Tanker Truck Accidents
Tanker trucks are commercial semis or big rigs that transport hazardous, flammable, or otherwise dangerous materials, including liquids. Tankers can spontaneously combust or spill chemicals on the highway. A tanker truck accident can result in catastrophic injuries (including burns) or even fatalities. If you have been hurt in this type of crash, it is important to contact a Los Angeles truck accident attorney who has experience handling these complex cases. At Sharifi Firm, we understand what it takes to investigate the details of a tanker truck accident and protect a victim’s legal rights.Establishing Liability for Injuries Caused by Tankers
It is not uncommon for a tanker truck accident to be the fault of the truck driver. For example, a tanker that is not loaded correctly or has too light a load can become unstable, tip, and roll over, causing devastating harm to many people on the road. Similarly, if a driver is trying to meet delivery deadlines, his or her company may encourage the trucker to bend the rules related to hours of service. This may result in fatigued driving, which may also cause injuries to one or more people in other vehicles. Another common problem is jackknifing, when the vehicle moves forward, but the tank swings to the side.
Often, there is more than one party at fault for a tanker truck accident. To establish a truck driver's negligence, you would need to show the driver's duty of care, a breach of the duty of care, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages. Usually, a truck driver is on the road because he or she is employed by a company to accomplish a particular delivery or task. This company may be vicariously (indirectly) liable for its employee's negligence in the course and scope of the job.
A truck driver's employer may also be held directly liable if it negligently acted or failed to act. For example, if a trucking company negligently failed to maintain a vehicle’s brakes, the company may be directly liable for injuries that arise because of that inadequate maintenance. Trucking companies also have a responsibility to conduct background checks on their employees and to adequately supervise a driver’s keeping of a logbook. A trucking company that fails to make sure its drivers abide by FMCSA regulations or that does not abide by its own duties under the regulations may be held liable under a theory of negligent hiring or negligent supervision.
In some cases, a defective part, such as a faulty airbrake, may cause an accident. In that situation, it may be appropriate to try to hold the truck manufacturer accountable in a product liability lawsuit. In California, a manufacturer may be held strictly liable when a manufacturing, design, or marketing defect in a product causes injuries.Explore Your Options with a Truck Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers can help you seek compensation if you suffer injuries or lose a loved one because of a commercial driver’s or trucking company’s carelessness. Generally, defendants in this industry have substantial resources, and their insurers fight tooth and nail to avoid liability. Thus, it is important to consult a motor vehicle collision lawyer who understands the common tactics used by insurers and insurance defense attorneys to avoid liability. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or use our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent injured individuals in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, San Bernardino, and Riverside, among other Southern California cities.