Tanker trucks are a common sight in and around Bakersfield, CA. While drivers should be cautious around any truck, this goes double for tanker trucks. Many of these trucks carry hazardous materials such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and industrial chemicals. Because of this, an accident can cause an explosion and fire on impact. Everyone involved, including the tanker truck driver, can easily suffer catastrophic injuries or be killed.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a tanker truck accident in Bakersfield, call the personal injury attorneys at The Dominguez Firm today. We offer free consultations at 800-818-1818. Please keep reading for more information on tanker truck accidents in Bakersfield and what your rights are if you’re injured in one.
What Are the Main Reasons Tanker Trucks Crash?
Driving a tanker truck presents many of the same challenges that driving any other large commercial truck does. However, tanker trucks have an added danger; they’re carrying enormous quantities of liquid cargo too. Even though all truck drivers must contend with huge blind spots and much longer braking distances compared to a car, tanker truck drivers often transport hazardous and flammable materials. Even if one of these trucks is transporting milk, the movement of the liquid in the cargo tanks can make it unstable.
The main reasons for tanker truck accidents are:
- A poorly trained driver
- Needing to meet tight deadlines leads to speeding and reckless driving
- Poor weather conditions
- A poorly maintained truck
- A vehicle defect to the truck or any of the other vehicles involved in an accident. For example, a manufacturer defect to the truck’s motor.
- A tanker truck that has been loaded incorrectly
- Badly maintained roads
- Distracted driving
Depending on the cause, these accidents can be the fault of the truck driver or the driver of the car. If you were injured while driving a truck, The Dominguez Firm may be able to help you too. Our attorneys have assisted other truck drivers injured in accidents over the years so contact us for a free consultation.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Tanker Truck Accidents?
Accidents between large commercial trucks and cars can cause permanent injuries or kill anyone in the car. What makes Bakersfield tanker truck accidents unique is that unlike the drivers of other commercial trucks, tanker truck drivers face the same dangers as those in passenger vehicles due to the hazardous and unstable cargo they’re transporting. In most other cases, a truck driver is protected by the sheer size and weight of their vehicle. And anyone else caught up in the accident, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, or other vehicles, can easily be injured or killed in the accident too.
Because of this, chemical burns are one of the most common injuries in Bakersfield tanker truck accidents. Other injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Respiratory problems from breathing in toxic fumes
- Blindness if the victim’s eyes come into contact with hazardous materials from the truck
- Broken bones
- Internal Injuries
Tanker truck accidents can cause catastrophic and permanent injuries. The medical expense of treating all of these can be staggering. For example, spinal cord injuries in accidents can cost a person over $1.1 million in the first year alone. Some truck accident victims won’t be able to return to their jobs while the most serious cases may require in-home care. Even the so-called mildest injury on this list, whiplash can leave the victim with a lifetime of head, back, and shoulder pain.
If you were seriously injured, you should be able to receive the medical treatment and care you need without worrying about expenses. That’s why truck accidents require an experienced attorney who is fully aware of the cost a devastating injury will have on the victim and their family.
Do I Even Need an Accident Lawyer? The Insurance Company Says Attorneys Will Just Complicate Matters.
Insurance and trucking transportation companies are businesses. Their goal is to make big profits, not pay out large settlements for accidents. When these accidents happen, transportation companies are known to aggressively defend themselves. They immediately send representatives to the scene of the accident, sometimes even before the police arrive to lessen the damage.
For their part, unscrupulous insurance agents will do everything they can to get you to take a low offer and close out your accident claim, regardless of the injuries you suffered. One tactic is telling you they need a recorded statement from you following your accident, even though you’re not legally required to give them one.
Instead, you should hire an experienced Bakersfield truck accident lawyer to represent you right away. Once you do, stop talking to the insurance adjusters and tell them to call your attorney if they contact you. Any truck accident case, whether it involves a tanker truck, big rig, or utility truck is complex. There can be multiple defendants and truck transportation laws involved. Is this really something you want to take on by yourself; especially if you’re seriously injured or just lost a loved one?
The Bakersfield trucking accident attorneys at The Dominguez Firm have over 35 years of experience successfully handling these cases throughout California. We also have a winning record of over $1 billion* won for our personal injury clients in accident cases. Let our award-winning injury lawyers handle the truck insurance companies while you concentrate on putting your life back together again.
I’m an Undocumented Immigrant Who Was Injured in a Bakersfield Tanker Truck Accident. Can The Dominguez Firm Help Me?
Yes, our law office can help you. In the past, undocumented immigrants who were injured in accidents faced deportation and reduced settlements because of their status. Those days are over, thankfully.
Since 2017 California has allowed undocumented immigrants and their families to sue for injuries suffered in accidents without fear of retaliation of any kind. Neither you nor your family members can be threatened with deportation at any point during your Bakersfield accident case. Furthermore, if defense lawyers try to bring up your immigration status, our lawyers will quickly shut them down. That information cannot be used against you for any reason.
The other big change is how compensation in accidents involving undocumented immigrants is calculated. Before 2017, it was awarded based on the expenses and lost wages the victim would have had in their home country, not the U.S. This meant accident victims received much lower settlements and verdicts than their American citizen/resident counterparts. All these injustices have been remedied, allowing all accident victims to sue for their injuries.
I Suffered an Injury in a Bakersfield Trucking Accident But I Don’t Have Health Insurance. Can Your Office Still Represent Me?
If you were injured in a Bakersfield truck accident but don’t have health insurance, our lawyers can still represent you. Since most truck accident injuries are serious, it’s important you receive treatment right away. We will make sure of that regardless of your insurance status. The Dominguez Firm has a network of top-tier doctors and medical providers that are ready to help you after your accident.
These providers will be paid from a medical lien secured from your case. Our lawyers will make sure these medical expenses are included in the demand for compensation for your accident injuries. We’ll then wait until your case settles to receive payment.
Note that the insurance companies for any other driver involved won’t pay for your medical treatment upfront, much less set up appointments or arrange transportation to a medical office as needed. The Dominguez Firm will do all of that without asking you to pay for any of it ahead of time.
How Much is My Bakersfield Truck Accident Claim Worth?
No two accidents are alike. Each accident presents its own set of circumstances. As a result, no Bakersfield truck accident attorney can give you a specific answer to this question. They can go over the facts of your tanker truck accident to get a general idea of its worth.
Several factors will determine the value of your tanker truck accident claim. One of the most important is the extent of your injuries. Other factors include:
- Whether you’ll be able to return to work or not
- Your health and lifestyle before the accident
- Your age
- The emotional impact the accident has had on your life
- The damage to the vehicle you were driving
Accident lawyers refer to the compensation you would be entitled to as damages. Generally speaking, there are two types of damages, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are exactly what they sound like, the financial cost of your tanker truck accident injury. This involves adding up all those expenses such as:
- All medical bills associated with your accident injuries including
- Ambulance bill
- All medical treatment
- Visits with medical specialists
- Any needed surgeries including reconstructive surgery if the victim suffered burn injuries
- Medical insurance co-pays
- Physical therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Lost earnings and earning capacity due to the accident
- The cost to repair or replace your vehicle, also known as property damage
- The cost of vocational rehabilitation if you decide to train for a different career
Non-economic damages compensate you for the emotional impact your accident injury is having on your life. Your truck accident attorney won’t rely on bills when determining your non-economic damages. The most common non-economic damages are:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Mental health illnesses stemming from the accident such as PTSD
Trucking accident lawyers present evidence of the emotional toll the accident is having on the victim to help calculate pain and suffering. Even though there is no general formula for determining an amount for non-economic damages, lawyers and the court often use a number from 1 to 5 to arrive at a general estimate, with 5 being reserved for the most severe injuries and distress.
One final note on truck accident cases, and most personal injury cases in general; the state of California places no cap on what can be awarded in non-economic damages to an accident victim. This is why pain and suffering often end up being the largest part of the victim’s settlement or verdict.
How Do I Pay a Dominguez Firm Truck Accident Attorney?
The Bakersfield truck accident attorneys at The Dominguez Firm work on a contingency basis. That simply means we’re paid from a percentage of your final compensation. That percentage will be clearly noted in the representation agreement you sign with us when you become our client. Plus, it’s a fixed percentage, meaning it won’t change regardless of the amount we obtain for you.
You also don’t have to worry about any out-of-pocket expenses. That includes no legal fees or hidden costs whatsoever. And if our law firm can’t obtain any compensation for you, which is highly unlikely, you owe us nothing. Our lawyers promise, if there is no recovery, there is no fee!
Why You Should Call the Bakersfield Tanker Truck Accident Lawyers at The Dominguez Firm
There’s a reason tanker truck accidents make the evening news. These are some of the most devastating types of accidents any driver can suffer. And when it comes to Bakersfield, tanker trucks are everywhere. While driving defensively and giving these trucks a wide berth can help us avoid danger, sometimes accidents are inevitable. The Dominguez Firm is ready to help you during this difficult time. Why choose us?
- Over 35 years of experience – Our firm has been helping clients injured in all types of truck accidents for over 35 years. In that time our lawyers have successfully represented clients injured in tanker truck, delivery truck, big rig truck, and other types of truck accidents.
- We are not a referral service – The Dominguez Firm is a full-service law firm with its own team of in-house trial lawyers. They are backed by our very own investigators and a staff of over 130 skilled legal professionals.
- We have the resources to see your case through to the end – Our firm won’t settle your case for less just to close it out. We have the legal and financial resources to go to trial if the insurance companies won’t make a fair offer for your tanker truck accident injuries. Not all firms can do the same.
Our award-winning personal injury lawyers are ready to help you with your tanker truck accident case. Unlike motor vehicle accidents, these accidents inevitably have a lot of moving parts. There are often multiple aggressive defendants, a variety of laws to deal with, and almost always, truck accidents involving tanker trucks kill or leave victims with serious and permanent injuries
You don’t have to settle for what the transportation and insurance companies want to pay you. You have rights and The Dominguez Firm can help. We have been representing people injured in accidents for over 35 years. Our lawyers have recovered over $1 billion*. Call us today for a free consultation at 800-818-1818. We can travel to your home or hospital at a moment’s notice.