Were you injured in a tanker truck accident? Whether you or loved one were harmed in a fuel truck explosion, a dangerous chemical spill, or, more typically, a collision, we are here to help fight for you to receive full compensation after sustaining injuries. At Lugar Law PC, we have years of experience and look forward to handling your truck accident claim. We are well versed in Virginia and federal trucking laws, including regulations related to transporting flammable, explosive, and corrosive liquids.
A lot goes into a successful tanker truck accident claim. Receiving a settlement for a tanker truck accident often depends on pursuing an independent and thorough investigation, as well as fully utilizing the litigation process. We may recommend filing a tanker truck accident lawsuit right away to ensure we gain access to important evidence.
Tanker truck accidents are too complicated to handle while you are dealing with your injuries and medical bills. Let us help. To talk with us about how we can help, contact us online or call (540) 384-0348. We offer free, no-risk consultations.
What is a Tanker Truck?
A tanker truck is a large commercial vehicle designed to carry liquified gasses, fuels, or other substances or bulk dry goods.
Tankers are typically recognizable because the trailer is round. More specifically, it is a horizontal cylindrical container. They may be designed to carry more than one liquid at a time in different compartments. The compartments also assist in reducing liquid movement during transport and stabilizing the truck.
All tankers are designed with a pumping system necessary to load and unload liquids.
Types of Tanker Trucks
A tanker truck can be a straight truck or a semi-truck that hauls tanks. They can be pressurized or non-pressurized, insulated or non-insulated, or vacuum sealed.
Tankers are typically categorized as an oil tanker, gas tanker, chemical tanker (for industrial chemicals), agricultural tanker (for fertilizer and pesticides), liquid food tanker (milk), water tanker, or compressed natural gas (CNG) tanker. Tanker trucks carrying oil, gas, or CNG also are known as hazmat tankers and additional regulations apply to them.
Tankers can differ in size. Depending on their load capacities, they may qualify as heavy duty, medium duty, or light duty trucks.
What Do Tanker Trucks Carry?
Tanker trucks can transport gasoline, diesel, natural gas, water, sugar, juice, milk, industrial chemicals, and all other types of liquids. On some occasions, tankers transport dry goods like grain or sand.
How Much Fuel Is in a Tanker Truck?
Large tankers, like other large commercial trucks, can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. This gross weight limit then dictates how much fuel a tanker truck can carry. Also, tankers come in various sizes, which impacts their gross weight limit and the maximum amount of fuel or other liquid they can carry.
The smallest tanker trucks may carry up to 1,000 gallons. Medium duty tanker trucks may carry between 500 and 4,000 gallons. Heavy duty tankers typically haul between 5,500 and 9,000 gallons.
Common Tanker Truck Accidents
Tanker trucks can be involved in any type of collision, including rear-end, head-on, underride/override, and jackknife accidents. However, these vehicles also face particular risks because of their cargo.
Other types of accidents more common with tanker trucks include:
- Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) spills
- Hazardous chemical exposure
Tanker trucks often carry hazardous materials that are corrosive, flammable, explosive, or poisonous. The tankers must not leak or spill. It also is essential tanker truck drivers do whatever they can to avoid a collision, which could lead to a tanker truck explosion or chemical spill.
Common Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
Tanker truck accidents often occur because of:
- Operator error: When driving a tanker truck full of fuel or hazardous chemicals, operators can never be too careful. However, truck drivers can become distracted, drowsy, or otherwise careless and inattentive. A significant percentage of tanker truck accidents happen because the driver makes a mistake.
- Load size, weight, or security: The load a truck driver is carrying can significantly influence whether a crash occurs. When truckers are dealing with an oversized load or a load that was not properly secured, the risk of an accident increases. Another issue is partial loads in which the liquid can move and slosh while in transit. Sloshing increases the risk of the truck tipping and rolling.
- Defective vehicles: Tanker trucks need to be very well-maintained. If a trucker or their employer fails to inspect, repair, and maintain the vehicle, a defect could cause a serious spill, explosion, or crash. If a tank that should be pressurized or insulated is not, there could be a significant spill or explosion.
Additional Qualifications for Tanker Truck Drivers
Because tanker trucks often carry fuel, pesticides, or other hazardous chemicals, the driver needs to be certified to carry that type of cargo. Certain potentially dangerous cargos require additional endorsements to a driver?s commercial driver?s license.
These CDL holders also need additional training to transport a liquid load. Liquids move differently within the trailer than solid cargo. Truck drivers must be prepared for how the liquid cargo can move and shift the trucks? center of gravity. Without this specialized training and knowledge, the risk of a rollover accident increases.
The tanker truck driver may need specific personal protective equipment. PPE may be essential for when the truck is being loaded or unloaded, in case of a leak of spill, or for during inspections.
When we handle your case, we will thoroughly investigate the truck driver, the cargo owner, and all other parties involved. We will turn over every stone to determine whether the parties were qualified to haul that particular cargo and whether they were in accordance with the law. Any evidence of a regulatory violation may help us support your claim for compensation.
Compensation for Tanker Truck Accident Injuries
If you were injured in an accident involving a fuel truck or tanker carrying some other liquid, you might sustain serious injuries, such as:
- Chemical burns
- Fire-related burns
- Vision impairment
- Respiratory illnesses
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Crush injuries
We are here to help, no matter the type or severity of your injuries. Whether you suffered a concussion and whiplash or third-degree burns, we will fight for the maximum compensation possible for your injuries, including for your past and future:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Physical Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Reduced Quality of Life
Fatal Tanker Truck Accidents
Was your parent, spouse, or child killed in a tanker truck accident? When you believe the truck driver or another party is responsible for the accident and your loved one?s passing, give Attorney Cerid Lugar a call. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances and advise you on your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Virginia, you have two years to file a wrongful death claim. However, you do not want to wait this long. Talk with us as soon as possible about demanding compensation for the medical expenses, burial and funeral expenses, lost income, mental anguish, and more.
Call Lugar Law PC About a Tanker Truck Accident Today
We want to put our years of legal experience to work for your truck accident. Let us investigate your case, file the lawsuit, and deal with the insurance company. Lugar Law PC will strive to resolve your claim as efficiently as possible and to recover you full and fair compensation for your injuries or loved one?s death.
To talk with one of our truck accidents lawyers, call (540) 384-0348 and schedule a free consultation.