As Texans know, the state’s roadways are filled with oil tanker trucks. With so many on the road, frightening accidents with them are not uncommon. In fact, Texas leads the country when it comes to commercial large truck accidents that result in serious injuries and death. In a recent single year, 658 people were killed in crashes with tankers and other commercial trucks in the state, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those killed, 467 were occupants of other vehicles. This isn’t surprising. In a crash between a fully loaded truck weighing as much as 44 tons and a car or other light passenger vehicle, it isn’t hard to see which has the advantage.
If you’re injured in a crash with an oil tanker truck that wasn’t your fault, you can ask for compensation through a legal claim. This money can pay for your medical costs, lost wages and other damages. Read on to learn what to do if you’re hit by an oil tanker truck.
When you’re injured in a truck crash, there may be more than one party responsible. Sometimes the trucking company can be held liable, in addition to the driver. Oil tanker truck drivers help power the economy through their work. Most strive to be safe drivers, but sometimes they are under pressure from employers to work harder and faster. And sometimes trucking companies don’t properly maintain their vehicles, which can contribute to accidents.
In some cases, distracted or reckless drivers of other vehicles are responsible for setting off chain-reaction crashes that can cause an oil tanker truck to hit other autos. When this happens, the drivers of those vehicles can also be held liable.
Also, sometimes poorly designed or maintained roads or truck parts that fail can contribute to crashes.
Here are some specific possible causes of oil tanker wrecks:
The answers to these questions are “yes” and “yes.” If a tanker is filled with oil, a crash may cause an explosion and fire. Oil tankers can also more easily roll over on their side than other vehicles, because they carry liquid, which can slosh around and cause trucks to become off-balance and unstable. For these reasons, especially devastating injuries including burns, traumatic brain injuries and other catastrophic harm, can occur. These injuries usually require extensive and expensive medical treatment.
How much money you could get if you’re injured in a tanker truck crash is based on your damages. “Damages” are all the things you’ve lost because of the accident. They can include payment for:
If your family member died in an accident with a tanker truck, you may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. Damages may include payment of medical expenses for their injuries, funeral and burial costs, lost love and companionship, lost emotional and financial support and other damages.
Following a tanker truck crash, there are certain steps to take that can help prove fault for the accident. If you aren’t taken to the emergency room following the crash, seek out medical treatment as soon as possible. Doctor reports of your injuries and needed treatments will be important evidence to provide to the insurance company. Also, if possible, you should:
An attorney can help your accident case by:
Texas follows a comparative negligence rule when it comes to compensation. This means that if you share any responsibility for the crash, your compensation in a possible jury award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are over 50% at fault, you won’t get anything. Insurance companies may also follow this rule. An experienced Texas truck accident lawyer will bring in expert witnesses and other strong evidence to prove the other party’s negligence and fault.
At Hanna Law, our West Texas truck accident lawyers have extensive background successfully handling commercial trucking crash cases. Our compassionate attorneys will stand up for your rights when you’ve been hit by an oil tanker truck and suffered serious injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 432-606-2378.