Compensation for burns from unsafe gas tank design Wisconsin lawsuit nets $750K settlement amount
Can you sue if you suffer burns in a car accident in Wisconsin?
Yes, you can sue for burns suffered in a car crash. You will have 3 years from the time of the accident to file a claim under Wisconsin's Statute of Limitations. Warshafsky won a $750,000 settlement for a car accident victim who suffered severe burns due to automaker negligence.
26-year-old Robert was sitting in a parked car near downtown Milwaukee talking with a friend. Suddenly, a passing driver lost control of his car and slammed into an unoccupied Ford LTD parked behind them. What happened next would drastically change the course of Robert’s life. As a result of the collision, the gas tank of the Ford ruptured and burst into flames – which rapidly engulfed the vehicle Robert and his friend were sitting in. Robert’s friend escaped quickly, but he couldn’t get Robert out because the flames were so intense. By the time Robert could be rescued, he had car accident burns on 65% of his body – including his face, chest, arms and legs.
Warshafsky personal injury law firm took the Ford Motor Company to court, arguing the design and placement of the gas tank on the Ford was unsafe in a collision. Ford denied any negligence in the design of the car. In court, Warshafsky attorneys displayed a mock-up of the back of a Ford LTD to drive home the inherent danger of the vehicle’s gas tank in a collision.
Warshafsky also presented documents and films produced by Ford, which showed they were aware of a series of gas tank failures in their own crash tests of the Ford LTD. After a month of powerful presentations, devastating cross-examinations and compelling arguments by Warshafsky's top Milwaukee auto accident attorneys in front of a jury, the case was stopped when Ford made overtures to settle the case out of court.
In the ensuing weeks, thepersonal injury attorneysof Milwaukee’s Warshafsky Law Firm put the heat on Ford’s lawyers to secure the maximum possible settlement for Robert. Fearing the unfavorable publicity Ford would get if such a high-profile case were to go back to court, attorneys for Ford finally agreed to compensate Robert $750,000 for his injuries. While this may not seem like much of a settlement given the severity of Robert’s injuries, bear in mind it equates to about $2.7 million in 2014.
A greatSociety Changing Judgmentwas formed. Besides compensating Robert for the serious injuries he suffered, the case served notice to automobile manufacturers that neither the public nor the legal system will tolerate cars exploding upon impact. As a result of Warshafsky’s diligence in pursuing this case against Ford, carmakers were forced to rethink the placement of gas tanks in their cars and develop safeguards against ruptures of the tank in collisions.
When manufacturers put a car on the market, we expect it to have been tested and proven safe in a wide range of situations – including the most common accident of all, the rear-end collision. When it’s clearly not safe, Warshafsky Law will do what it takes to hold the carmaker accountable. Not just to the injured party, but to all of society.