To collect compensation for your injuries after a tanker truck accident, you may need the help of a lawyer. Tanker trucks are heavy pieces of machinery that can cause devastating damage when they collide with cars, trucks, and other automobiles because of their weight and contents. A truck accident lawyer can explain your rights and advocate for you to receive the compensation you deserve if you are involved in an accident with a big truck.
What Is a Tanker Truck?
A tanker truck is a large vehicle that transports liquids or gasses, including gasoline, beverages, and chemicals. These large motor vehicles carry hazardous materials across the country.
Tanker trucks take different forms, from heavy-duty to light-duty. They can be pressurized or non-pressurized. They can be insulated or non-insulated depending on the goods on board.
A tanker truck driver must have a specialized driver licence as well as completion of mandatory training courses.
Tanker Trucks and Hazardous Materials Risks
Hazardous materials are substances that can potentially negatively affect a person’s health.
Examples of hazardous materials include:
- Cleaning materials
- Pesticides/ Insecticides
- X-ray film
Hazardous materials are hazardous to transport. They often include easily explosive and highly flammable liquids. Transporting dangerous materials carries the risk of fire if there is an accident. Spills occur frequently and can get out of control quickly. Tanker truck drivers must be careful to avoid injury to themselves and others.
Aside from the fire risk, the chemicals that many tanker trucks carry may also cause environmental destruction. The oil, gasoline, and other chemicals may present a risk of harm to the land and water supply that it touches. Because of the far reach of potential damage, tanker truck companies should be careful to prevent unreasonable risks of harm.
Tanker truck drivers must mitigate the risk of harm by taking care of the trucks it owns. It must ensure that the trucks are running correctly and that their drivers’ health is taken care of properly.
A tanker truck driver should take care to ensure the safest trip possible. A tanker truck driver should be meticulous when securing the loads they are carrying. They should be aware of their surroundings, including the dangerous conditions of the roads that they drive. They should also take adequate rest breaks and not drive excessive miles. Below are some descriptions of the causes of tanker truck accidents.
Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
There are a variety of accident causes. Every accident can have devastating consequences. Call an experienced truck accident lawyer if you are an accident victim. Common causes of tanker truck accidents include:
Reckless driving includes unreasonably operating a motor vehicle. It is unreasonable for tanker truck drivers to use their trucks unsafely. Some reckless actions tanker truck drivers can take include failing to secure a load properly before beginning the trip. Tanker trucks carry various types of hazardous materials. A chemical spill can occur if the loads are not securely in place before departure. The spill can lead to car accidents and multi-car accidents.
Tanker truck drivers are reckless by driver error. Drivers are also careless when they make hard turns, speed, follow other drivers too closely, drive while distracted or impaired.
Distracted driving occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle while completing another activity. Common distractions while driving include texting, taking a phone call, talking to passengers in the car, eating, grooming, caring for children or pets. Driving distractions can cause devastating consequences, especially when the distracted driver is operating a tanker truck.
Fatigued driving happens when a person operates a motor vehicle without getting enough sleep. Many factors contribute to drowsy driving. Some factors include inadequate sleep, spending many hours without sleep, changes in your mental or physical health, changes in medications, or not taking enough breaks. It is unsafe for anyone, especially a tanker truck driver, to drive while feeling this way.
Fatigue changes the way that the brain reacts. If we do not have enough sleep, our reaction times slow. Like the effects of alcohol on the brain, drinking inhibits cognitive processes. The act of driving while fatigued is reckless. Truck drivers may not stop quickly when necessary or may not remember to check their blind spots. It is never a good idea to drive while sleepy.
None of us can control the weather. We all must react to it. Still, trucking companies may be responsible for accidents caused by inclement weather if their drivers are reckless including proceeding in poor weather when it is unsafe to do so . Drivers must use their best judgment despite the weather. Tanker truck drivers should adjust their speed if the roads are slippery due to rain, sleet, or snow. They should make enough time to meet their delivery goals safely. Tight deadlines are no excuse for reckless driving. If you are in an accident caused by a reckless driver, call a qualified truck accident lawyer to get the help you deserve.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Any type of unmaintained road can lead to dangerous road conditions. Something as simple as potholes can lead to stalled trucks on the highways. Any tanker truck driver can try to react to an unsafe road condition and cause an accident inadvertently. If the roads in the area are not well maintained and are causing accidents, you may have a case against the trucking company, driver, and the city. Speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss your options post-accident.
Unsecured Blind Spots
Blind spots are common to all drivers. A blind spot is an area of obstructed vision. Blind spots result from lane changes, reversing a truck, or turning. Large vehicles have more significant blind spots than regular-sized motor vehicles. Not paying attention to blind spot can cause tragic accidents. Tanker truck drivers should be careful to check their rearview and side mirrors.
When a truck is involved in an accident and ends up on its side or roof, it is called a rollover truck accident. Rollover accidents are not common but have a high risk of catastrophic injury and death. A rollover accident can cause passengers and drivers to be ejected from the vehicle, resulting in severe injuries, including broken bones, amputation, spinal cord injuries, and other severe harm.
The most common cause of rollover accidents is driver error. Examples of driver error include:
- Texting and driving
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Insufficient or inadequate sleep
- Driving too many hours between rest breaks
- Inexperienced drivers
Driver incompetence and inattention typically cause tanker truck rollovers. It is the truck driver’s responsibility to maintain the vehicle properly to reduce the risk of accidents. In addition to driver error, other causes of rollover accidents include the failure to provide time for the vehicle to be maintained appropriately before traveling.
Examples of maintenance failures that cause rollover accidents include:
- Bald tires. Tires without enough grip lead to the tanker truck sliding over the road. Bald tires are hazardous in inclement weather. Failure to change bald tires is negligent on the part of the tanker truck driver.
- Tires with too much tread. Too much tread is a problem when vehicle owners install aftermarket tires that are not the correct tire model for the vehicle. Too much tread on a tire increases the risk of losing control while driving. Tanker truck companies that fail to keep the proper tires with the correct tread are negligent. If you are involved in a tanker truck accident, you should discuss your options for recovery with a qualified truck accident lawyer.
- Overloaded vehicles. An overloaded tanker truck can put unnecessary strain on the vehicle. Heavy loads can cause the vehicle to tip over and create an unreasonable risk of a rollover accident.
- Failing to maintain parts like windshield wipers properly can lead to a risk of an accident. If a tanker truck driver fails to change broken or damaged windshield wipers and drives through inclement weather, they may lose the ability to see correctly. If they cannot see properly, they can lose control of the tanker truck and cause a rollover accident.
- Broken or damaged parts like windshields. The driver’s view is blocked if a tanker truck has a broken or scratched windshield. An obstructed view puts a driver at risk of having an accident.
- Damaged headlights or taillights. If a tanker truck driver’s headlights or taillights are broken or out, they are at risk of getting in an accident. If the taillights are out on a tanker truck, the vehicles traveling behind the truck cannot determine if the tanker truck is slowing down. The lack of brake lights may cause the vehicle following the tanker truck to rear-end the truck. The vehicles may be involved in a rollover accident.
- Damaged brakes. If a tanker truck’s brakes are not working properly or are not working at all, then there is a high risk of accidents that lead to injury. A tanker truck driver must properly maintain the brakes on the road.
Tanker truck drivers have a responsibility to take care of themselves and their trucks to keep everyone they share the road with safe. Failure to do so causes accidents. The driver of a tanker truck who neglects his rig is negligent. If you have been the victim of an accident with a tanker truck, call a qualified truck accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident lawyer is your best advocate after an accident with a tanker truck. Many people are hesitant to hire a lawyer because of the cost; however, most truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is a fee arrangement made between you and your lawyer where the lawyer funds the claim upfront and gets paid a percentage for a successful settlement. A contingency fee structure is advantageous because it allows people who may not have the resources to sue a tanker truck company on their own to pursue the compensation that they need. Without contingency fees, justice can be delayed or deferred.
Get someone on your side to explain your rights and fight for you. Truck accident lawyers are here to help you. A truck lawyer can help you avoid many accident victims’ common mistakes. Some common mistakes that a lawyer can help you avoid include taking a bad offer from the insurance company. The insurance company’s lawyer is not on your team, and they do not want you to have the best outcome possible. Your accident lawyer is prepared to help you get the result you want.
Having a lawyer keeps you from being bullied by big insurance companies. Because they are more likely to be sued, tanker truck companies usually have a large legal team on their side.
Sometimes, insurance companies try to intimidate individuals who try to fight them independently. It’s hard to understand your best option when you are going against an insurance company alone. That is why hiring a lawyer can help. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance companies to get the best possible result for accident victims.
If you have been the victim of a tanker truck accident, you need to have a qualified accident lawyer on your side. You are unprotected if you do not have a good lawyer on your side. After an accident, you need the best lawyer available to get the best result. Good accident lawyers help victims get their lives back on track. Contact a truck accident lawyer today.