ORANGE COUNTY TANKER TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER
The 2020 annual report of the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) shows that California tragically experienced 5,341 tanker truck accidents, among which 3,067 were injurious and 48 were fatal. Tanker trucks are common in Orange County and carry hazardous materials threats that may lead to severe injuries. If you find yourself in an accident involving a tanker truck, you need to consult an experienced tanker truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
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What Are Tanker Truck Accidents?
Tanker trucks carry heavy amounts of hazardous materials, including toxic chemicals and combustible substances like gasoline, diesel, acids, caustics, and industrial liquids.
The heavy weight and large build make it more difficult for the drivers to retain control in some situations. When there is an accident, dangerous substances may spill or leak. These chemicals mix with other substances on the road or the mechanical parts of vehicles, resulting in, fires, explosions, and the emission of toxic fumes.
California Laws For Tankers Carrying Hazardous Materials
Because tanker trucks carry hazardous materials on public roadways, the state enforces guidelines and policies that protect the public. The California Code of Regulations has implemented strict laws to ensure safety, prevent accidents, and minimize potential risks.
Commercial Truck Driver’s License
All tanker truck drivers must undergo regular training on safe transportation and have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) that includes a hazardous materials (HazMat) endorsement by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Every tanker truck carrying hazardous materials must be visibly labeled with its respective hazard class label and UN identification number.
Every tanker truck driver must carry an emergency response plan in case of an accident, spill, fire, or explosion, according to the California Code of Regulations.
All tanker trucks carrying hazardous materials must have a California Highway Patrol (CHP) permit when driving on a shared roadway. The permit is issued after the California Highway Patrol Hazardous Materials Division properly inspects the driver and the vehicle.
California restricts tanker trucks carrying hazardous materials from using certain routes that are prone to more damage in case of spills or explosions. This includes specific roadways, bridges, as well as tunnels.
Causes Of Tanker Truck Accidents In Orange County, CA
Some of the most common causes of tanker truck accidents are:
- Overload or overpressure in the cargo
- Brake delay or failure
- Tire blowouts due to overload and overpressure
- Loss of control
- Unpredictable weather conditions
- Unmanaged highway roads
- Tired and fatigued drivers after driving for long periods
- Drunk driving or intoxicated driving
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Common Injuries Attained By Truck Accident Victims
Here are some common injuries reported in Orange County tanker truck accidents:
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Brain damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle injury
- Internal Bleeding
- Organ damage
What Should You Do After A Tanker Truck Accident?
The primary civil responsibility of every involved party or witness of the accident is to ensure everyone is safe. In most accident cases where the tanker is carrying toxic materials, there is a chance of explosion. One must call 911 and help everyone to safety. The scene must be sealed off by authorities until the situation is under control.
After everyone has received medical care, you may spend the next couple of days or weeks (or months, in severe cases) recovering from the injuries. While doing so, consult with a lawyer to understand the accident and compensation amount better. There are different policies and approaches to the personal injury case based on your point of view and share of fault in the accident.
As The Truck Driver
If you were the truck driver at fault, your tanker truck company or employer provides you with insurance. Along with the treatment of all injured parties, you may also need coverage for the loss of tanker cargo and other damages. Once all injuries are taken under control, you have to report the accident to the company and work with their insurance company to compensate the victim and property damages.
On the other hand, if you were the victim and the accident was fully or partially another motorist’s fault, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries from the defendant’s insurance company. Similarly, the truck company provides coverage for the cargo goods and the damage done, as well as personal injury.
As The Opposing Party
If you were the victim injured by the truck driver, your attorney will help you reach out to the driver’s personal insurance and the commercial insurance of the company which is liable to compensate your losses.
The Role Of A Tanker Truck Accident Attorney
Handling all legal procedures to claim personal injury compensation while recovering from your injuries is ill-advised. You would have to deal with the trucking company’s insurance which requires a wide spectrum of knowledge of the insurance policies. Often, people misread the situation and end up with much lesser compensation than they deserve. An Orange County tanker truck accident attorney prevents that possibility and helps you navigate the case to a fair settlement or winning verdict.
Accident lawyers help you determine the cause and educate you on all laws and regulations associated with tanker trucks. They gather evidence, review reports, talk to witnesses, and bring in expert investigators. When they file a claim against they the defendant’s insurance company, they use arguments backed by irrefutable evidence. If the settlement negotiations fail, file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
Compensation After A Tanker Truck Accident
Economic and non-economic damages can be recovered after a tanker truck accident. Economic damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and damage to cargo At the same time, non-economic damages provide financial support for the pain and suffering one had to endure from someone else’s negligence.
Insurance Associated With Tanker Truck Companies
Tanker truck companies must carry a certain level of insurance for their drivers in case of accidents. They hold liability insurance for when the truck driver’s fault causes accidental harm to the occupant of another vehicle. It also covers the medical costs, property damage, and lost wages of the other party.
Contact Top Rated Orange County Truck Accident Law Firm Today
The insurance requirements for tanker truck companies are too complex for someone with little experience in truck accident law. Handling the case by yourself and winning a fair compensation deal is difficult to impossible. It is important to seek the help of an expert Orange County tanker truck accident lawyer to understand and navigate the successfully.
Nordean Law has a team of experienced attorneys handling complex legal cases and assuring the protection of your legal rights. We build a solid case out of a wide range of resources and expert witnesses. We also have a comprehensive understanding of the best approach to negotiating with and litigating commercial trucking insurance companies. With our dedication to you, we ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 888.527.1267 to schedule a free consultation.