West Linn, OR asked in Personal Injury for Oregon

Q: Do I have a case?

I was spraying electronic cleaner on my navi screen and plugged in my car vacuum and all the sudden my car exploded and caught on fire with me in it. All my windows were shattered including my windshield and sunroof. My doors that were shut and locked were all blow open and bent in half. I was inside the car when it blew up and got hurt and am lucky to be alive. I did not have car insuranse at the time. I was living in my car which is now completely totaled.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Brad  Holbrook
Brad Holbrook
  • Newberg, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: This sounds like a horrifying and terrifying experience, and very unfortunate given your living situation; however, the bright side is that you were not killed. You might have a case against the maker and the subsequent sellers of the product that ignited the car explosion. It seems highly unreasonable that the events you described could happen simply from spraying some electonic cleaner. I assume it was to clean a electronic device screen (Navigation Device)? Unless you were using the product against any clear, express warnings on the container, you may have an action for your damages, including bodily and property damage. Be aware that the statute of limitations on bodily injury is likely going to be two (2) years from the accident and the property loss claim is going to be six (6) years. You would probably need to file the complaint together in the same case, so you should seek the advice of an experienced lawyer right away if you intend to pursure this matter. You should look for someone who specializes in products' liability cases. Best wishes for your saftey and recovery.

Jina Ly Clark agrees with this answer

Jina Ly Clark
Jina Ly Clark
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: I agree with the answer of Mr. Holbrook. However, I need to add more:

The filing must also be within any applicable statute of ultimate repose under ORS 30.905(2), usually 10 years from when the car was originally purchased. Note: These rules may not apply to products manufactured outside of Oregon or in another country. See ORS 30.905(2)(b). If the car is more than 10 years old, you might be able to sue the manufacturer in the state that the manufacturer is incorporated if that state has better product liability laws.

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