Semis and 18-wheelers have many dangers when you compare them to passenger vehicles. Their enormous size and weight are the most obvious. A semi can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds in the U.S. The average passenger vehicle weighs approximately 5,000 pounds. In addition, the engine in a semi is six times larger and heavier than a car engine.
Less obvious to the eye is the amount of fuel a commercial vehicle such as a semi truck can hold. Depending on the truck, a fuel tank can hold approximately 100 to 150 gallons, and most semis have two fuel tanks. In the event of a crash, a fully-fueled semi could potentially have 200 to 300 gallons of diesel fuel on board.
The amount of fuel is not the only reason that semi accidents can result in fires, however. Large vehicles are more prone to tipping and rolling over in an accident, which can cause fuel to leak.
In addition, defects in the design of the tanks, fuel pumps or lines can lead to fuel leaking during a crash. The placement of the tanks can also be a factor. In some trucks, the tanks are positioned in a manner that leaves them at risk for punctures during a collision.
Truck manufacturers are responsible for producing safe vehicles. Transportation companies are responsible for maintaining safe vehicles. Drivers are responsible for driving safely and following the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. If any of these parties fail in their duties, serious or catastrophic injuries can result.
Severe burns are among the most painful and dangerous injuries a person can suffer. Treatment can take months and there is a high risk for infection. Burn injury victims may need a lifetime of pain management, counseling and other types of treatment. To cover the cost of medical care, the burn victim will need significant compensation.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one was injured in a trucking accident. You cannot fight the trucking company's lawyers without help.