While any accident with a commercial truck can cause life-altering injuries or death, a tanker-truck accident is even more terrifying and deadly due to the cargo that it is carrying. Tanker trucks carry some non-toxic goods, but many transport gasoline, diesel fuel, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and other hazardous substances. Victims can suffer some of the most serious injuries, such as burns, permanent scarring and disfigurement, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, amputation, internal organ damage, or death. Fortunately, victims may be able to hold the negligent truck driver and trucking company responsible for compensating them for their medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Why Tanker-Truck Wrecks Are So Catastrophic
Truck drivers who drive tanker trucks cause wrecks for many of the same reasons as other negligent truckers. Distracted driving, speeding, intoxication, and drowsy driving are a few of the negligent actions that result in these tragic crashes. Reasons why these accidents are so catastrophic include:
- Fires. Because of the hazardous and combustible substances that tanker trucks carry, a truck accident is much more likely to cause the truck and tank to catch on fire, resulting in nearby people in other vehicles to suffer devastating burns and other injuries.
- Explosions. Tanker trucks involved in an accident are in danger of exploding, which can increase the horrific nature of victims’ injuries—if they survive—and cause the number of victims to multiply.
- Sloshing. Sloshing or the moving around of the liquids that a tanker truck is transporting can occur when the tanker is only filled to three-quarters or less of its capacity. This movement can cause the truck driver to lose control of the truck, with a deadly collision resulting.
- Leaks and spills. If a tanker truck is involved in a wreck, there is more likely that the load it is carrying will spill or leak. This can result in a multi-vehicle crash as vehicles try to avoid the spill or fire if the spilled hazardous materials ignite. In addition, nearby residents can be endangered if toxic fumes are released into the air.
- Chemical burns. Victims can suffer chemical burns when dangerous chemicals are being transported. If the truck is carrying radioactive materials, many individuals who were not involved in the wreck can also be endangered by radiation exposure.
Truck drivers who drive tanker trucks are required to comply with special federal regulations governing transporting hazardous materials as well as general regulations governing trucking companies and truckers. If you were involved in a tanker-truck accident, violations of these rules may have caused or contributed to your crash. You need an experienced truck accident attorney to identify all the causes of your wreck in order to hold the negligent trucker and trucking company accountable. To learn how our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve, call our office today to schedule a free consultation.