Tanker Truck Accident Lawyers
Any incident involving a tanker truck is frightening. If you have been harmed in an accident with a tanker truck, you may be entitled to compensation. Examples of harm you may experience in an accident include any injuries, the death of a loved one, and loss or damage to your personal property. The experienced truck accident lawyers of Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. are here to help.
Tanker trucks commonly carry hazardous materials, including some that can explode on impact. Sometimes when the materials escape the tank, dangerous fumes can harm people in the area. The laws in Florida require hazardous materials drivers to have a current Class C Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with the proper endorsement. These drivers must pass vision and various skills and knowledge tests, as well as tanker truck inspections. However, sometimes these licenses and proper registrations lapse, or the companies that own the tanker trucks cut corners to save money. You should not have to suffer financially due to the negligence of a tanker truck driver or company.
When you call us at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. with a tanker truck case, you will be connected to an attorney who has experience with the harmful and often deadly nature of tanker truck accidents. Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. has been serving West Palm Beach residents for over 40 years, helping them secure settlements and jury awards to help with medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys do not receive compensation for taking your case until you do. We work for you.
Don’t let yourself go through another day of fear and worry about how to pay your expenses. Let the team at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. remove some of the stress so you can focus on your recovery or grieve for your loss. Give us a call at 561.689.8180 and wake up tomorrow with hope that you’ll get the justice you deserve.
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Common Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
Not all tanker trucks are large, and many are smaller than the semi-trucks we see in Palm Beach County and around the state. However, tanker trucks commonly carry hazardous materials, like fuel, pesticides, chemicals, explosives, and even radioactive materials. According to The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are nine classes of hazardous materials tanker trucks might carry.
When tanker truck drivers make human errors like other vehicle drivers – such as being distracted by cell phones, food, or beverages – the results can be far more catastrophic than with smaller vehicles. A weight shift of liquid cargo in the tanker can cause the tanker truck to become unstable, leading to a loss of control that causes the tanker truck to veer into another lane or to roll over. Tanker trucks also require more stopping time than non-commercial vehicles due to the increased weight of the truck and the tanker cargo. Improperly inflated tires can create blowouts that cause the tanker truck driver to lose control – in addition to creating potential damage and injury to other vehicles from flying tire pieces.
In 2019, Palm Beach County recorded 3,441 crashes involving commercial motor vehicles, including tanker trucks, with 929 injuries and 20 fatalities. The most recent data (2018) from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration shows that almost 500,000 large trucks were involved in crashes around the country, injuring 107,000 and resulting in over 4,400 fatalities. In 625 of those crashes, hazardous materials were released from the tank containers.
Common Injuries from Tanker Truck Accidents
The types of materials that tanker trucks commonly haul can make any accident with these large vehicles much worse than with smaller vehicles or with those that don’t carry hazardous materials. In addition to suffering broken bones, some victims in these tanker truck accidents receive serious burns. Due to the size of these trucks and the time it takes for them to slow down or stop, it’s not uncommon for several vehicles to be involved in accidents with tanker trucks. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Mild to severe burns
- Torn or strained muscles
- Hip and knee injuries
Any degree of injury, even those not considered life-threatening, may require weeks or even months of rehabilitation or physical therapy. If you require surgery, you may be unable to work for extended periods of time. Post-surgical follow-ups and rehabilitation can mean additional expenses and lost time from work. Your injuries may not allow you to return to your pre-accident job, requiring you to change fields and perhaps take a pay cut. If your loved one was injured, or worse, perished in a tanker truck incident, you could be entitled to loss of income and compensation for your pain and suffering.
How Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. Can Help
It is almost impossible for victims to try to get justice from tanker truck companies without an attorney. Often large corporations own and operate these tanker trucks, and it can take some effort to find the correct owner-operator and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number. These companies have their own insurance companies and attorneys. There may be third-party inspectors to interview.
If the tanker truck driver was drunk or otherwise impaired, victims would need to obtain evidence of that. If there are multiple vehicles involved in the accident, the tanker truck driver may try to assign blame to another driver in the accident – or, the company that operates the tanker truck may try to blame the truck or tank manufacturer. They may even try to blame you, the victim, or otherwise try to intimidate you.
Our attorneys can sift through the layers of blame, secure evidence like inspection reports, witness statements, police reports and driver and company logs. We know where and how to get the necessary evidence to make a compelling case for you that will lead to a fair settlement or verdict. Your focus should be on your healing and dealing with your grief, not on making numerous telephone calls trying to get to the right people and track down records that will prove your case.
The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to locate witnesses – and the more financial, emotional and physical hardship you’ll likely endure. The driver’s or tanker truck company’s insurance companies may try to get you to accept a settlement in exchange for not filing any future claims against them. While it may be tempting to accept such an offer immediately, it may not be what you deserve.
The lawyers at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. will look out for your interests and be sure that any settlement you agree to includes full and fair compensation for any losses you’ve suffered. Those losses could include:
- Medical bills, present and future
- Vehicle repairs, replacement or rental
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Internal injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, present and future
Don’t let a large corporation or their insurance company intimidate you into accepting its offer. They are going to try to pay as little as possible. At Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A., we won’t back down until we get you the compensation you deserve.
We Work for Our Clients to Get Results
Companies that own and operate tanker trucks are required to carry a specified amount of insurance. This increases the likelihood of a settlement, but it may not reflect the entire amount you should be entitled to, depending on the severity of your injuries and the losses you incurred or your projected losses. Our successful settlements and awards have ranged from several hundred thousand dollars to millions. We use evidence in formulating our compensation demands on your behalf to have the best chances at success, either in our settlement discussions or in moving forward to a trial. We do all of the work on your behalf so you can focus on your medical needs and regaining your health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your attorneys at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. don’t receive a dime unless and until you receive a settlement or reward. You will have no upfront or out-of-pocket costs. We discuss our award-based fees in detail prior to taking your case.
Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. has been helping West Palm Beach residents with cases like yours for over 40 years. We keep up-to-date on laws governing tanker trucks to help us put the best legal and expert case forward on your behalf.
Not all cases go to trial, but if the insurance settlement offer is not adequate to compensate you for your losses, pain and suffering, having experienced attorneys is a necessity. Insurance companies do not want to pay out more than they have to. Our firm’s experience adds additional leverage to ensure you are fairly compensated.
Florida has a set time period during which you can file certain injury claims, called a statute of limitations. We recommend bringing your case to us as soon as possible so that your medical bills don’t pile up. The earlier we begin to work on your case, the sooner you can put this stress behind you.
Don’t Wait to Get Help!
Our attorneys at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. are ready to help you in your time of need. Call 561.689.8180 today to discuss your case and get started.
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