Holding Companies Accountable in America's Oilfields
In remote oilfields, drilling companies transport their product by truck. Gas trucks are enormous commercial vehicles holding thousands of gallons of flammable and toxic material. This reason alone is enough to demand that oil companies maintain their trucks efficiently and frequently. When these trucks are not properly maintained, they cause serious accidents. Whether these accidents are due to a faulty part or due to poorly-maintained roads, any type of gas truck accident is severe and has the potential to injure the driver and bystanders. When a tanker truck collides with an object, the gas can ignite or explode, causing burn injuries and killing workers.
Gas Truck Accident Attorneys Helping the Injured in Texas & Nationwide
Our gas truck accident lawyers help those injured in oilfield accidents throughout Texas. Much of our practice is focused on the West Texas area, including Abilene, Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, and San Angelo.
In addition, we also provide representation throughout Texas counties such as the following:
- Bee County
- Bell County
- DeWitt County
- Dimmit County
- Frio County
- Gonzales County
- Gregg County
- Harrison County
- La Salle County
- Lavaca County
- Live Oak County
- Maverick County
- McMullen County
- Nacogdoches County
- Panola County
- Rusk County
- San Augustine County
- Shelby County
- Webb County
- Wheeler County
- Wilson County
- Zavala County
Our team is not just limited to Texas. From our offices in Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, and Baton Rouge, LA, we are proud to extend our services to clients throughout New Mexico, Louisiana, and the entire nation. In fact, we've won cases for clients from all 50 states. Notably, areas such as the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale have seen a dramatic increase in accidents involving vehicles from the oilfield. Companies shouldn't be allowed to put the lives of workers and residents at risk as the rush to make profits on an area's natural resources.
Tanker Truck Crashes: Investigating Cause & Assigning Fault
If you were injured or lost a family member in a collision involving a tanker truck, you deserve the chance to see justice served. That starts with determining the cause of your accident and ends with the assignment of fault.
Our team takes on tanker truck collisions caused by:
- Fatigued and overworked tanker truck drivers
- Improperly loaded tank trucks
- Defective truck and auto parts
- Dangerous roads and heavy weather
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe merges and lane changes
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Poorly maintained tanker trucks
- Traffic violations
Tanker Truck Rollovers
One of the most dangerous aspects of tanker trucks is their tendency to be involved with rollovers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 1,300 cargo tank rollovers occur each year. In other words, nearly four tanker trucks are in a preventable accident each day. There are three myths that people often believe regarding rollovers. First, many blame poor driving conditions that cause tanker rollovers. However, the FMCSA has determined that bad weather and other road conditions are only a factor in about 4% of rollover accidents. Second, speeding is another common factor to blame in rollover accidents. Yet, only about 28% of cargo tank accidents involve speeding. Finally, some blame inexperienced drivers for tipped over tank trucks. However, more than half—66 percent of all accidents—involve a driver who has 10 years or more of driving experience.
The following are typical causes of tanker truck rollover accidents:
Rollovers frequently happen because of a simple mistake that drivers of all experience levels can make. In fact, about 78 percent of rollovers happen by a mistake that a driver could have prevented. It only takes a moment of negligence to cause an accident that has a lifetime of repercussions. For 90 percent of rollover accidents, a driver has had a previous history of rollovers. Finally, about one out of every five rollovers is caused by a driver not paying attention to the road.
The FMCSA has also found that poor vehicle maintenance leads to rollovers. For example, the agency found that about 54 percent of rollover accidents involve trucks with inadequately installed or maintained brakes.
Size & Weight of Loads
Finally, the size of tank truck’s load is a significant factor in 63 percent of rollover incidents. While trucks carrying dry goods frequently have a load that is secured and doesn’t move, tanker truck drivers must account for the “slosh and surge” effect, especially when their tank is not filled. The less full a truck is, the more a driver must account for the sloshing and surging effect of their liquid haul. A half-full tank can mean a dramatic shift in weight distribution when a truck turns. Additionally, if a tanker truck needs to stop quickly, their load can “surge” toward the front of the vehicle, displacing weight unevenly and making it even more difficult to prevent an accident.
Gas Truck Accidents Pose More Than an Environmental Concern
One impact of oil and gas drilling that has not gone unnoticed is the way that operations affect the county road system. When drilling companies began to swarm various areas of New Mexico, Texas, and North Dakota, new roads had to be built to provide companies with better access to the well sites. Some of these roads just aren't up to par. They can be made of mere gravel and dirt on only be as wide as two lanes. These roads are not built to sustain large oil trucks, which is why accidents have resulted. Each new well requires an estimated 2,000 more trips by trucks and rigs. The addition of so much traffic has had significant wear and tear on each state's roads.
The current road system is not only dangerous and a nuisance to the residents of the area, but life-threatening for those in the oil and gas industry. These types of accidents are dangerous because not only are these trucks large but they are carrying hundreds of gallons of combustible material. In the event of a crash, these trucks can explode. Fuel truck drivers may have a case if they were injured in an accident caused by a poorly maintained road, just as anyone else could have a claim if they were injured by the negligence of a gas truck driver.
Act Quickly After a Houston Tank Truck Accident. Call (888) 493-1629.
Tanker truck accidents can be particularly catastrophic due to the immense size of the truck and the fact that it may be carrying hazardous and/or flammable substances. A tanker truck crash can cause a powerful explosion that puts everyone in the area at risk of serious injury. Other vehicles may be literally crushed from the impact. After accidents of this magnitude, victims and their families can turn to Arnold & Itkin for the legal counsel they need. When we take on a tanker truck accident case, we give it the time and attention it deserves. We treat our clients with compassion and put all of our considerable resources to work as we fight for the outcome they need.
Call (888) 493-1629 today to speak with a team member at our Houston office. We’re ready to stand up for your rights.