There’s a good reason that special federal regulations apply to tanker trucks. CDL drivers need a special endorsement to drive a tanker truck. Tanker trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road because of the contents that they are carrying and the rollover risk when the contents shift while driving, tanker truck rollover accidents or collisions can cause serious injury to other drivers on the road and their passengers.
In 2020, just under 6 percent of all truck accident fatalities involved tanker trucks (USDOT, Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2020).
Our lawyers understand the dangers of tanker truck accidents and how to pursue claims against drivers and their companies.
Why Tanker Truck Accidents Are Different
Tankers present all the dangers of a large truck, in addition to their own special risks. The cargo itself makes a tanker truck both more difficult to maneuver and more dangerous in the event of a crash.
Large tanker trucks can have a capacity of up to 9,000 gallons (in addition to the weight of the truck). They are governed by federal restrictions on the total weight that permit loads of up to 80,000 pounds. The size disparity between the tanker truck and a passenger vehicle (that weighs, on average, about 3,000 pounds) makes it unlikely that drivers will walk away from a crash unharmed.
A majority of tanker trucks transport liquids. In most cases, tanker trucks are carrying fuels or other dangerous chemicals. These substances are highly flammable, and they can even cause a fiery explosion.
Tanker trucks may carry the following substances:
- Gasoline and other liquid fuels
- Heating oil
- Dry bulk loads
Common Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
Tanker truck drivers, and by extension their trucking companies, can cause serious injuries or death in accidents when they are careless.
Common causes of tanker truck accidents include:
- The tanker is overloaded, and a rollover accident occurs when the liquid shifts while traveling.
- The driver does not properly steer the tanker and loses control of the vehicle.
- The driver is distracted because they are looking at a device or multitasking behind the wheel.
- The driver may not be properly trained and cannot handle this unique vehicle.
Tanker Truck Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury
In addition, the contents of the truck present a special risk in the event of a crash. Tanker trucks carrying flammable liquids may explode and catch fire in a crash.
Even if the tanker itself does not burn, the liquid may leak onto the roadway and raise the risk of a fire. Other vehicles in the vicinity may lose traction and control when they drive over spilled liquids.
Certain chemicals like ethanol can be hazardous if inhaled by irritating the eyes and making it difficult to breathe.
Here are some of the common injuries in a tanker accident:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Fire and chemical burns
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Lacerations and contusions
When a Trucking Company Must Pay for Your Injuries
To qualify for financial compensation, you will need to prove that the tanker truck driver was responsible for your accident injuries. In a truck accident case, you must show that someone else was negligent to receive a settlement or jury award.
A truck driver owes you the duty of care when they are on the road by virtue of being in your vicinity. A truck driver must act as a reasonable driver will under the circumstances. In addition, the trucking company too must also act reasonably in terms of maintaining and loading the tanker. The trucking company must only hire competent drivers without a poor driving history. It is the trucking company that is held ultimately responsible for an accident caused by its driver.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Helps Your Case
If the trucker or the trucking company causes a crash, they may owe you money for injuries and damages. First, you should hire an experienced lawyer to help you prove what happened in the accident, and that is exactly where we come in at the Bringardner Injury Law Firm. Our lawyers will immediately get to work to establish what happened to put you in a position to properly pursue your tanker truck accident claim.
Truck accidents are different from passenger vehicle crashes because there is much more evidence that a lawyer can use to help prove your case. We will look toward the “usual” sources of evidence and speak to witnesses and review what we have learned about the accident scene.
In addition, we will also aggressively pursue all possible documentary evidence about the trucking company and the individual truck driver. For example, we can obtain maintenance records for the truck in the discovery process, as well as the individual driver’s file. Our attorneys will leave no stone unturned to establish facts that can help you receive compensation for your tanker truck accident injuries.
Contact a Charleston Truck Accident Attorney Today
The attorneys at the Bringardner Injury Law Firm will take up your fight to get full and fair compensation for your truck accident injuries. Unfortunately, truck insurers will not make it easy on you. Rely on us for legal guidance and pay us nothing unless you win.
To schedule your free initial consultation, you can message us online or call us today.
Truck Accident Case FAQs
Will my truck accident case end up in court?
It may, but it does not have to. We can help you file a claim against the trucking company’s insurance policy and try to reach a settlement agreement without filing a lawsuit.
Do I need a lawyer for my truck accident case?
Although there is no legal requirement for a lawyer, you run the risk of leaving a lot of money on the table or nothing at all if you try to handle your own case.
How is a truck accident lawyer paid?
We only receive compensation for our services if we help win your case. If not, we are not paid anything at all.