Fire officials in New Jersey are desperately warning residents about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries. This warning comes as numerous victims recover from serious fires. These batteries have the potential to cause serious injuries in both residential fires and fiery car crashes. Recent incidents have been so shocking that fire officials were left with no choice but to sound the alarm bell. The potential for widespread destruction is particularly high when you consider the push toward EVs. This shift is occurring not only in the private sector but also in the public sector – with various government agencies adopting EVs en masse. What can you do if you were injured by a defective lithium-ion battery in New Jersey?

Fire Officials Warn Residents to Exercise Caution With Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-Ion Batteries Spark Numerous Fires Throughout New JerseyIn May 2024, fire officials in New Jersey warned residents to be careful when using lithium-ion batteries. This warning came after a string of worrying fires throughout the Garden State – including one incident involving a school bus. Fire officials believe that the school bus’ electric motor burst into flames, spewing toxic fumes and plumes of smoke into the air. Unfortunately, incidents like these have become all too common across the entire state. 

Fire officials say that while most EVs are safe, their reliability becomes questionable after they collide with other vehicles. Collision damage seems to cause issues with lithium-ion batteries, and these batteries tend to ignite after serious impacts. Although this is similar to the manner in which some gas-powered vehicles ignite after impacts, EVs pose unique hazards. A lithium-ion battery is inherently toxic, and a battery fire sends various chemicals into the air. These chemicals can be harmful if inhaled. There are also reports of battery fires being more intense compared to traditional car fires, and firefighters often struggle to extinguish them. 

Officials highlighted one notable incident last summer that caused a UPS facility to burst into flames. A shipment of batteries at the storage facility caught fire under unclear circumstances, and a normal fire extinguisher reportedly had “no effect” on the flames when UPS employees tried to put it out. 

Fire officials say that people who charge lithium-ion batteries in their own homes should be particularly careful. Even a single, small battery can spark a fire capable of burning down an entire house. For example, you might choose to charge an e-bike at the bottom of your stairs. If this battery ignites while charging, the consequences can be immediate and fatal. Worse still, charging your bike at the bottom of your stairs can block off a potential exit route. Many fires of this nature have occurred over the past few years. Some of the worst fires in recent memory have involved e-bikes charging at the ground floor of apartment buildings, and such fires can endanger the lives of numerous families. 

New Jersey Houses Seem to Be Exploding on a Regular Basis

At around the same time fire officials made their announcement, a house in Commercial Township exploded – injuring at least one person. The house burst into flames at around 4:30 AM – and fire officials reported that they were attempting to determine the cause. Another massive fire occurred just days earlier, killing two elderly residents in West Orange. The fire seems to have originated in the basement. 

Although it’s still not clear what caused either of these fires, fire officials may suspect that lithium-ion batteries played a role. With so many fires being caused by these defective products, many fire officials are becoming very familiar with the telltale signs of a battery fire. However, they cannot explicitly announce the cause of fires until they complete their investigations – and this process can take many months. 

Can You Sue for a Battery Fire in New Jersey?

You may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit after suffering injuries in a New Jersey battery fire. One potential option is to sue the manufacturer. However, you may also have the option to sue a negligent motorist who caused your accident. Speak with a lawyer to determine the most appropriate course of legal action after a battery fire in New Jersey. 

Find an Experienced Injury Attorney in New Jersey

If you have been searching for an experienced injury attorney in New Jersey, look no further than Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. We are well aware of how dangerous lithium-ion batteries have become. Whether you were injured in a fiery auto crash or a residential fire, you are fully within your rights to consider legal action. It may be possible to sue lithium-ion battery manufacturers, negligent drivers, property owners, and various other parties. Reach out today to discuss your legal options in more detail

The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over thirty years.

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