Fuel trucks are tanker trucks or vehicles that carry liquid loads, such as gases and fuels. The large size of these trucks can lead to catastrophic accidents involving multiple vehicles. Many of these accidents also cause leakage, with hazardous materials spilling onto the road leading to fires, fatalities, and other widespread damage. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in this type of accident, you might want to get the advice of an Arlington Heights fuel truck accident lawyer.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can offer you legal representation in your personal injury claim. It costs you nothing to get started. We will not receive fees unless you receive compensation for your injuries. By calling (800) 794-0444 today, you can begin the claim evaluation process with a team member.
Fuel Truck Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found in its 2018 fatal crash report that 4,951 individuals died in large truck crashes. Over 70 percent of these fatalities were occupants of other vehicles or nonoccupants. These statistics include fuel truck accidents that caused fatalities and injuries.
Fuel or tanker trucks are large commercial trucks equipped with cylindrical tanks designed to hold fuel, gas, and other liquids, all of which are hazardous materials. Even the largest passenger vehicles are far smaller and lighter than semi tractor-trailers, fuel trucks, and other large commercial vehicles. As a result, the sheer size and weight of any commercial vehicle can result in severe injuries for motorists in regular passenger vehicles.
The presence of typically highly flammable and hazardous cargo only elevates the risks of a fuel truck accident. Whether the fuel truck overturns or strikes another vehicle or object, its liquid contents likely will escape from the tank. When gas, fuel, or other hazardous materials leak onto the roadway, in combination with potentially multiple damaged vehicles, the risk of fire and explosions increases dramatically. In some crashes, hazardous materials can impact nearby buildings or homes, leading to additional injuries and property damage.
Drivers and other occupants of damaged vehicles could suffer substantial injuries in these crashes, some becoming fatal. The severity of these accidents also can result in multiple injuries as large-scale explosions could impact nearby vehicles not directly involved in the accident.
Common Causes of Fuel Truck Accidents
Various factors can lead to fuel truck crashes. However, some aspects are more common than others in leading to fuel truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has found that 78 percent of tanker truck rollover accidents result from driver error. In many cases, drivers have committed some specific error before the accident occurs:
- They might overcorrect their vehicles when a tire slips onto the shoulder of a roadway.
- They may drive while overly tired, distracted, or not paying adequate attention to the road.
- They might speed, going too fast for weather conditions, or committing other traffic violations.
- They might drive while intoxicated.
Negligent drivers who cause fuel truck accidents can face liability for any injuries they inflict on others, as can the trucking companies that employ them.
Liquid loads tend to slosh around inside tanks, and when they carry only a partial load, the rate of sloshing liquids as the vehicle moves increases. In some crashes, sloshing liquid can cause fuel trucks to roll over or otherwise become involved in accidents. When these accidents occur, the potential for hazardous materials spills can lead to severe injuries and large amounts of property damage.
Like most commercial vehicles, fuel trucks have a high center of gravity, making them more prone to rollovers. Although some safety devices exist to help with the sloshing and surging of liquid cargo that can throw a large truck off balance, some trucks may not possess these safety features. Defects in truck parts, such as brakes, can lead to accidents that might make the manufacturer of the truck parts responsible for any injuries that result. Likewise, if trucking companies or truck owners fail to inspect, maintain, and repair their trucks properly, a vehicle malfunction could leave them liable for the costs of any resulting accidents.
For a free legal consultation with a Fuel Truck Accidents Lawyer serving Arlington Heights, call (800) 794-0444
Cargo Tank Truck Rollover Accidents
According to the FMCSA, one common type of accident involving cargo tank trucks, many of which carry fuel, is the rollover accident. On average, about 1,300 cargo tank rollover accidents occur each year. Over half of these accidents happen on straight roads. About two-thirds occur during daylight hours and 93 percent on dry roads.
An Arlington Heights fuel truck accident lawyer can prove invaluable in assessing the circumstances that led to your accident and determining whether you have a legal claim for compensation against any responsible parties. Depending on the cause of the accident, you could hold liable in a personal injury claim:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- The mechanic who services the truck
- Truck parts manufacturers
In a personal injury claim, you could claim compensation for various losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
If you lost a loved one in a fuel truck accident, you and any immediate family members might have a wrongful death claim under 740 ILCS 180, which allows you to seek other types of compensation.
Arlington Heights Fuel Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Discover Whether You Have a Claim for Compensation Today
A fuel truck accident can have catastrophic results for anyone in the vicinity. The hazardous cargo that fuel trucks often carry can lead to explosions, fires, and chemical spills that can increase the risk of injury. When you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in an accident, you might need the help of an Arlington Heights fuel truck accident lawyer. They can help you file a personal injury lawsuit before the two-year statute of limitations in Illinois set by 735 ILCS 5/13-202 runs out.
The attorneys and staff at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can determine whether you have a valid legal claim for damages. Contact our team today at (800) 794-0444 and learn more about your options for legal recourse against those responsible for your losses.