What to do if you’re injured by an exploding lithium-ion battery

by Stuart M. Paynter on Nov. 03, 2021

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Products Liability 

Summary: Under certain circumstances, lithium ion batteries can violently explode causing severe injuries, including serious burns. This article discusses what to do if you or a loved one is injured by an exploding battery.

Lithium-ion batteries have higher energy density than normal batteries. The higher energy density makes them the preferred battery for applications requiring high energy, such as power tools and vape devices (also known as e-cigarettes or e-cigs). As a result of this high energy density, when a lithium-ion battery explodes, injuries can be catastrophic.

A lithium-ion battery explosion can result in severe burns and, in rare cases, even death. Lithium-ion battery explosions can be caused by manufacturing defects in the original battery or by contact with metal objects that cause an external short-circuit. 

If you are injured by a lithium-ion battery that has exploded, there are certain things you should keep in mind.

First, immediately get the medical attention you need. The type of treatment will vary from person to person depending on the type and severity of the injuries. In severe cases, the victim of a lithium-ion explosion may need to be admitted to a specialized burn unit and extensive surgery may be required.

In many cases, the victim may need extensive therapy to address the mental trauma that can occur after being injured in an explosion.

Second, do not discard evidence of the explosion. Store the pieces of the exploded battery in a safe place together with any clothing that you were wearing at the time of the injury. If the battery came into contact with any metal, for example loose change in your pocket, store these items as well.

In addition, keep any devices, such as chargers or e-cigs, that you used with the battery and the packaging for those items if you still have it.

Finally, keep copies of any receipts from your battery purchase. These receipts may be critical evidence allowing your lawyer to trace the origin of the battery.

If you purchased from a retail establishment, take pictures or a video of the interior of the store (or, if you are not able, have a friend or relative do the same). It is important for your lawyer to be aware of any warnings related to lithium-ion batteries posted in the store. 

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