This morning there was a Gwinnett gas tanker crash. A gasoline tanker (commercial vehicle) crashed in Gwinnett County, spilling fuel and causing concern for local businesses. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the incident happened at Braselton Highway and Hamilton Mill Road. That intersection is near Interstate 85 and the accident happened in the early hours of the day, about 5:30 am.
Two gas stations and a daycare were evacuated as a precaution. The tanker had been carrying 8,000 gallons of fuel, and it is estimated that 3,000 gallons had escaped into a storm drain and a pond. Emergency service workers focused on preventing additional fuel from escaping as well as working to contain some of the contamination that had occurred.
Thankfully, the area’s sewage system was not impacted. Additionally, a 2nd tanker was dispatched to the scene. The tanker would serve to haul the remaining fuel away after it was transferred or syphoned from the crashed tanker. The emergency service workers had also used equipment to help absorb the fuel to prevent more of it from spilling into the storm drain.
As far as injuries are concerned, the lone accident victim is the tanker driver. He was evaluated at the scene and thankfully no serious injuries were reported. This tanker crash was a single vehicle accident, and no other cars or drivers were involved. As a result, the most serious concerns were making sure that there were no explosions or fires as a result of the fuel that had spilled out. The Discovery Point Daycare and the nearby Quicktrip (QT) and BP gas stations and convenient stores were evacuated.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents
This single vehicle accident could have been a lot worse. Not only is the vehicle large enough to cause significant damage and harm to other vehicles, drivers and passengers, but the fuel could have caused a very significant explosion or fire. Commercial vehicle accidents account for a significant amount of accidents on Georgia roads. In looking specifically at fatal Georgia accidents, 2 percent of annual fatalities are people killed in large trucks. That is just the number of people killed inside of large trucks, that does not take into account people hurt or killed in the other vehicles.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents Are Dangerous
All accidents and all vehicles have the potential for serious injuries. Commercial vehicle accidents stand out because of the tendency for commercial trucks to be very large. Additionally, their engines are powerful and give them the ability to produce speed. If a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident or collision, chances are that there will be significant damages to the vehicles and property involved. An 18-wheeler or other big rig can no doubt cause a very big wreck, especially if travelling at significant speeds prior to crashing.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents Can Be Tricky
We tell potential clients frequently that even if they do not hire us for their big truck accident, please hire someone. We do so because these cases are often complicated because of all of the different issues that may come into play. An experienced injury lawyer can help. Depending on the accident, there may be a need to investigate the commercial vehicle. For instance, it may be necessary to inspect the 18 wheeler’s or other big truck’s “black box” to look at the traveling speed prior to the impact or to see if the driver applied the breaks.
Commercial vehicles are typically insured with high policy limits in comparison to non-commercial vehicles. A typical liability policy in Georgia may be well under $100,000 where a typical commercial vehicle policy is generally at least $1,000,000. With significant liability exposure in a case with high policy limits you can rest assured that the insurance company and their lawyers will definitely fight to prevent having to pay more than they believe any claim to be worth. (That is their job.) Experienced injury lawyers know this process and know how to build a case against the big insurance companies. (This is our job.)
Confusion After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
Our experience has shown us that all accidents have the potential to cause confusion. This is no less true with commercial vehicle accidents. One of the most common issues that people face after a commercial vehicle accident is the complication of filing their claim with the insurance company for the commercial vehicle. Please note we are not encouraging anyone to ever work with or speak to an insurance company on their own! However, in some cases we do speak to people that have already unsuccessfully tried to file their claim on their own.
Many of these people tell us that they have a difficult time finding the appropriate insurance company or getting an insurance company for a big truck or tractor trailer to even call them back. In some cases it may even be several days before you would have an opportunity to know the truck’s insurance carrier because the accident report has the info and this info is typically not exchanged at the accident scene. So, after having to wait several days to find out the insurance company, people often have trouble locating the correct claims department or an adjuster. That is frustrating and we understand that.
This type of thing happens all of the time and when it does, it generally shows a prospective client that the process can be difficult from the outset. We know how to file insurance claims and we can assist our clients with filing property damage claims and we can help them get a rental car as well. Our experience with handling big truck claims has given us the knowledge to provide expertise and focused representation aimed at reducing the confusion that comes with commercial vehicle injury claims.
What Not To Do After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
A lot of legal advice is telling clients what to do, but there is also an appropriate time to tell them what not to do. A big no-no in personal injury law is talking to an insurance company before you have had an opportunity to speak to an attorney about your accident or injury case. If you are not a lawyer or have never been in a car accident, you would have no reason to know all of the bad things that can happen from speaking to an insurance company (giving a recorded statement) about your injury case without first speaking to an attorney.
While well intentioned, the comments and information that you give to the insurance company can be used against you in your personal injury case. The big insurance companies can twist your words and make your recorded statement something that you wished you hadn’t done on your own. Don’t give a recorded statement on your own. If you are hurt, seeking medical care (or planning to) and the injury victim in a big truck or commercial vehicle case, call our law firm for a free discussion about your options.
Experienced Commercial Vehicle Lawyers
Scholle Law Firm has been representing injured Georgians in commercial vehicle accidents for a long time. Our firm is over two decades old and we have a team of lawyers and professional staff that know how to help injured accident victims. From the first call to our office you will find that our team is empathetic and interested in trying to help. You will speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case for free!
During a free case evaluation we can help you review your accident report and if you do not have it we can speak to you about how to get a copy. We will talk to you about your accident, your injuries and your concerns. We will not end the call before confirming that all of your questions have been addressed. If we are able to help you, we will offer to take your case. However, there is no pressure or obligation. We always want to take a case when we can help, but remember even if you do not hire us for your commercial vehicle accident case, make sure you hire someone.
To speak with us, call us today at (770) 717-5100 or contact us online.