Thousands of commercial truck accidents occur each year in the United States, but few are as deadly as those involving tanker trucks. Trucks carrying fuel, toxic chemicals, and other flammable materials are particularly dangerous for occupants of surrounding vehicles. In addition to the increased size and weight of these vehicles, a spillage or explosion of the cargo can cause victims to suffer burns, scarring, lung damage, disfigurement, or even wrongful death.
Parties Who May Be Responsible for Injury Costs in a Tanker Truck Crash
There are various types of tanker trucks, each one with the ability to cause severe injuries in an accident. Unfortunately, many trucking companies will work to destroy evidence of wrongdoing after a crash, denying victims the chance to collect proper compensation for their pain and suffering. You should hire a truck wreck attorney who will work with local police, Tennessee Highway Patrol officials, or even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get to the root cause of your collision with a tanker truck.
An investigation into your collision could determine liability on the part of:
- Commercial truck drivers. Any truck driver who transports hazardous materials must have a hazmat endorsement on his or her commercial driver’s license (CDL). This endorsement is only issued after the driver passes a Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test, vision screening, and a Transportation Security Administration criminal background check. Even if properly licensed, the driver may still be found guilty of negligence if he or she was speeding, driving recklessly, or did not get enough rest between shifts.
- Trucking carriers. Both state and federal laws set forth codes of conduct for commercial trucking carries. Owners of these companies must follow the rules created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the State of Tennessee, including keeping accurate records of their drivers, conducting extensive background checks on employees, and training drivers on how to properly operate the truck.
- Maintenance providers. Roadway spills and explosions are often caused by a failure to maintain the tank, trailer, or cab properly. A truck crash attorney can examine repair records to determine if your injury resulted from a maintenance issue, and can also take steps to prevent potential spoliation of evidence.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a tanker truck accident, please fill out the short contact form on this page to set up your free initial consultation. Our lawyers serve injury clients on a contingent fee basis, meaning we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To learn more about your claim, download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.