The Dangers of Truck Fires
What if you were driving on the highway and saw a commercial truck on fire? How scary would it be just to drive near that type of accident? Truck accidents in general are frightening, but when a truck is on fire, things can become worse quickly. Truck fires can cause serious damage to the trucker and any other drivers or pedestrians in the immediate area around them. The destruction from the fire can cause more harm, like an explosion, leading to severe injuries or fatalities. The impact of the fire can lead to instant death.
The unpredictable nature of fires can cause more damage to other drivers and bystanders. If you have been the victim of injuries and damage caused by a truck fire, it’s no secret that you’ve endured trauma. So let’s talk about them a bit more, and what your options are if you are injured.
Common causes of truck fires
Even though truck fires are rare, they are extremely catastrophic. Several risks can contribute to a truck fire, including:
- Defective truck parts. One of the most common causes of truck fires is overheated brakes. When the brakes of a truck have a defect, it can cause serious damage to the truck. Other defective parts that can cause a truck fire include faulty wiring and blown-out tires.
- Poor truck maintenance. Truck parts can also become worn down and defective when they have not been properly maintained. Poor truck maintenance is the fault of the trucking companies or mechanics. The trucking companies may have failed to perform routine maintenance on the truck or the work was done poorly by the mechanics.
- Truck accidents. Unfortunately, the damage from an initial truck accident can set a truck on fire. There are certain truck accidents like rollovers or jackknife accidents that can cause a fire to ignite on the rig.
- Exposed wires. When exposed wires interact with other elements, it can cause a fire to ignite. They can rub against another hazardous material or element that can cause the wire to short out and cause a fire.
Cargo spills that lead to truck fires
Another cause of a truck fire are cargo spills. Some trucks transport hazardous, flammable materials nationwide. If these materials were to slip from the tractor-trailer or collide with other materials, it can lead to a fire.
Improperly stored or loaded cargo on a truck causes a dangerous scenario for all motorists. If a truck accident were to happen, the impact from the accident can cause the cargo to spill out from the truck and ignite a fire.
Who is responsible for truck fires?
While truck fires can happen unexpectedly, they are just like every other accident: they can be prevented. There are several parties that may be held liable for a truck fire. One of the main parties is the truck driver. If he or she was negligent in any way, then he or she may be held liable for any injuries you sustained.
Trucking companies can also be held liable for truck fires. If the cause of the truck fire was a defective truck part or poor truck maintenance, that is the responsibility of the trucking company. If the cargo was improperly loaded or stored, the shippers may also be held liable for the damage from a truck fire. Shippers have a responsibility of making sure all cargo is safely secured on a tractor-trailer.
Finally, the manufacturer may bear some responsibility. If there was a defect in the truck’s engine or electrical wiring, or if a faulty piece broke off and damaged the fuel lines, it can lead to a fire. In such a scenario, the manufacturer or designer may be held liable, too.
Legal action you can take after a truck fire in Memphis
When a truck fire has caused you or your loved one harm, you may be able to file a claim and seek compensation. The success of your claim will be determined by how well you can prove the other party’s negligence.
You must prove that the other party deliberately engaged in negligent acts that put your safety in jeopardy. Some of the elements that you will have to successfully prove include:
- Duty of care. You must establish the person’s duty of care towards you.
- Breach of duty of care. You must prove how the other party failed to live up to the standard of care that they owed you.
- Causation. You must explain how the other party’s careless actions contributed to the harm you endured.
- Damages. You must show the damages that you endured from the harm of your accident.
Damages you can recover in a truck accident claim in Memphis
Even if you happen to survive, you’re likely to suffer from catastrophic injuries. Victims of fires can suffer from burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations. In any case, your life will never be the same.
One of the main reasons that you may file a claim is to seek compensation for the damages you’ve endured. Being the victim of a truck fire can affect your entire life. The physical damages you’ve endured could be permanent. You may have to consider paying for lifelong medical expenses.
Your occupation, the time spent with family and friends, and your dreams for the future can be affected by your injuries. You could suffer from financial damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. You can also suffer from intangible damages like loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
The truck fire can cause physical and mental trauma that will take you a long time from which to recover. You should be properly compensated by the person who caused you so much harm.
When you have been the victim of a truck fire, reach out to the truck accident lawyers at Bailey & Greer, PLLC today. Our truck accident lawyers go above and beyond to protect our clients. We represent injured victims in Memphis, Jackson, and West Tennessee. We also offer virtual consultations if you are unable to come to us. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
As founder of Bailey & Greer, R. Sadler Bailey has battled his fair share of insurance giants and wrongdoers and has achieved numerous multimillion-dollar results for the victims of catastrophic injuries and their families. What’s more, he has been involved in more than 40 appellate court decisions affecting Tennessee personal injury law, including many landmark appearances before the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Read more about R. Sadler Bailey