Types of Tanker Trucks
Our tanker truck accident attorneys handle injury and wrongful death claims involving:
- Oil Tankers
- Gasoline Truck
- Natural Gas Tankers
- Liquid Food Tankers
- Water Tank Trucks
- Chemical Tankers
- Agricultural Tankers
Tanker trucks are intended to carry liquids and cases. The trucks might be insulated or non-insulated, pressurized or non-pressurized. Some carry one product, while others are compartmentalized to carry multiple liquids or gases at once. Though there are differences among these vehicles, they are all extremely heavy and can cause catastrophic damage in a freeway accident.
Hazardous Materials Tanker Trucks Could Contain
Tanker trucks hauling hazardous materials may have products in nine separate categories:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gases
- Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquid
- Class 4: Flammable Solid, Spontaneously Combustible, and Dangerous When Wet
- Class 5: Oxidizer and Organic Peroxide
- Class 6: Poison and Poison Inhalation Hazard
- Class 7: Radioactive
- Class 8: Corrosive
- Class 9: Miscellaneous
How Are Hazardous Materials Identified on the Truck?
Each class has its own identifying marks that must be found on the side of the vehicle. The hazardous materials placard is useful when reporting an accident, as it helps emergency personnel respond appropriately to the accident.
In addition to the nine placards required above, there is a “Dangerous” placard that must be used for all loads that are dangerous to drivers.
Why Tanker Truck Collisions Are So Dangerous
Looking at the nine classes of tanker trucks, it’s easy to see why these crashes are so dangerous to everyone on the road.
Hazardous Material Can Cause Additional Injuries
In addition to physical injuries from a crash, an accident could lead to a chemical reaction that causes spontaneous combustion or the release of dangerous fumes and gases. Victims also risk chemical burns and chronic breathing and vision issues.
Tanker Trucks Threaten All Surrounding Vehicles
These crashes cause injuries to those involved in the initial impact, but they also put anyone on the road at risk. If hazardous material leaks during a collision, it can easily cause a fast-spreading fire that engulfs the road and other vehicles. This could cause a large-scale tragedy on a busy highway.
Sloshing Increases Accident Risk
Sometimes, tanker trucks might not be carrying a full load. When a tanker truck’s cargo is only half-full, there is an increased risk of sloshing.
Sloshing happens when gravity causes liquid cargo to shift to one side of the trailer as the driver makes a sudden stop or sharp turn. This could cause the truck to tip over in a busy area and jeopardize bystanders.
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Tanker Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 372 cargo tank trucks were part of fatal crashes, and 3,505 cargo tanks were involved in injury crashes in 2017. These accounted for 8% and 6.2% of all fatal and injury crashes, respectively.
In all types of commercial trucks, hazardous materials were present on 3% of large trucks involving in fatal crashes and 2% of large trucks in non-fatal crashes. Hazardous materials were released from the cargo compartments of 16% of placarded trucks in all crashes. Gasoline, fuel, oil and other flammable liquids accounted for 63% of the hazardous materials that were released in fatal crashes and 45% of hazardous materials released in non-deadly accidents.
Who is Liable for a Tanker Truck Accident?
Several parties could be liable in your tanker truck accident. Figuring this out is a significant part of your injury claim. Potentially responsible parties include:
If the driver was impaired or reckless at the time of the accident, liability might lie with them. They may be speeding, making dangerous lane changes, or failing to consider the size of their load when making stops or sudden turns.
There are several situations where an employer could be the liable party. If they provided inadequate training, hired dangerous drivers without doing their due diligence, or forced drivers to work while fatigued or inexperienced, they may be held accountable for subsequent crashes.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
Trucks are complex machines, and one poorly made or designed part could cause a disaster. If the truck contained dangerous or incorrect parts, the manufacturer could be forced to pay up. A repair shop could also be found liable if they performed improper repairs or used unapproved parts.
We Handle Cases Involving All Types of Injuries from Tanker Truck Accidents
Tank truck accidents can lead to serious and catastrophic injuries. We have tackled cases involving all sorts of injuries, from multiple broken bones to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury. We often represent tanker truck accident victims recovering from disfiguring and catastrophic injuries.
Burns are all too common following fuel truck accidents. We have worked with clients suffering third-degree burns. They require ongoing medical care and might need numerous surgeries over the years to improve their skin’s appearance and their physical capabilities. The burn scars can impair their ability to work and build a normal social life. All of these physical and emotional injuries are why you should have an experienced law firm fighting for maximum compensation.
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We Hold Negligent Tanker Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies Responsible
When you or someone you love is hurt in a tanker truck accident, we recommend you call an attorney immediately. Trucking companies almost always have a head start. The company and its insurer will send out investigators right away, and of course, they have control of important evidence: the truck.
To hold your own against the trucking company and its insurer, a qualified lawyer should represent your interests. We immediately take steps to protect your interests, including sending the relevant parties Preservation of Evidence letters.
Then, we move forward with a lawsuit to get started with the discovery process right away. Discovery is the phase of litigation where the sides can demand information from each other. We will use numerous legal tools to get information related to the trucker, trucking company, truck maintenance, and more. We’ll also demand a copy of any electronic data the truck’s system gathered, such as from an electronic data record or “black box.”
We are thorough in gathering evidence in tanker truck accident claims and hire experts to dig into the data. Trucking experts and accident reconstructionists can recreate the crash and determine who was at fault. If your case needs to go to trial, these experts can testify about what caused the crash, and in many cases, show the jury diagrams, models, and even 3D imaging of the accident.