For individuals and families in Texas, fuel trucks are a fact of life. Every day, tanker trucks carrying oil and gas traverse our state, carrying these fuels to refineries, ports, gas stations and other locations throughout the state.
Unfortunately, while fuel trucks play an important role in Texas’s economy, they also present grave risks for drivers and passengers on the road. This is why they are subject to special safety regulations, and why trucking companies that carry fuel must also carry additional insurance to compensate victims when something goes wrong. At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we are experienced in helping truck accident victims hold trucking companies responsible for their mistakes. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a fuel truck, we can help you win the compensation you deserve.
While fuel trucks are susceptible to the same common causes of truck accidents as other commercial vehicles, they present unique risks as well. Two of these risks are: (i) the risk of an accident caused by improper fuel storage, and (ii) the risk of a major catastrophe resulting from a fuel spill.
With large fuel tankers holding up to 9,000 gallons of fuel, these trucks are easily among the heaviest vehicles on the road. It is critical that this weight be managed properly—if it is not, there will often be little that the truck driver can do to avoid an accident after a sudden maneuver or under heavy braking.
One common issue that can lead to fuel truck accidents is lack of pressurization. On many trucks, in order to prevent fuel in the tank from sloshing around, the tank must be “pressurized.” Essentially, this involves filling the empty space in the tank with air so that the heavy fuel cannot move forward and backward or side-to-side. When a fuel truck has not been pressurized properly, the weight of the fuel moving around in the tank can cause the truck to jackknife, often making it impossible for the driver to avoid a major collision.
Another risk unique to fuel trucks is the risk of a hazardous spill. One of the worst truck accidents ever in Houston involved seven deaths and more than 200 injuries resulting from a spill when a speeding tanker truck fell from an overpass. In that case, it was toxic fumes that led to the fatalities and the majority of the victims’ injuries. However, fires, explosions and multi-vehicle pileups caused by spilled fuels can all lead to devastating consequences for drivers, passengers and even nearby residents as well.
If you have suffered losses in a fuel truck accident and would like to speak with an attorney about your rights, contact the Houston, TX law offices of Morrow & Sheppard LLP. For a free consultation, call (800) 489-2216 or tell us what happened online now.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.