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Houston Tanker Truck Accident Lawyer
Tanker trucks are commercial vehicles that transport hazardous materials in a tank. They may also deliver toxic materials such as gasoline or other bio-hazardous chemicals. These tanker trucks typically carry a cylindrical cargo container instead of the rectangular cargo shells that are characteristically used for shipping or transporting traditional cargo. Tanker trucks also commonly transport fuel to gas stations and waste in septic tankers, as well as more traditional materials such as water, concrete, or other liquid or gaseous cargo. Due to the nature of their cargo, tanker trucks are also often insulated, pressurized or otherwise protected in some way.
Government Rules Regarding Tanker Trucks
• Hazardous materials like compressed gas
• Toxic chemicals
• Corrosive materials
• Radioactive substances
Each material governed by this agency must be appropriately labeled, safely sealed, and secured in a manner that makes it clear the substance is potentially dangerous. Any discrepancy in these safety protocols can lead to tank explosions, leaks, or fires, even when a collision is not involved. Accidents have frequently occurred even when hazmat materials have been properly stored and labeled because of outside influences like driver fatigue, improper maintenance schedules, or overwork.
Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
- Deadlines and Commitments – Trucking companies and/or the drivers moving hazardous and flammable cargo must maintain moral responsibility for keeping the public safe. However, delivery commitments and trucking company deadlines often push drivers and management to drive long hours or long distances when the driver is fatigued, tired or ill equipped to arrive safely.
- Operator Inexperience – Investigators often find that truck drivers involved in a tanker truck explosion were not trained properly by the trucking company on how to properly handle the rig while caring hazardous, flammable or dangerous cargo.
- Overloading – Cargo that is improperly balance, or overloaded for the size of the rig can create a hazardous situation where the vehicle becomes difficult to maneuver, stop in time, or handle safely on the roadway.
- Improperly Maintained Vehicles – Because of the hazardous nature of the cargo being carried, any improperly maintained rig can break down at the most crucial time, creating unsafe conditions for the trucker and all other motorists on the road.
- Equipment Failure – Braking systems, tires, axles, signal lights and other components of the truck must work properly to minimize any potential of equipment failure. Often times, investigators find manufacturing defects, design flaws or improper installation of components that cause equipment failure when the truck is on the road.
- Inadequate Safety Policies – It is the responsibility of the trucking company to develop, maintain and implement adequate safety policies followed by managers, supervisors, loaders/unloaders and truck drivers to ensure the cargo is transported as safely as possible. Trucking companies can be held legally liable for injuries, property damage or death occurring from a lack of safety policies.
- Road Hazards – Truckers involved in a tanker truck explosion have often been driving erratically, or irresponsibly, causing an accident with injuries or death. Significant road hazards including weather conditions, roadway construction, heavy traffic, and other conditions are often involved in serious tanker truck accidents.
Common Injuries in Head-On Truck Accidents
- Head and Brain Injuries — When you’re involved in a forceful collision, your head may be whipped back and forth from the impact. This can cause your brain to impact against the inside of your skull, which can result in damage to numerous brain functions. A head-on collision also could result in objects striking your head, which can lead to a concussion, or even penetrating your head, which can cause brain damage.
- Back and Spinal Cord Injuries — The force of a head-on collision could cause a variety of injuries to your back or spinal cord. You could experience a slipped or herniated disc, which can be extremely painful and usually requires surgery and a lengthy recovery. You also could experience a bruised or broken spinal column, which could result in nerve damage or paralysis.
- Neck Injuries or Whiplash — When you experience an intense impact such as a head-on crash, your neck may be stretched beyond its normal length. Your spine is designed to be flexible and to absorb shocks, but when your neck is unnaturally extended, it can result in the injury known as whiplash. Whiplash can be painful and affect your day-to-day functions. Other common neck injuries you may experience in a head-on crash include painful slipped or herniated discs, or a broken neck, which at a minimum is extremely painful and can result in paralysis.
- Soft Tissue Injuries — You may experience painful damage to your muscles, ligaments, or tendons. These injuries can be quite painful, and sometimes the pain is long-term, especially if not properly treated soon after the accident.
- Broken Bones — Broken arms, legs, or ribs are not uncommon in a head-on crash as the front end of the car crumples and pushes into the driver or passenger seats. Airbags can minimize the force of the impact, but can cause injuries themselves.
- Lost Limbs — In very serious crashes, limbs may be crushed or severed, or be so badly damaged that amputation is the only course of action.
- Cuts — Cuts to the face or body from shattered windshields or side windows can be very serious and require plastic surgery to minimize scarring.
Contact a Houston Tanker Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Attorney, John D. Pascoe and the Pascoe Law Firm, is responsible for the content on this website, principal office and only office located in Friendswood, Texas. Servicing: Alvin, Angleton, Atascocita, Austin, Bay City, Bacliff, Baytown, Beaumont, Bellaire, Brazoria County, Brookside Village, Brownsville, Clute, Conroe, Clear Lake, Clear Lake Shores, Chambers County, Corpus Christi, Channelview, Cypress, Dallas, Danbury Dickinson, Deer Park, East Houston, El Largo, Freeport, Friendswood, Fresno, Fort Bend County, Fort Worth, Galveston, Galveston County, Greenspoint, Gulfgate, Harris County, Hitchcock, Houston, Houston Heights, Huffman, Humble, Huntsville, Harlingen, Jefferson County, Katy, Kemah, Lake Jackson, La Marque, La Porte, League City, Laredo, Liberty County, Manvel, Memorial City Houston, Midtown Houston, Missouri City, Montgomery County, Montrose Houston, McAllen, Nassau Bay, North Houston, Orange, Pasadena, Port Bolivar, Port Arthur, Pearland, Richmond, Rice Village, River Oaks, Rosenberg, Rosharon, Rio Grande Valley, Santa Fe, San Antonio, San Leon, Seabrook, Shoreacres, Sienna Plantation, South Houston, Sugar Land, Southbelt Ellington, Spring, South Padre Island, Texas City, Taylor Lake Village, The Woodlands, Tiki Island, Tomball, Victoria, Uptown Houston Galleria, Webster, West Columbia, West University Place, Weihmar, and throughout Texas.