North Carolina Tanker Truck Accident Lawyer

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A tanker truck speeds down the road in North Carolina.

Tanker truck accidents can be extremely deadly, as these trucks are prone to bursting into flames and exploding. Collisions involving tanker trucks often lead to multiple deaths and severe injuries because these trucks often carry dangerous and flammable liquids and materials that are prone to ignition and explosion by the impact of a collision. For example, in 2020, a tanker truck collision in North Carolina led to a fuel leak that ignited and led to a fire that quickly escalated out of control leading to a fatality. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed due to a tanker truck accident, contact our skilled personal injury attorneys to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.

Why Do I Need a Tanker Truck Accident Lawyer?

After a tanker truck accident, you need an experienced tanker truck accident lawyer to fight back against high-powered insurance and/or trucking company attorneys. At Tatum & Atkinsons, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ we have a proven track record of winning high-value settlements and verdicts for our clients. We work vigorously to develop an optimal legal strategy and build the most robust case possible to win. We assist our clients with obtaining and assembling compelling evidence to back up your claim. Finally, we provide our clients with peace of mind that can be had when retaining an experienced trucking accident lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights to fair compensation.

Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents

When someone’s negligence causes a tanker truck injury, the injured party may be entitled to compensation. While the causes of tanker truck accidents vary, some commonalities are found between accident statistics. In general, tanker truck accidents are caused by driver error. However, tanker truck accidents may also be caused by the following:

  • Inadequate truck maintenance or manufacturing defect
  • Improper loading
  • Inexperienced drivers and inadequate training
  • Adverse weather
  • Speeding and insufficient stopping distance
  • Improperly secured loads
  • Third parties, such as another driver or pedestrian

Dangers of Tanker Trailer Accidents

In addition to the impact-related damages that are associated with collisions, tanker trucks often contain dangerous cargo, which may lead to further damage or injury, such as:

  • Acids and other corrosives
  • Dyes and paints
  • Ethanol
  • Oil and tar
  • Peroxides and other oxidizing substances
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Petroleum derivatives and gasoline
  • Sand

As tanker trucks frequently carry these dangerous substances, accidents involving tanker trucks may often lead to explosions and toxic chemical spills. In addition, the impact of a tanker truck accident can cause a spark to ignite the combustible chemicals in the tanker, which may lead to fatalities, severe burns, disfigurement, and severe scarring.

How Common Are Tanker Truck Accidents?

The FMCSA reports that 5-10% of all truck accidents occur annually involve tanker trucks. Last year, there were nearly 10,000 tanker truck accidents in the U.S., which accounted for 372 fatalities and over 3,500 injuries.

Tanker Truck Accident Injuries

Due to the high risk of explosion and fire associated with tanker truck accidents, often death(s) and severe injuries are reported with these accidents. Additionally, due to the potentially toxic nature of the cargo, anyone in the vicinity may be at risk of harm. It is possible to sustain injuries from a tanker truck accident without being involved in the accident. Tanker truck explosions may lead to dangerous flying objects, including sharp metal. The explosion itself may set other vehicles or structures on fire. Toxic chemicals may injure anyone within breathing distance or inflict chemical burns upon anyone who touches it. Chemical or substance spills may also lead to the road surface obstructing with slick or sticky chemical residue leading to secondary crashes. Whenever a tanker truck is involved in a collision, there is tremendous risk involved. Common tanker truck accident injuries may include:

North Carolina Truck Accident Statute of Limitations

Each state will define its legal guidelines dictating an injured party’s time limit to bring a claim against another party. This time limit is known as a “statute of limitations.” The general statute of limitations for a truck accident injury claim in North Carolina is three years. However, the statute will be reduced to two years in wrongful death cases. If a claim is not filed within the statute of limitations, the injured party will be legally barred from seeking recovery, except in very limited situations, such as if the victim was a minor, legally insane, or otherwise incompetent. Discuss the specifics surrounding your case with an experienced North Carolina trucking accident injury attorney to see what legal requirements may apply to your unique case.

Help After a Tanker Truck Accident

If you or a loved one have been involved in a tanker truck accident, several steps should be followed to ensure that your claim for compensation for your injuries is protected. Consider taking the following steps:

Receive Medical Treatment

After being involved in an accident with a tanker truck, after the police and/or emergency responders have come to assist and take their report, you should receive medical attention immediately, even if you feel your injuries are minor. First, this will ensure that your health is protected and that any possible injuries are protected, as some injuries, such as TBI and soft tissue injuries, may not immediately present with symptoms. Secondly, this will create evidence linking your injuries to the accident. Therefore, it is essential to receive a medical evaluation from a medical professional as soon as possible following an accident.

Exercise Caution When Speaking to Insurance Agencies

It is important to recognize that insurance companies are often for-profit corporations that do not benefit from paying out large settlements to injured parties. They often utilize tactics to minimize or deny personal injury claims following an accident. Insurers may even use your own words against you. Therefore, it is best never to discuss the details of your claim without first consulting with your attorney.

Discuss Your Legal Options with An Attorney

After receiving medical attention following the accident, the next thing you will want to do is discuss the unique circumstances surrounding your case with an experienced tanker truck accident attorney. Your attorney will work to gather evidence, handle negotiations with insurance companies or other attorneys, and ensure that your rights are adequately represented. Tanker truck cases, especially cases in which significant damage was incurred, can quickly become complex. A seasoned personal injury attorney with experience seeing clients through these types of disasters can help to ensure that you and your family receive the best possible outcome from your claim. Ensure to discuss your claim with an attorney immediately to avoid diminishing the potential value of your financial compensation or running out of time.

Tanker Truck Accident Damages

When an accident is caused due to a party’s negligence and injuries are sustained, the accident injury victim, or their family in the case of wrongful death, is entitled to seek financial compensation for their injuries. Financial compensation may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  •   Lost wages
  •   Loss of earning capacity
  •   Pain and suffering
  •   Property damage
  •   Medical expenses
  •   Future medical expenses

North Carolina Tanker Truck Accident Attorney

In the event that you or a loved one have been injured in a tanker truck accident due to the negligence actions of another, the experienced tanker truck accident attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ can help. Call (800) 529-0804 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Truck accidents cause thousands of deaths, injuries, and significant property damage each year. Although tanker trucks are important to the local economy, they may be extremely dangerous.