Tanker Truck Accidents
Injury Attorneys Guiding Victims in Wheaton and Schaumburg
Tanker trucks can weigh as much as 40 tons and are often carrying dangerous, even flammable substances. Accidents involving these vehicles can result in devastating injuries and property damage for everyone involved. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver’s negligence, you need to consult a Wheaton or Schaumburg truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Therman Law Offices, we can thoroughly examine the facts of your situation and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Tanker Truck Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
Tanker trucks are extremely large commercial vehicles designed to transport cargo. Specifically, a tanker truck is a truck with a tank body suitable for transporting gases or liquids via road. Hazardous materials are usually transported via tanker trucks, which is why tanker truck drivers must adhere to specific regulations and standards when operating these vehicles. In the event of an accident, these materials can spill onto the road; the toxic material can catch fire or explode. If the tank is pressurized, the threat of an explosion increases.
Tanker trucks in Illinois are subject to a number of state and federal regulations that detail rules regarding hours of service, maintenance requirements, and record keeping. These regulations are designed to promote the safe operation of trucks on the road and reduce the risk of accidents. Sadly, these regulations are often ignored, leading to serious accidents. For example, operators of tanker trucks are required to handle and seal flammable cargo in a certain way. If this does not happen, serious accidents and injuries can result. Other common causes of tanker truck accidents include:
- Fatigued or drowsy drivers;
- Inexperienced drivers;
- Overloaded trucks;
- Defective truck design;
- Road hazards;
- Improperly maintained trucks; or
- Failing to follow relevant rules and regulations.
Tanker truck accidents can cause life-threatening injuries to other drivers, passengers, motorcycle riders, and even bicyclists. Not only are these injuries excruciatingly painful, but also they are extremely costly to treat and often result in a person’s inability or diminished ability to work. Fortunately, Illinois law allows truck accident victims to recover compensation for a variety of damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, and more. The exact amount of compensation will depend on the nature and extent of the injuries suffered.
Cases involving tanker trucks can be complicated and benefit from the assistance of a resourceful lawyer. Tanker truck accidents can be caused by driver error, negligence on behalf of the trucking company, or both. Truck drivers or trucking companies that cause tanker truck accidents are usually held accountable through a negligence claim. A tanker truck driver is negligent when he or she fails to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent tanker truck driver would have used in the same or similar circumstances. In short, tanker truck drivers owe a “duty” to drive in a reasonably safe manner to others on the road. When this duty is breached and an injury results, the driver will likely be liable. For instance, if a tanker truck driver caused a crash by changing lanes without signaling, he or she would likely be liable for damages because a driver operating the truck in a reasonably safe manner would have understood the risk of accidents associated with such conduct.
In certain cases, the truck driver’s employer may also be liable for the truck driver’s negligence under the theory of respondeat superior. Under this rule, an employer is accountable for the negligence of its employee when the employee was acting within the scope of employment. In short, an employer may be liable for a truck driver’s negligence when the accident in question took place ‘on the job’ (i.e., transporting crude oil for the employer).
Contact a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Attorney in Schaumburg or Wheaton
Unfortunately, thousands of people in Illinois and across the country are involved in truck accidents each year. If you or your loved one has been injured in a tanker truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our diligent truck accident attorneys can help assert your rights throughout the entire legal process. While we aim to settle each case, we are not afraid to zealously advocate for you in the courtroom. We represent injured people in cities such as Schaumburg, Wheaton, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Elgin, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Bensenville, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale, Roselle, and Carol Stream. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.