Tanker truck accidents can be particularly dangerous due to the large amounts of hazardous materials that many tanker trucks carry. In addition to the potential for massive explosions and fires in the event of an accident, there is also a risk of toxic material entering the environment.
Even more concerning is if the hazardous materials being carried have yet to be properly labeled or stored, which could lead to individuals coming into contact with them during an accident. Tanker trucks are so large that they can cause serious damage to other vehicles involved in an accident due to their size and weight.
Were you injured or lost a loved one in a tanker truck accident? The truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, represent tanker truck accident victims to ensure they receive the financial compensation they deserve for their damages.
Contact a Chicago tanker truck accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call), use the contact form for additional information and answers, or schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What is a Tanker Truck?
Tanker trucks are large vehicles used to transport liquid cargo, including gasoline, diesel, ethanol, asphalt, sewage, and household petroleum-based products. Tankers are constructed in various sizes and features depending on the product they are transporting.
It is important that all equipment used to transport these products is regularly inspected for safety  and kept in good condition.
Tanker Truck Accidents Statistics
Tanker truck accidents are a serious problem in the United States, with an estimated 500 people killed annually and thousands more injured or maimed. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, 5-10% of all truck accidents involve tanker trucks. In 2021, 9,610 tanker truck crashes were reported, with 372 fatalities and 3,505 severe and moderate injuries.
Common causes of tanker truck accidents include:
- Pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic delivery deadlines
- Failing to perform regular safety inspections
- Operator inexperience (insufficiently trained drivers)
- Improperly maintained vehicles
- Equipment failure
- Inadequate safety policies
- Distracted driving
- Driving over the posted speed limit
- Following too closely
- Aggressive driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Work zone errors
- Truck wear and tear
Trucking companies that transport hazardous materials and dangerous cargo may also be liable for negligence or recklessness if they fail to inspect tires, brakes and lights, and other components.
Tanker trucks are particularly vulnerable to accidents due to their lengthy stopping distance and large blind spots. These HazMat trucks are also top-heavy making them prone to tipping over or rollover.
Sloshing can increase the risk of a rollover accident, especially when a truck makes a sharp turn or if the driver stops abruptly. In addition to rollovers, tanker truck accidents can lead to explosions, fires, and hazardous leaks and spills that put other motorists at risk.
Contact a tanker truck accident attorney if you were involved in an accident for legal representation to file a claim against the trucker and trucking company for financial compensation.
Are Tankers More Dangerous Than Other Commercial Trucks?
Tanker HazMat trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded, making them much heavier than typical trucks.
These accidents can cause extensive damage due to the type and amount of cargo they carry, and spills and leaks from these accidents can affect surrounding areas for miles and take months to clean up.
Furthermore, tanker trucks have been involved in some deadly accidents due to their unique dangers for other drivers on the road. A tanker truck explosion or chemical spill can cause:
- Catastrophic injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Respiratory illnesses from inhaling toxic fumes
- Severe fire, heat, and chemical burns
- Other severe injuries
- Wrongful death
Due to the size and weight of tanker trucks, as well as the HazMat cargo they carry, they are more dangerous than other commercial trucks. Special training is required to drive a tanker truck safely, so only trained professionals should operate them. An accident involving a tanker truck can cause severe damage, catastrophic injuries, or death.
Tanker trucks have been involved in deadly accidents due to their unique dangers for other drivers on the road.
Tanker trucks are prone to rollover due to the movement of liquid cargo within the tanker, shifting its center of gravity. Tanker truck accident lawyers can pursue personal injury lawsuits to recover financial compensation against the trucking company, truck driver, and others responsible for the crash.
Hazardous Waste Spills
Hazardous waste spills can be a major hazard to public safety. Spills of industrial chemicals can cause serious injuries for those who come into contact with them, and dangerous cargo left on the roadway can create slippery conditions that lead to accidents.
Truck drivers must practice safe driving techniques  to avoid spilling toxic chemicals. Drivers should always obey speed limits and drive cautiously to avoid accidents that could result in hazardous material being spilled onto the roadways.
What Tanker Truck Drivers Can Do
Tanker truck drivers are responsible for safely transporting hazardous cargo across the country. They must know the safety regulations and laws that apply to their cargo and the proper procedures for loading and unloading it.
Truck drivers must also be aware of any potential hazards on the roadways they travel, such as icy conditions or debris in the roadway.
In addition, tanker truckers involved in an accident should:
- Keep detailed logs of all medical treatment received since the accident
- Document any evidence of an unsafe condition on the roadway at the crash scene
- Take photos or videos of the crash scene to ensure that equipment is in good condition
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Concerning a Preventable Death from a Tanker Truck Accident
To be successful, a tanker truck accident lawyer working for the survivors must be proven that the negligence of the trucking company or its driver was the direct cause of the death.
A civil lawsuit for a tanker truck accident can be filed by:
- Family members of the deceased
- An executor of the deceased’s estate
- Another legal representative
An experienced accident lawyer will be able to look at all the details surrounding the accident and provide legal advice on how best to proceed with filing a claim against those responsible.
Additionally, they will work diligently to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
The statute of limitations to file a claim varies by state. In most cases, a suit for a tanker truck accident must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. This deadline is typically non-negotiable, and if the lawsuit is not filed within this time frame, you may not be able to pursue legal action.
Tanker Truck Accident Lawyer FAQs
Our tanker truck accident attorneys understand that injured victims have many unanswered questions about tanker truck explosions that cause severe harm and death. A personal injury lawyer specializing in fuel truck accidents answered the most frequently asked questions below.
If you need more information on the trucking company and tanker truck driver liability, contact us at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you move a claim forward to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What are the most common accidents involving fuel trucks? How does a tanker truck accident occur?
The most common fuel truck accidents typically involve the truck being rear-ended due to its size and weight. a fuel truck accident is often caused by drivers not paying attention or underestimating how much time they need to safely stop behind a fuel truck while it’s taking on cargo or unloading from last delivery.
Another common accident involves skidding due to wet roads because the vehicle is more likely to lose control in slippery conditions. Also, due to the high volume of cargo that many petro trucks are transporting, malfunctions such as failing brakes can increase the risk of an accident.
Keeping these risks in mind and exercising caution while driving can help reduce the chance of tanker truck crashes.
What are the dangers when passenger vehicles share the road with a tanker truck driver?
There are many dangers that drivers should be aware of when sharing the road with a tanker truck. Due to the sheer size and weight of the largest tanker trucks, they can cause significant damage if an accident occurs.
Tanker trucks may also travel at much slower speeds than other passenger vehicles without necessarily having flashing lights or visible warnings to alert other drivers.
Additionally, due to their size and cargo capacity, these vehicles can have blind spots while turning or changing lanes which puts them at risk of colliding with smaller cars.
Driving safely around tanker trucks transporting dangerous cargo by giving them space on the roads and avoiding sudden lane changes is essential for avoiding accidents. When tanker accidents happen, stay far away from any spilled unstable cargo to avoid chemical burns from the extremely dangerous liquid.
How can a tanker truck accident be prevented?
Following a few simple precautions can stop a tanker truck accident.
Firstly, regular maintenance and care of the commercial vehicle are essential to ensure that all parts function properly.
Drivers should also be aware of their surroundings at all times and be prepared to take appropriate action in the case of an emergency. Other preventative measures include staying alert and leaving extra space between other vehicles on the road, especially when traveling behind or near large trucks.
Additionally, drivers should always check for any visible damages on their own vehicles before departing from a loading station or petrol station. Distracted driving remains the leading cause of car accidents involving tankers and other trucks.
Following these tips could reduce the risk of an accident when traveling with a tanker truck.
How often does a tanker truck crash involving serious injuries occur?
Tanker truck crashes involving serious injuries are not a daily occurrence but do happen often. Severe injuries are often caused by exposure to the truck’s cargo, toxic chemical fumes, or hazardous waste.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were roughly 10,000 accidents involving large commercial trucks (tankers and tractor-trailers) involving fatal or serious injuries in 2021. Of those, tanker trucks were involved in approximately 1,026 of these serious injury crashes.
This tanker accident data reveals an average of nearly three tanker truck accidents with serious injuries occur every day in the United States. Of that, at least one tanker crash leaves accident victims with life-altering harm, including a traumatic brain injury, amputation, or paralysis from spinal cord damage.
What compensation can I expect to resolve my tanker truck accident claim?
The compensation you can expect from resolving your truck accident claim depends on a few factors. If you are able to prove that another party was responsible for the accident, then they will be legally obligated to provide financial reimbursement in the form of damages or personal injury compensation.
Generally, the most common forms of compensation include medical bills related to any injuries, lost income due to missed work, lost wages, property damage repair or replacement costs, and pain and suffering.
In some cases, a court may also award punitive damages if the other party’s actions were found to be especially negligent. In such accidents involving a tanker truck company, the insurance company holding the policy will pay personal injury and wrongful death damages.
Will a tanker truck accident lawyer negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance company to pay my medical bills and lost wages?
Yes, a tanker truck accident lawyer can negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance carrier to pay your medical bill, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages resulting from the tanker accident.
The compensation you are entitled to receive may differ depending on the specifics of your case. Your tanker truck accident lawyers will assess the details of your accident and advise you on what type of compensation is likely available based on the insurance policy limits.
Additionally, your truck accident attorneys will leverage their legal knowledge and experience when negotiating with the insurance company to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
Are commercial vehicles transporting dangerous cargo required to follow special rules to ensure safety?
Yes, commercial trucks transporting dangerous cargo must follow special rules to ensure the driver’s safety and those on the road around them. These regulations  vary depending on the cargo being carried and can include additional signs or labels to make other drivers aware of what the vehicle is carrying should a truck accident or spill occur.
Additionally, drivers may be required to take additional training or pass a special examination to be authorized for certain loads.
Finally, vehicles used for transporting dangerous materials must also comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to vehicle maintenance and implement any special safety protocols outlined by the trucking company.
Hire Tanker Truck Accident Attorneys to Resolve a Personal Injury Claim
Were you involved in a serious tanker truck crash and suffered injuries? The truck accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, represent truck accident victims and surviving family members to ensure they are adequately compensated for all damages.
Call a truck accident attorney at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our truck accident lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
We accept every personal injury claim and wrongful death lawsuit through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures you do not pay upfront fees until our tanker truck accident lawyers resolve your claim through a negotiated settlement or jury award.