The US Fire Administration reports that many fatalities in car accidents and trucking accidents are caused by post-crash fires. In many cases, these fires occur as a result of fuel leaks, manufacturer defects, and the intensity of a collision. Unfortunately, burn injuries from trucking accidents are more likely to be fatal or serious, simply due to the large amount of fuel a truck can spill and due to the large force a truck collision usually creates.
Many trucks also carry flammable materials or toxic chemicals in their cargo holds. If these cargo holds are not secured correctly, flammable materials can leak out and fuel a fire after a collision. If a truck is carrying particularly noxious chemicals, these chemicals can cause burn injuries even if they do not ignite. In rare cases, trucks carry such dangerous substances that large areas must be evacuated after a truck accident because the chemicals pose a health hazard.
If trucks are carrying dangerous chemicals and traveling at high speeds, any collision can cause the truck to explode, simply due to the high force. Similarly, if a truck collides at high speeds with a wall or other barrier or rolls over, the flammable ingredients in the truck can explode or catch fire.
A post-collision truck fire can quickly veer out of control. Most trucks carry large amounts of fuel which can easily feed a fire. If a truck’s cargo is explosive or flammable, these substances can add to the fire, causing serious property damage and loss of life over a wide area.
Manufacturers of trucks have a responsibility to ensure that product defects – such as fuel tank defects – do not contribute to post-collision fires. Trucking companies and drivers also have a responsibility to ensure that trucks are maintained and operated in a safe manner.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident fire, contact a Florida personal injury attorney at once. Trucking companies often have the right to destroy some information related to a truck after a set period of time, so it is imperative that an attorney acts quickly to preserve this information. An attorney can investigate the cause of a collision and can ensure that you and your family have the resources to get the best medical attention possible.