Austin Fuel Tanker Accident Lawyer
Fuel tanker accidents can be devastating to victims, who are usually motorists and their passengers. Due to the enormous size, weight, and center of gravity that a fuel tanker possesses, colliding with one could be catastrophic. Fuel tankers, in particular, can be especially dangerous to other motorists due to the type of cargo they are carrying.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a fuel tanker, you may be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the Austin personal injury attorneys of Loewy Law Firm for a free consultation. Call (512) 280-0800 today.
Types of Fuel Tankers
There are a variety of fuel tankers that regularly pass through the Austin area. Each tanker is designed specifically for carrying a certain type of fuel. Some common types of fuel tankers include:
- Non-low pressure gas liquid fuel tankers
- Low-pressure bulk liquid fuel tankers
- Corrosive cargo fuel tankers
- Compressed gas fuel tankers
- High-pressure tube fuel tankers
- Cryogenic fuel tankers
Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
Tanker truck accidents can be caused by a variety of negligent behaviors. While the driver typically has some part to play, there can be other entities whose negligence results in an accident. Some common causes of tanker truck accidents include:
- Speeding – Truck drivers work on tight deadlines and, in some cases, may even worry that they will lose their job if they don’t make deliveries on time. This can lead them to speed, which puts other motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians around them at risk. Speeding increases the likelihood of losing control of the truck and gives the driver less time to slow down if traffic suddenly stops.
- Aggressive driving – Some fuel tank truck drivers may drive aggressively, performing unsafe lane changes or tailgating other vehicles, often out of impatience. Aggressive driving behaviors frequently go hand in hand with speeding and can be dangerous to other motorists.
- Fatigued driving – Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, sometimes longer than legally permitted, in order to make more deliveries. In some cases, trucking companies even pressure truck drivers to drive more hours than is legally allowed to increase revenue. When truck drivers work long hours, they can easily become tired, which can cause them to doze off, may impair their ability to focus on the task of driving, and slow down their reaction time.
- Driving while intoxicated – Truck drivers who drive while intoxicated, whether due to alcohol, drugs, or even prescription drugs, usually experience impaired judgment, limited ability to concentrate, and slower reaction times.
- Inexperienced drivers – Due to the perpetual shortage of truck drivers, sometimes trucking companies do not properly vet their drivers before putting them behind the wheel. Sometimes, trucking companies fail to provide their drivers with adequate training. Inexperienced truck drivers may be less familiar with how to maneuver such a large vehicle, which can lead to accidents.
- Improper loading – Sometimes, the crew that loads the fuel tanker may be negligent. If the fuel tank was loaded incorrectly or in an unsafe manner, an accident could result.
- Improper maintenance – When trucking companies fail to properly inspect and maintain their vehicles, accidents can happen. If the trucking company outsources maintenance to another entity, negligence on the part of the maintenance company could also cause an accident.
- Defective parts – Finally, some fuel tanker accidents occur due to defective truck parts. This could be because the manufacturer of the part was negligent when they designed or made the part.
Injuries Caused by Fuel Tanker Accidents
Fuel tanker accidents can cause traumatic injuries, given their size, weight, and the force of the impact on other vehicles in a collision. Some common injuries caused by fuel tanker accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Burns and disfigurement
- Accidental amputation
- Broken/fractured bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Paralysis and spinal injuries
Who Is Liable?
Determining liability in tanker truck accident cases is not always straightforward. While it may seem obvious that the driver is at fault, there could be other entities that share some part or all of the blame when a tanker truck accident occurs.
The truck driver: In most cases, the truck driver is responsible for the crash. This could be because they were speeding, engaging in aggressive driving behaviors, got distracted, were intoxicated, or were negligent in some other way. However, most truck drivers are covered by insurance purchased for them by the company for which they drive.
The trucking company: In some cases, the trucking company could be held at least partly liable. If they hired an inexperienced driver or failed to properly maintain their fleet, it’s possible that they could be partly responsible.
The maintenance company: If the trucking company outsources the maintenance of the truck to a maintenance company, and that company fails in their duty of care to ensure that the truck is safe for use, then they could be held liable for any accidents that occur due to poor maintenance.
The cargo loaders: Cargo loaders could also be held responsible if they failed to properly or safely load the fuel tanker.
Manufacturers: If any defective parts led to the accident, then it is possible that the manufacturers of those defective parts could be held liable.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a fuel tanker truck, you may be entitled to claim compensation to help you cover the cost of damages related to the accident, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
Truck accidents can be complex to investigate, especially considering the fact that there may be two or even more liable parties involved. You should consult with an experienced fuel tanker truck accident attorney, who will have the knowledge, time, and resources to fully investigate the accident, identify the liable parties, and aggressively seek compensation on your behalf.
How Loewy Law Could Help
If you have been involved in a fuel tanker accident in the Austin area, the Austin truck accident lawyers of the Loewy Law Firm are here to help. Our expert team will evaluate your claim, gather evidence to help support it, and work tirelessly on your behalf to pursue the compensation you need to recover financially.
Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (512) 280-0800.