An accident involving a tanker truck can be very serious. Many tanker trucks carry hazardous materials that easily catch fire and are toxic.
If you were injured in a tanker truck accident in DC, you probably have many worries. How will you pay for your medical bills? Will your injuries result in lifelong health problems? Will you be able to take care of your family if you cannot work? How will you get to work if your car was damaged?
Because tanker trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles, the injuries and property damage they cause in an accident are worse than in a typical car accident. Most of the time, a tanker truck accident will cause serious injuries and may be fatal.
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If you or a loved one were injured in a tanker truck accident, a DC truck accident lawyer can help. You may be able to file a claim for compensation under DC personal injury law. We have a history of success obtaining multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients.
Whether you’re ready to file a claim or you’re not sure if a lawsuit is the right choice for you, a tanker truck accident attorney in Washington, DC can help. Call (202) 960-4596 to speak with the truck accident lawyers of Regan Zambri Long for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review your case and talk to you about your rights.
Many tanker truck accidents are fatal to people in smaller passenger vehicles. Smaller cars, and even SUVs, are no match for the size and weight of a tanker truck. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles are four times more likely to be severely injured or killed than drivers of commercial tanker trucks.
The most common causes of tanker truck accidents are:
Tanker trucks often carry liquids that shift as the truck moves. When the liquid shifts, it can make the truck unbalanced. When a tanker truck filled with liquid turns or stops quickly, the center of gravity in the truck can shift dramatically. This creates a risk of a rollover, in particular when a tanker truck is making a turn.
If a tanker truck is carrying hazardous chemicals, it can cause serious medical problems for victims of the accident. When the truck is carrying flammable liquids or gases, a crash can be catastrophic as it bursts into flame, seriously injuring the truck driver and others near the accident. These kinds of accidents can often be fatal.
If a tanker truck, or any large commercial vehicle, is not maintained and serviced properly, it can cause an accident. Two common maintenance issues the cause motor vehicle accidents are low tire pressure and worn brakes.
The way drivers operate their tanker trucks and the things they do or don’t do while driving can cause a serious accident. There are reckless or negligent truck driver actions that can cause an accident. Examples are texting while driving, fatigue and falling asleep, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, if drivers accelerate or brake too quickly, or drive too fast in poor weather conditions, the tanker truck’s liquid cargo can shift and cause a rollover or other accidents.
A tanker truck is also known as a tank truck, gas truck, or fuel truck. They carry liquids or gases. The largest tanker trucks are semi-trailer trucks. They are known for being difficult to drive safely, in part because the cargo they carry moves and sloshes around as the truck moves. They are also and highly prone to rollover because of their high center of gravity.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commercial truck drivers are involved in about 120,000-160,000 crashes each year in the U.S. These accidents cause catastrophic injuries to thousands of people, especially those in smaller passenger vehicles. Drivers and passengers in other motor vehicles are four times more likely to be severely injured or killed than drivers of large commercial vehicles when a truck and another vehicle collide. Seventy-one percent of those killed in truck crashes were in other, smaller vehicles.
How do truck accidents differ from car accidents?
Because tanker trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles, the injuries and property damage they cause are worse than in a typical car accident. If a commercial truck driver operates his vehicle in violation of traffic and safety rules and causes a tanker truck accident, the injuries will likely be serious. In addition, your car is likely to be severely damaged. If a pedestrian or a motorcyclist are truck accident victims, the risk of fatal injury and death is very high.
Unfortunately, many people are killed in accidents with tanker trucks. In Virginia, over 9% of commercial trucks on the road were involved in a fatal crash in 2019. In Maryland, nearly 8% of large trucks caused a fatal accident.
If the accident is the result of the truck driver’s recklessness, such as driving at high speeds or falling asleep, the at-fault party will be the driver himself.
The company that owns the truck may also be held responsible if, for example, they required their driver to work longer hours than is allowed under federal and state laws. Many tanker trucks are owned by trucking companies, and many are owned by a company that sells the particular kind of cargo in the truck. This includes gas companies, oil companies, hazardous chemical companies, and the like. The company can also be responsible if they did not properly train their drivers on how to safely operate the tanker truck.
When improper maintenance is one of the causes of an accident, the company and the driver may be at fault. The company is responsible for routine maintenance of the tanker truck. The driver is responsible for checking the truck before each road trip.
In many tanker truck accidents, there is more than one cause and more than one at-fault party. It could be that a driver is speeding and the tire pressure is too low, both of which causes the truck to roll over while taking a curve. In these circumstances, the company and the driver would all be at-fault parties that caused the accident.
If a crash happened because of negligent maintenance or repair, the repair person and their company may also be held responsible for your damages.
Sometimes a faulty vehicle is the cause of an accident. In this kind of truck accident case, the manufacturer of the truck or a faulty part may be responsible for the accident and required to compensate you for your injuries and property damage.
When you are injured in a crash with a tanker truck, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost time at work, and other kinds of compensation. The person responsible for the accident may be required to pay you for your injuries and reimburse you for your expenses. That could be the driver of the truck, the trucking company, the maintenance company, or the manufacturer. Sometimes more than one person is responsible.
Even when you are entitled to compensation, it can be difficult to get the money you deserve. Tanker truck accident claims are complex. You will need to show that the driver or a company was at fault and you were not. You must prove that your injuries and damages to your car were caused by the crash. Many trucking companies rely upon their insurance companies and lawyers to aggressively negotiate a truck accident settlement and deny your claims. This could mean that the insurance company will make a settlement offer too low to cover your damages, injuries, lost time at work, and the like. If a settlement payment too low to cover your medical expenses and related losses is offered, an experienced DC truck accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
A. When you are injured in an accident, you must file your claim against the at-fault parties within a specific period of time called the statute of limitations. Under DC law and Maryland law, you must file your tanker truck accident claim within three years of the accident. In Virginia, you have even less time: two years from the date of the accident to file your truck accident lawsuit. If you do not, you will not be able to pursue your claim.
A. It depends on the cause of the truck accidents. You may be able to file a claim against any or all of the following:
Tanker truck accidents tend to have more than one cause. For example, a poorly maintained truck may lead to tire blowouts that occurred because the driver was speeding. In cases like this, you can file a truck accident claim against multiple people and companies.
A. If you pursue a tanker truck accident case in court against the truck driver or trucking company, personal injury law will apply. Your case will be called a personal injury claim.
For those who pursue truck accident cases on behalf of family members who were killed in a tanker truck accident, the case will be a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you file suit against the truck manufacturer, then your claim may be a products liability claim for a defective part.
All provide “full and fair compensation” for losses suffered as a result of the truck crash. This includes compensation for medical expenses, at-home care, physical therapy, lost wages, loss of future earning potential if your loved one died, physical pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
The DC truck accident lawyers of Regan Zambri Long have extensive negotiation and trial experience handling tanker truck accident cases. We advise our clients successfully based upon our years of experience handling lawsuits in the trucking industry.
Our legal team is made up of a dedicated group of trial lawyers. Our lawyers represent accident victims with empathy and consideration. We are passionate about helping victims and their families put their lives back together and move forward in the best way possible after an accident.
Our truck accident lawyers are among the top lawyers in DC, Virginia, and Maryland, with many awards. Some of the recognition our personal injury lawyers have earned are:
A. If you were injured in a tanker truck accident, you may have mounting medical bills but be unable to work while you try to recover. You may never be able to return to work fully if your injuries caused a permanent disability. We know how challenging life can be after an accident. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge attorney fees to you unless we recover money for you in court or a settlement.