According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2018 nearly 14 percent of all roadway crashes involved a large truck or bus. Trucks and buses were also involved in just over 8 percent of all nonfatal crashes that year. When a semi truck is involved in a high-impact crash, the results are often devastating, and this is even more true when the accident involves a fuel tank fire. I’ll tell you more about these accidents below and when a New York defective vehicle lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates may be able to help.
Semi Fuel Tanks Frequent Cause of Fires
Semi trucks are significantly more likely than other vehicle types to catch fire when involved in a crash at high speed. Sometimes, only the truck driver is injured, but often the fire spreads to one or more additional vehicles, creating disastrous consequences for other drivers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2019 4,119 people died in large truck crashes in the U.S. Of these, 67 percent were occupants of other vehicles, 15 percent were pedestrians and cyclists, and just 16 percent were truck drivers themselves.
While some safety measures have been put in place by manufacturers to prevent these types of accidents, the precautions don’t work 100 percent of the time. For example, diesel fuel was created to be less flammable than other types of gasoline. This sounds like an outstanding way to prevent fires, but the unfortunate consequence has been that truck manufacturers have failed to create sturdier tanks that are less likely to suffer punctures or leaks, or to ensure that fuel tanks are safe in case something like this happens. These changes have likely not been made because they would be costly, but when manufacturers choose their bottom line over safety, lives are inevitably and inexcusably lost. At Buttafuoco & Associates, our defective vehicle attorneys serving New York see cases like these on a regular basis.
To dig a little deeper into the causes of these issues, semi truck gas tanks are typically found outside of the truck’s frame, so when a semi is carrying on average 100 gallons of fuel, we can see where the problem lies. The tank is in an incredibly vulnerable position where it can easily be exposed to damage, punctures, and fuel leaks. Once a fuel leak occurs, sparks from hot nearby truck parts can easily ignite it and start a fire. There is also what is known as a “crossover line” between each outer fuel tank, which can easily be torn, ruptured, or punctured during an accident, resulting in a greater fire risk.
Beyond these examples, semis may also catch fire due to fuel tanks that are defective in their design or not well maintained. Defective fuel lines and issues with electrical system can also cause trouble. In these cases, a defective vehicle lawyer in New York can help.
This leaves everyone on the road vulnerable in accidents involving a truck fire. Ultimately, if you are burned badly in this type of accident, you are left with the need for multiple painful surgeries that can take an incredibly long time to recover from, not to mention the extremely expensive medical bills.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we are seasoned defective vehicle lawyers, which are the basis for many truck accident cases. We are committed to helping our clients recover the maximum compensation they are eligible for so they can fully recover after this type of accident.
Work with a Qualified New York Truck Accident Lawyer
As you can imagine, with so many potential causes of truck fires, if you are in this type of accident, working with a knowledgeable and experienced New York truck accident lawyer is essential to ensuring that a case is properly and thoroughly investigated. The driver, manufacturer, designer, and others may be responsible and owe you damages for your losses including lost time from work, pain and suffering, medical and other expenses that are the result of the accident. This can get incredibly complex, not to mention stressful if you are attempting to handle it on your own.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, our team has significant experience in product defect cases as well as auto and truck accident cases. We will fight for your rights, treat you like family, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Get in touch today for a free consultation at 1-800-HURT-NOW.