles bursting into flames after an accident, then the victims of the recent Fort Lauderdale accident would have the ability to file suit against Tesla for whatever responsibility those defects may have had in causing the teenagers’ deaths.  In the case of the teenagers who were passengers in the recent Fort Lauderdale Tesla Model S crash, they would be entitled to pursue the driver’s insurer, his estate and Tesla for whatever proportion of fault each had in causing their death or injuries.  The driver’s estate would also be entitled to pursue a claim against Tesla, but his estate would be reduced by whatever proportion of fault a jury apportioned to the driver himself.

Contact the Experienced Accident Attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley 

At Schwed Adams & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience and many of our firm’s cases stem from motor vehicle accidents in which our clients have suffered catastrophic injuries or have been the victim of a wrongful death. These include cases in which our clients have been injured or a loved one has been killed in complicated circumstances which may involve both a mechanical failure on the part of the car as well another driver’s negligence.  Our experience enables us to take apart a complicated case and arrive at the truth to obtain maximum compensation for our clients.  If you were injured or a loved one has been killed in a motor vehicle accident, contact our experienced attorneys at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 today.

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