Tanker trucks are vehicles that transport liquefied loads, gases, or dry bulk cargo. For example, they may carry gasoline from a source to a gas station. They may be a semi, a tractor trailer, a double, a tractor with two trailers, or a truck with a tank body that pulls a smaller trailer. Sometimes the material that tanker trucks transport is hazardous and explodes during an accident, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths. If you are injured in a tanker truck accident or a loved one was killed in a tanker truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation. Our California truck accident lawyers can use our comprehensive knowledge regarding the evidence that may be available, including black box information, to present a strong claim on your behalf.
Bringing a Claim Based on a Tanker Truck Accident
Tanker truck drivers may cause an accident in numerous ways, including by improperly loading the vehicle or speeding. When a tanker becomes unstable, it may roll over and cause many injuries on the road. If a driver is rushing to meet a delivery deadline, they may fail to follow hours of service rules and be driving while fatigued, and therefore they may not respond appropriately to an emergency on the road or the jackknifing of the vehicle, whereby the tank swings to the side as the cab moves straight ahead. You can establish a tanker truck driver’s negligence by showing that they owed a duty to use due care but failed to meet that duty and in failing to do so caused your injuries.
However, there may be many accident victims in a tanker truck accident, and a single driver’s insurance policy may not cover the full scope of all of the injuries. It is important to retain an attorney who is able to investigate fully and determine whether other parties also may bear responsibility. For example, a tanker truck driver’s employer may bear some responsibility for encouraging a driver to break the hours of services rules. It also may be responsible for hiring a driver whom it knew or should have known had a history of DUIs.
An employer may be held indirectly liable for its employee’s negligent actions through the doctrine of vicarious liability, which provides for employer accountability when an employee is negligent in the course and scope of employment. Moreover, it may also be held directly liable for negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision. This is important because an employer typically has a greater policy limit on its insurance policy, and even when there are multiple victims, it may be possible to recover much-needed compensation.
A tanker truck accident may cause serious injuries, and the damages may be exorbitant, particularly when there are multiple accident victims. For example, if the tank explodes, the result may be burn injuries and disfigurement. Damages may include past and future medical bills, past and future wage loss, lost earning capacity, household services, rehabilitation, future surgeries for the scarring, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. When there is a need for lifelong care, such as in the case of brain damage or paralysis, the only way to obtain that care may be to file a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible. The attorney whom you select may make a huge difference as to whether you obtain the intangible losses and future care that you need.