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Maryland woman suffers serious burns in bizarre accident

There are some activities that carry an inherent risk, one that we accept because the activity is a part of our daily lives. For example, we know that every time we get behind the wheel or ride as a passenger in someone else's car, there is at least some chance of getting into an accident. Other times accidents can seem to come out of nowhere, with little to no explanation. These events can be not only devastating, but difficult to sort out when it comes to assigning liability and properly compensating victims.

Investigators are still trying to determine the root cause of a horrific accident that happened just before Christmas in Hurlock, Maryland. Three people, all Hurlock residents, were sitting in a car when it suddenly burst into flames, according to a senior deputy state fire marshal. All three occupants of the car suffered burn injuries in the incident.

Seated in the front of the car were a 24-year-old woman and her 26-year-old brother. Both of them were burned and suffered smoke inhalation. But the most severely injured victim was a 31-year-old woman who was sitting in the back seat. She suffered smoke inhalation and burns to 60 percent of her body. Her position in the back seat of the two-door car might have made it more difficult for her to escape the burning vehicle.

All three occupants managed to escape the car just before a propane tank in the trunk caused an explosion. More than 15 firefighters battled the blaze, the cause of which remains undetermined. Meanwhile, the backseat passenger was flown to the burn center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Anyone who has suffered a burn injury knows how excruciating it can be. Recovery is often very lengthy and requires multiple skin grafts and other reconstructive surgery. This treatment often isn't fully covered by insurance, which means the woman's medical expenses are likely to be high and could continue to accrue for years.

It will be in the woman's best interest to keep track of the fire investigation and who is to blame for the accident. If it turns out that poor car maintenance or some other form of negligence caused the fire, she may want to file a personal injury lawsuit to ensure she's able to afford a full recovery.

Source: MyEasternShoreMD.com, "Three burned when car's interior catches fire," Gail Dean, Dec. 25, 2012

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