A fuel truck, also called a tanker truck, often carries hazardous materials. These may be highly flammable and toxic liquids that can cause significant injuries and illnesses if the tank ruptures or leaks.
If a truck driver caused a crash that resulted in injuries to you or your loved ones, consider hiring a Rockford fuel truck accident lawyer. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 today for a free consultation. We are ready to take on the tough cases, defending the rights of victims to receive compensation.
How a Fuel Truck Operates
When you are driving on the highways of Illinois and you encounter a fuel tanker truck, you may have a natural feeling to avoid driving too close to the tanker. It just seems like a dangerous vehicle, even if the driver is experienced and safe.
The fuel truck will haul gasoline or other liquid materials to retail and commercial locations. In the state of Illinois, a fuel truck operator needs special licenses and endorsements to operate the vehicle properly.
Some fuel truck drivers even have an endorsement to allow for mobile vehicle operation, allowing them to deliver fuel directly from the tanker truck to another motor vehicle, rather than into a permanent underground tank.
Types of Accidents Involving Fuel Trucks
Fuel truck accidents do not always result in a rupture of the tank. Some of these accidents have relatively minor property damage and injuries.
However, because of the weight and size of tanker trucks, an accident involving one of these vehicles often results in significant property damage, serious injuries, and the potential leak of hazardous materials.
A truck with four or more axles in Illinois may carry as much as 80,000 pounds of weight. A truck using this weight limit may have about 10,000 gallons of gasoline inside it. This kind of weight can cause significant damage to a motor vehicle in a crash.
Additional Hazards with Fuel Trucks
Some of the extra hazards that may occur after an accident with a fuel tanker include:
- Leaks and spills: where the accident causes some sort of crack or rupture in the tank, leading to the loss of the hazardous materials inside it, which could cause chemical burns or toxic gasses that endanger those near the crash site.
- Fire: where the tanker leaks flammable fuels or other chemicals that could result in a fire at the crash site, placing bystanders and those in vehicles involved in the crash in danger.
- Explosion: where a fire could lead to an explosion at the accident site, if the materials inside the tanker are explosive.
Clearly, these significant hazards after an accident with a tanker could cause significant injuries to anyone near the crash site. If you suffered injuries in the crash with the tanker, or if you were simply near the site and suffered injuries in the aftermath, consider hiring a Rockford fuel truck accident lawyer.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team knows how to help victims in these types of accidents. You did nothing wrong, and you should not have to pay for your treatments.
For a free legal consultation with a fuel truck accidents lawyer serving Rockford, call (800) 794-0444
How Fuel Truck Accidents Occur
A person driving a fuel truck needs to have significant training to be able to operate this large vehicle safely. It is important that the company hiring someone to drive a fuel truck fully checks the work history and driving endorsements of the driver. If the company that owns the truck places an untrained driver on the road, it could be liable for any accidents that occur.
Beyond improper training, many potential reasons exist for a potential fuel truck accident.
Unsafe Driver Performance
A driver who is operating the fuel truck in an unsafe manner could lead to a crash. Some unsafe conditions may include:
- Driving after drinking
- Driving after taking drugs
- Driving while distracted by items inside the vehicle
- Violating traffic laws
- Driving while tired
- Driving too fast for the road or weather conditions
- Road rage
If law enforcement officials investigating the crash find that the driver violated one or more traffic laws before the accident, the officer may issue traffic tickets to the driver. If this occurs, it strengthens your case in a lawsuit involving a fuel truck crash in which you suffered an injury.
Improperly Maintained Vehicle
If the truck’s owner does not properly maintain the fuel truck, the equipment could fail while on the road, leading to a loss of control of the fuel truck and a crash. Some items that need regular maintenance to keep the truck safe include:
- Electrical system
- Safety equipment
Less Than Full Tank
Whenever the fuel tank is three-quarters full or less, the liquid inside the tank could slosh around. As the liquid moves back and forth, it could throw off the balance of the fuel tank. The driver may overcorrect when this occurs, which could lead to the driver losing control of the truck.
Rockford Fuel Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
We Are Ready to Fight on Your Behalf
After an accident with a fuel truck, you may hear from the insurance company for the driver or for the truck’s owner. The insurance adjuster may even offer you a settlement, saying he or she is working to help you receive the fairest award.
However, this rarely is the case. Insurers primarily want to end the case as quickly as possible, hoping you will agree to any settlement amount to close the case.
If you are unsure about whether the settlement offer from the insurer is fair, consider hiring a Rockford fuel truck accident lawyer, such as Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We will handle your case from start to finish, and we know how insurance adjusters try to treat victims. Call us at (800) 794-0444 today for a free case review.