Accidents with a fuel/tanker truck happen rarely, but when they do they can be devastating. The risk of serious injury escalates when the truck is carrying hazardous or flammable materials. Not only that, but a tanker truck spill can endanger those who live or work in the area. Anyone coming into contact with the cargo from a fuel truck faces the risk of burn injuries. Other drivers whose vehicles pass over a flammable spill can run the risk of being involved in a car fire. When considering such dangers, it is important to take extra care when riding alongside a tanker truck.
David Azizi – A Los Angeles Fuel Truck Injury Attorney
David Azizi has helped many residents of Los Angeles in all types of accidents. He wins 98 percent of his cases and has been called one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles by the legal ranking firm Super Lawyers. David fights for the rights of his clients. If you were hurt in an accident with a fuel truck in or near Los Angeles, call David at (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free consultation. David will review your case and provide you with your options going forward. He will also give you an estimate of what your case is worth.
Types of Cargo Carried by Tanker Trucks
Tanker trucks carry the following:
- Diesel fuel
- Chemical substances
- Radioactive materials
Dangers Posed by Tanker Trucks
Some of the hazards posed by tanker truck accidents are:
- Explosions: Tanker truck accidents can precipitate an explosion. The force of the impact can cause flammable materials to suddenly erupt. This can cause catastrophic injuries for those involved in the accident as well as other drivers in the vicinity. If the crash occurs near a business or home, those present can also be hurt. Since the tank is pressurized, a collision can cause an explosion.
- Fire: The risk of fire is high in an accident involving a fuel truck because of the flammable contents. This causes other drivers as well as the truck operator to suffer burns.
- Leaks: When a tanker truck is in an accident, the risk of it spilling its contents is high. Other drivers are at risk of being exposed to the hazardous contents or being hit by other motor vehicle drivers who are trying to avoid the spill. People who live in the area or work in nearby businesses can also be exposed to the contents. The spill can also leech into the ground and cause massive problems, requiring a cleanup. Sometimes, a leak can occur when there is a defect in the holding tanks or the driver fails to close them tightly.
- Rollovers: Tanker trucks have a greater chance of rolling over in a crash. This is due in part to the liquid nature of their cargo. If the tank is not fully loaded, the risk of rollover increases since the liquid cargo will slosh around, causing instability.
- Chemical burns: Due to the caustic nature of many chemicals carried in a tanker truck, chemical burns can occur. This can result in scarring and disfigurement.
- Radioactive materials: Exposure to radioactive substances can have a devastating effect on the human body. Since many tanker trucks carry radioactive materials, this is a considerable risk for the truck driver and others sharing the road.
Injuries in a Tanker Truck Accident
Injuries that result from a tanker truck accident can be painful and require lengthy hospital stays. There are injuries that are frequently associated with tanker truck accidents. Some of the most common are:
- Exposure of chemicals
- Radioactive material exposure leading to tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Paralysis from injury to the spinal cord
- Fractured bones
- Damage to internal organs
Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
The common causes of accidents with tanker trucks are shared with other forms of traffic crashes. The most frequent reasons associated with tanker truck accidents are:
- Speed is a factor in about 50 percent of tanker truck accidents.
- Inexperienced drivers account for many crashes.
- Distracted driving is a major factor in tanker truck accidents.
- Faulty brakes frequently cause accidents with fuel trucks.
- Unsecured loads can pose enormous risks.
- Lack of truck maintenance can lead to an accident.
- Defective truck parts or tanks can be responsible for a crash.
Collecting Damages After a Tanker Truck Accident
The injuries suffered in a tanker truck accident can require long-term and costly treatment. This can cause financial hardship for the injured party and his or her family. Some of the recoverable damages are:
- Medical costs
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of physical abilities
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
The federal government has issued laws that ensure that hazardous materials are transported as safely as possible. This means they are secured and sealed properly before transport begins. Labels and signage must also be present, warning other drivers of the dangerous cargo. If there is a breach in this duty, explosions or spillage can occur even if a collision does not occur. If the truck is not maintained or the driver is operating the vehicle recklessly, the risk of injury is higher due to the type of cargo. This means that truck drivers need to inspect their vehicle daily, handle maintenance appropriately and avoid instances of driver error. In the event that these responsibilities are not met, both the driver and his or her employer can be sued.
Free Case Review by LA Fuel Truck Accident Law Firm
David Azizi has experience with tanker truck accidents. Clients know that he will leave no stone unturned whether it involves investigating the accident or making sure that his clients receive the compensation they deserve. Call him at (800) 991-5292 to begin the process of fighting back after an accident. You will pay nothing to hear the options you have for recovering damages or receive an estimate of what the case is worth during the free consultation.