Approximately 1,300 cargo tank rollovers occur each year in the United States, on average, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rollover accidents can be catastrophic for cargo tank drivers and anyone who is near the truck when it overturns.
Common Causes of Cargo Tank Rollovers
Many cargo truck rollover crashes can be prevented. Cargo tank rollovers often happen because of:
- Driver error. A cargo tank driver who is drowsy, distracted, inattentive, or speeding, for example, can cause a rollover accident.
- Highway factors. If weather or road conditions are bad—for example, windy, dark, or slippery—a rollover may occur.
- Load size. Gas, oil, and other cargo can move easily during travel, and a sudden shift in the cargo load can cause a crash. Therefore, a crash may occur if the tank is only partially full.
- Vehicle defects. Brake or steering defects, for example, can cause a cargo tank rollover.
Even experienced cargo tank drivers can cause rollover wrecks. A serious injury or fatality can occur with just one mistake by a driver who is distracted, tired, or speeding, or one mistake by a manager or trucking company who insists on partial loads or fails to keep cargo tanks in good working order.
Cargo Tank Rollover Injuries
Generally, people who are not in the cargo tank truck at the time of the rollover are hurt in one of the following ways:
- Trying to avoid the out-of-control cargo tank
- Being crushed by the heavy weight of the cargo tank if it lands on their vehicle
- Being burned by a fire that results from the rollover
- Inhaling dangerous fumes from gases, oils, or other cargo
In any of these scenarios, motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians may suffer:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Have You Been Hurt in a Cargo Tank Rollover?
You couldn’t prevent the cargo tank traveling near you from overturning, but you can protect your legal recovery. If you are injured in a cargo tank rollover, you may recover damages for your past, current, and future:
- Medical costs. Any medical care you receive to treat your injuries or pain should be part of your accident recovery. This includes, but is not limited to, ambulance rides, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ visits, assistive medical devices, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
- Lost income. You may be out of work, unable to return to work, or unable to work the same job or the same hours as you did before you were hurt. If your income has suffered because of your accident injuries, you deserve to be compensated for your lost wages, benefits, bonuses, and income from self-employment.
- Pain and suffering. You may experience significant physical pain and emotional suffering because of your injuries. With the right evidence and convincing legal arguments, you can make a financial recovery for your pain and suffering injuries.
- Other accident-related expenses. Any costs directly related to your accident are recoverable. If your loved one died in the cargo tank rollover crash, your expenses might include funeral costs.
You must take action to protect your recovery. The cargo tank driver, his employer, and the insurance company are unlikely to offer you a fair recovery unless you demand it. Your actions will show the parties responsible for paying the damages that you mean business. Specifically, you can:
- Make sure the police come to the scene of the crash and investigate the accident
- Get immediate and ongoing medical care
- Preserve any photos or other evidence you have from the accident scene
- Talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer
An experienced Louisville truck accident lawyer can investigate what happened, identify the people responsible for your injuries, and aggressively fight for your full and fair recovery. To learn more, contact our Kentucky truck accident law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation at any time.