Tanker Truck Accidents
Like other commercial trucks in the South, tanker trucks can be dangerous because of their extreme size and weight. There are also unique risks involved in tanker truck accidents. They may be carrying huge quantities of highly flammable or toxic chemicals, and even a fender-bender can result in life threatening injuries or deaths should these materials be released from the truck. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a tanker truck accident in Tennessee or a neighboring state, you should retain a knowledgeable truck accident attorney. Often there are numerous federal regulations that tanker truck drivers must follow, and if regulations were bent to maximize profits or out of carelessness, the tanker truck driver and company may be held accountable for the harm that results from their actions.Establishing Liability in Tanker Truck Accidents
Tanker trucks may weigh tens of thousands of pounds even when they are not carrying hazardous materials. The danger of a tanker truck accident is only multiplied by the thousands of gallons of toxic or dangerous chemicals they may be carrying. While a passenger car is easy to maneuver, a tanker truck requires greater distances to brake safely. It takes skill to maneuver these vehicles. A sudden movement such as slamming on the brakes or suddenly swerving can result in a driver losing control or the tanker rolling over. Flammable materials may leak onto the roadway if the tank is punctured, which could result in an explosion.
Drivers transporting certain hazardous materials in a tanker truck need to obtain a commercial driver's license with a hazardous materials endorsement before operating the tanker truck. They will need to pass a test about requirements and regulations in order to obtain the endorsement. This is the bare minimum a driver needs to know, and most drivers will need to read more or attend training courses to safely transport these materials.
An employer must ensure that all drivers involved in carrying hazardous materials pass all requirements and also know enough to safely transport those materials. They need to maintain a training record for each worker so long as the worker is carrying hazardous materials. Employees are supposed to be trained and tested according to trucking regulations so that they understand the security risks and know how to respond to threats while working with those materials. Those transporting cargo tanks or portable tanks also need specialized training from the employer. In some cases, permits are also necessary for materials like explosives or rocket fuel.
After an accident, a tanker truck driver or trucking company may try to hide or avoid producing evidence that would show its failure to comply with hazardous materials regulations and training requirements. It is important to retain an aggressive attorney who understands what the regulations are and how to obtain evidence of lack of compliance in the face of any obstructive efforts by the trucking company, its attorneys, or insurance adjusters. Intentionally destroying evidence is referred to as spoliation of evidence.
Depending on the facts of the case, you may be able to hold a tanker truck driver or trucking company liable for negligence. This means you will have to establish that they owed you a duty and their failure to use reasonable care was the cause of your injuries. An employer's failure to abide by training requirements for hazardous materials may be negligence per se. Negligence per se applies when a defendant violates safety laws designed to protect against the type of injuries that resulted from the violation.Retain an Experienced Memphis Truck Accident Lawyer
Tanker truck accidents in Tennessee and surrounding states can result in catastrophic injuries including chemical burns, permanent disfigurement, and scarring. Our Memphis lawyers have experience in Tennessee truck accident cases and will work tirelessly to get you the compensation to which you are entitled under the law. We employ over 30 attorneys and more than 100 staff members. We represent clients throughout the South in Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas including in Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form. When you need an attorney to handle your injury case, NST is the way to go.